## Math Limerick Problems

*February 25, 2013 at 8:06 pm* *
6 comments *

Albert Einstein said that “pure mathematics is, in its way, the poetry of logical ideas.” That may or may not be true, but all I know is that math poems are pretty awesome.

There are lots of math limericks on the web. One of my favorites:

A topologist’s child was quite hyper,

Till it wore a Möbius diaper.

The mess on the inside

Was thus on the outside,

And it was easy for someone to wipe her.

Fred Tofts, who claims to not be a mathematician but loves mathematics, recently shared a different kind of math limerick with MJ4MF. His five-line creation was not meant to deliver a punch line; rather, it presented a problem. As a comment to my blog interview with Colin Adams, he wrote, “I have not written any math jokes but have written many math limericks,” and then shared the following:

A dog’s at one end of a log;

At the opposite end is a frog.

Six feet from the frog

And eight feet from the dog

Is a right angle. How long’s the log?

I do hope that the good Mr. Tofts will share a few more of his creations with us!

The following is more of a truth than a puzzle, but fun nonetheless.

Pick a number 1 to 9, I plea,

Then multiply by 15,873.

And again times seven,

The product to leaven;

Your number will repeat six times — you’ll see.

**Do you have any math limerick problems worth sharing?**

Entry filed under: Uncategorized. Tags: dog, Fred Tofts, frog, limerick, log, math, problem.

1.Mei Rose | February 26, 2013 at 8:28 amA dozen, a gross, and a score,

Plus three times the square root of four

Divided by seven

Plus five times eleven

Equals nine squared and not a bit more.

2.venneblock | February 26, 2013 at 11:09 pmThanks for sharing this one. It gives me an opportunity to set the record straight. This limerick appeared in a Saxon Math textbook, so people often attribute it to John Saxon. But it was actually penned by Leigh Mercer, a London wordplay artist and recreational mathematician. It was published in

Gamesmagazine in the 1970’s. He supposedly also created the famous palindrome, “A man, a plan, a canal — Panama!”3.Kieros | April 6, 2013 at 12:44 amThere’s another variation to this; replacing the last two lines with “Plus nine times eleven / Equals five cubed…” still holds true.

4.venneblock | April 6, 2013 at 9:09 pmExcellent! I hadn’t heard that variation before, Kieros. Thanks for sharing!

5.Karen Craigs | March 23, 2013 at 9:26 amThe irrational number e

Is the limit of the quantity

One plus one over n

All to the power of n

As n goes to infinity.

…

The irrational number e

This rate occurs naturally

A bank account lifts

As interest adds gifts

This value and rate go nicely!

6.venneblock | March 23, 2013 at 7:47 pmRock on, Karen! Thanks for sharing these.