Part of me just wants to say 42.
But despite the inherent sci-fi coolness of that answer, it might be cheating.
Also, I have a cleverer theory, and it goes something like this:
- For any given string of numbers, however random, you should be able to construct a triangle of differences.
- First off, the numbers themselves are 9, 30 and 25.
- Therefore, the differences between consecutive numbers in the sequence are 21 and -5.
- Therefore, the difference between the differences is -26.
- So we now have a triangle, like so:
9 30 25
- If each row is extrapolated towards the right, assuming the difference between the differences is a constant -26, we get something like this:
9 30 25 -6 -63 -146 ...
21 -5 -31 -57 -83 ...
-26 -26 -26 -26 ...
- Assuming a to be the first number, b to be the second and c to be the third, it seems logical to say that x must be the 24th, since it is the 24th letter of the alphabet.
- x, i.e. the 24th value in a sequence which begins with 9 and has a difference between differences of -26
- And if this line of logic is followed far enough, you can determine the value of the nth number in the sequence, for any n.
- I think the formula works out as...
- *insert a longish pause while I try and fail to boil all those numbers down to a simple equation*
- Well, what I've got so far is " n(x) = ( n(2) - n(1) ) + ", which isn't even a complete equation, and I'm pretty sure it would still be wrong even if I'd bothered to finish it.
- Stuff this for a lark; I'm going to fire up Excel and get it to calculate x for me!
- My helpful spreadsheet program tells me that the 24th number in this sequence, i.e. x, is -6086.
- x must therefore be -6086. Because Microsoft Excel 2007 says so.
Okay, that was arcane.
Perhaps I should have settled for '42'?
- Last 10 for 17 status: neck and neck, each with 2 down, 8 to go.
- Latest book read: still The Kink and I
- Latest film/TV watched: Logan's Run - absolutely dreadful film; don't bother watching it!
- Latest music listened to: something by Yanni
- Latest edible item eaten: Smarties, and cinnamon hot chocolate
- Programs and web pages currently running: Microsoft Office Outlook, Word and Excel 2007, Firefox (tabs: Blogspot Dashboard; Blogspot Create Post; MatNav 6.1)
- Webcomics posted today: Cylinder and Miserable Episode 1473
- The Colclough