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Treebeard's Stumper
25 February 2000

Crunching 2000

For the last three years (1997, 1998, and 1999), we've had the same challenge: use just the four digits of the year 2, 0, 0, 0 in that order with parentheses and any standard math operations, to make the numbers from 0 to 100. For starters,

0 = 2*(0+0+0) (+,-, x, /, and parentheses)
1 = 2-0!+0+0 (factorial, 0! = 1)
2 = 2^0+0!+0 (^ is the power of, 2^0 = 1, but 0^0 is undefined(?))

I'm sure this is not possible for year 2000. There's just not enough to work with! But what's the first number we can't get for year 2000? It helps that 0! ("zero factorial") equals 1 by definition.

Answer


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Copyright © 2000 by Marc Kummel / mkummel@rain.org