Numbers - 30
Friday 30 December 1994
Thirty, in ancient times, was the minimum age for a tribune in ancient Rome ("A man at 30 must be either a fool or a physician" - Tiberius), and was the age, according to biblical tradition, at which both Moses and Jesus began their public preaching. In more recent times, writers have expressed differing opinions of the effects of reaching the age of thirty: "For a young man, a woman of thirty has irresistible attractions." (Balzac, The Woman of Thirty, 1832).
"Thirty - the promise of a decade of loneliness, a thinning list of single men to know, a thinning briefcase of enthusiasm, thinning hair." (Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby, 1925)
Thirty is also the number of edges on an icosahedron; the number of edges on a dodecahedron; and the number of pieces of silver for which Judas betrayed Jesus Christ.
COMPETITION: bridge - bride - ride - side - dies - does - doss - dross - dress - cress - chess: an 11-word chain from bridge to chess. Each step involves one of the following operations: a) omission of a letter without altering the order of the others.
b) addition of a letter, anywhere in the word.
c) changing a letter.
d) making an anagram.
Three prizes of the Larousse Dictionary of Scientists will be awarded for the shortest word-chains constructed according to the above rules, leading from NUMBERS to LETTERS. Preference will be given to those using words in common usage.
16 December answers: If J times MAJOR equals RESIGNS, the value of MAJOR is 89403 (4 x 89403 = 357612). David Davies (Melton Mowbray), Paul Terry (Wokingham) and Mrs H E Kochmann (Basildon) win the Chambers Dictionary of World History.
Life & Style blogs
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Rozanne Duncan: Ukip expels councillor for 'jaw-dropping' comments made in BBC TV interview
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Ukip member gets into Christmas spirit with Union Flag plea to Santa 'for our country back'
BBC director Danny Cohen: Rising UK antisemitism makes me feel more uncomfortable than ever
Alex Salmond has 'broken his word to the Scottish people' says Scottish Lib Dem leader
- 1 Christmas comes early to Hong Kong, as millions of bank notes spill out onto busy street
- 2 The 'Black Museum': After 150 years, public can visit police’s grisly crime museum
- 3 British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
- 4 Vagina canoe artist facing two years in jail defends herself over ‘obscenity’ charges
- 5 The Queen’s speech 2014: Recap and Twitter reaction to Game of Thrones reference
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