For Ed

I am a sucker for those IQ tests that seem to be everywhere on the internet nowadays. I am pretty sure that they are in no way accurate, since if the results were to be believed, I have an IQ in the 160’s. While I like to think that I am smarter than the average bear, I am certainly no Marilyn vos Savant. Still, they are fun to take if for no other reason than to see how much you have forgotten since High School.

The last one I took, which was several months ago, had a question on it that was just so horrible I decided to copy it down for further examination. I don’t remember which particular test this question was on, but you find similar on almost every one of these tests, yet never one so horribly put together.

Here is the question in question, as it were:

Ed likes 729 but not 730. He likes 1728 but not 1725. He likes 3375 but not 3400. Which of the following does Ed like?
A) 4072
B) 4913
C) 4734
D) None of the above
E) All of the above

First things first, the question is bullshit based solely on the fact that “None of the above” is listed before “All of the above”. Since if A, B, and C are all correct, you can’t answer “All of the above” or you are including “None of the above” in your answer. But I am just going to assume that was an oversight, even though every question on the test had the final two answers arranged that way. Now, on to the real reasons why this is a bullshit question.

Answer A is the correct answer because: Given what we know about Ed, he will invariably like the first number given on any list. We know with certainty that he won’t like the second number given on the list, but the question doesn’t actually say how he feels about the third number on lists. So I am going to assume that he always likes the first number, never likes the second number, and is generally indifferent about the third number. At any rate, I think it is fair to say that Ed has an unhealthy fascination with numbers. Ed needs to get laid.

Answer B is the correct answer because: This is the answer that I actually selected when I took the test, and it is the one I think they were looking for. In the question, the numbers that Ed liked -729, 1728, & 3375 all have cube roots that are whole numbers (take that! Useless memorization in High School pays off!). Of the three available answers, only 4913 also has a whole number as a cube root. So again I say, I think that this was the answer they were looking for.

Answer C is the correct answer because: All of the numbers that Ed likes in the question have digits that add up to 18: 729 – 7+2+9=18; 1728 – 1+7+2+8=18; 3375 – 3+3+7+5=18. Of the available answers, only 4734 – 4+7+3+4=18. So clearly this is the correct answer.

So, since A,B, & C are all correct for one reason or another, the answer has to be “All of the above”. Of course the answer can’t be “All of the above”, since that would include “None of the above”. Stupid test.

Like I said, I answered B on this question, and I am pretty sure that was the one they were looking for. The argument for A being the right answer is really pretty baseless, but given the presentation of the question, the argument can’t be logically disproven. The real problem is in deciding whether B or C is the correct answer. The question is pretty vague. It doesn’t really tell you what answer they are looking for, nor does it give you any hint of a reason why Ed likes the numbers he likes. If answer C would have been 4731 instead of 4734, I think we could all agree that Ed is just a whole cube root freak. But the way the question is presented, we have to decide whether Ed is a whole cube root freak, or if he has a “digits add to 18” fetish. And really, I don’t want to know what sort of weird kinky shit Ed is into. Frankly, Ed frightens me a little bit (no offense, Ed).

So if you are ever putting together an IQ test of your very own, please take care to make sure only one of your answers could be right. Or, failing that, put the “all of the above” option above the “none of the above” option. ‘Cause did you ever think that maybe, just maybe, Ed likes to swing both ways. Maybe Ed doesn’t appreciate your Republican, Bible-Thumping, Better than Thou attitude. Maybe Ed is up in his room right now dreaming about a 3-way with 4913 & 4734, after which he plans to spend a little quality time with 4072. After that he might even take on 8817, and you know 8817 comes from the wrong side of the tracks. But Ed’s not doing it because he wants to. No no, Ed is doing it because he doesn’t want to conform to your one-number pigeon-holing tactics. When Ed tragically dies while trying to take on 691457, the blood will be on your hands Mr. IQ test writer! I hope you are happy, you heartless bastard!


In loving memory of Ed. -4072 4913 4734- Gone but never forgotten…

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