PENCILWISE - Equation Analysis Test

Take this "test" as your personal challenge. This test does not measure your intelligence, your fluency with words, and certainly not your mathematical ability. It will, however, give you some gauge of your mental flexibility and creativity. Few people can solve more than half of the questions on the first try. Many people who took this test previously reported getting answers long after the test was over - particularly at unexpected moments when their minds were relaxed; and some reported solving all the questions over a period of several days.

The origins of this test are somewhat unclear. According to, Games published the first equation analysis test in 1981. It was written by Will Shortz. Another one was published under the title "In the Last Analysis" by Games Readers. If you have any more/different information on this test's origins, please let me know. In addition, I've added some questions over the years, many from the John Handley Dept. of Mathematics.

Instructions: Each question below contains the initials of words that will make it correct. Find the missing words. For example:

26 = L. of the A. would be Letters of the alphabet.

Type your answer in the answer column. Don't type in the stuff on the LEFT side of the equation. In the above example, just type "letters of the alphabet," not "26 letters of the alphabet." Get it? Then check it by clicking on the Check button to the direct right of your answer. Need a hint? Click on the Hint button. Totally stumped? Click on the Answer button.

This page last updated 12-02-11.