Choose two digits and arrange them to make two double-digit numbers, for example:

If you choose $1$ and
$2$,

you can make $12$ and $21$

Now add your double-digit numbers.

Now add your single-digit numbers.

Divide your double-digit answer by your single-digit answer.

Try lots of examples. What happens? Can you explain it?

What happens if you choose zero as one of the digits?

Try to explain why.

How does it work if you choose the same digits, for example $3$ and $3$?

What happens if you use negative numbers?

Now choose three digits and arrange them to make six different triple-digit numbers.

Repeat the steps above: add the triple-digit numbers, add the single digits then divide the triple-digit answer by the single-digit answer.

Do you get the same results?

If you're feeling very organised, try more digits and see what happens.

This investigation is taken from "Numbers in Your Head" by John Spooner, published by BEAM Education (product code: NYH). It is priced at £7.50 plus handling and delivery charge. To place an order, call BEAM on 0207 684 3330. "Numbers in Your Head" is one of a set of mathematical games books. There are currently three others in the set ("Casting the Dice", "Cards on the Table" and "Calculators in their Hands") and in the Autumn term another book will be added called "A Handful of Coins". The set of five books (product code GAM1) will cost £35.00 plus handling and delivery charge.