Author: msa11 (Michael Adams)
Date: 2003-Oct-15 03:45:20

my friend gave me the puzzle and she told me the supposed answer.  I am 
totally baffled and so are all my friends.  so I turn to the freeshell 
community for help:

Which number would come next?
4  5  3  4  4  4  3  3  5  7  2  2  4  3

i have tried EVERYTHING.

Author: shinji (RJP) Date: 2003-Oct-15 12:16:56 This is one of those stupid pattern puzzles. It will take time. There HAS to be a pattern to this. I saw alot of these in one of those IQ tests and some of them were tricky. I think this does take the cake.
Author: bandsmer (Michael Bandsmer) Date: 2003-Oct-15 16:41:25 You can devise an equation such that the next number in any sequence is *anything you want*, like Pi or -215888, which is why I'm not especially fond of these "find the pattern" puzzles. After all, the "simplest" pattern (which is usually what's wanted in this type of puzzle) is a matter of interpretation. That being said, after a quick glance at the sequence, I have no idea what the "simplest" pattern might be. The number of letters in some sequence of words? The first or last digit in some numerical sequence? 4 5 3 4 4 4 3 3 5 7 2 2 4 3 "Egad!" cried the math whiz. "This fun and witty problem is so hard I'll make up my own answer. Based on the above paragraph, the next numbers would be 4 2 2 3 6. :-)
Author: msa11 (Michael Adams) Date: 2003-Oct-16 03:19:29 first of all, let me say I came up with two potential solutions: solution 1: 3, since the first and second triplets add to 12, the third and fourth triplets add to 11. if the pattern continues, then the last number must be three so as to make the next triplet sum to 10 solution 2: any number, since if you make a 3x5 matrix out of the numbers (with a _ ) for the missing number, any number substituted for _ will result in the sum of sums of rows equalling the sum of sums of columns (kind of like a longitudinal reduncancy check) BUT THE REAL ANSWER IS that the person who gave my friend the problem forgot to include all of the information. there was a sentence that preceeded the phrase (Which number comes next in the series?). The length of each word in that phrase was what each of those numbers were. So the length of the fiftheenth word in the phrase would have been the correct answer. Sorry to dissapoint you all but I personally enjoyed the mental challenge of beating my head against an intractable problem. -Mike