Opinion: Brainteasers in memory of Gwen Ifill

By Aziz Inan | November 15, 2016 11:50am

By PBS NewsHour - https://www.flickr.com/photos/newshour/7907972936/, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=50387199

American journalist, television newscaster and author Gwen Ifill died today in Washington, D.C. She was 61 years old.

In her earlier career, Ifill worked for the Baltimore Evening Sun, The Washington Post, The New York Times and NBC [1]. Later, she became the moderator and managing editor of Washington Week and co-anchor and co-managing editor of PBS NewsHour, both of which air on PBS. Ifill was a political analyst and moderated 2004 and 2008 American vice-presidential debates. She also wrote the best-selling book, The Breakthrough: Politics and Race in the Age of Obama, which got published on the day when President Barack Obama was inaugurated in 2009.

In Ifill’s memory, I constructed the following brainteasers:

1. Ifill died on 11/14/2016 where the sum of the digits of 11/14/2016 equals 16 which is the reverse of 61, Ifill’s age.

2. Furthermore, if 11/14/2016 is split as 11, 14, 20, and 16, the sum of these four numbers is 61.

3. Also, 11142016 is divisible by both 16 and 61.

4. Additionally, the reverse of the rightmost two digits of 2016 equals 61 too.

5. Ifill died on the 319th day of 2016 where 319 equals 11 times 29 and these two prime factors differ by 18 where the 18th prime number is 61.

6. If numbers 1 to 26 are assigned to the letters of the English alphabet as A being 1, B being 2, C being 3, etc., the sum of the numbers assigned to the letters of Ifill equals 48 where 48 is three times the reverse of 61.

7. Moreover, the sum of the numbers assigned to the letters of Gwen Ifill equals 97 where the digits of 97 add up to the reverse of 61.

8. The 61st prime number is 283, twice 283 equals 566, and the 566th prime number is 4111 which is the reverse 1114, the day Ifill died this year.

9. If Ifill’s birthday September 29, 1955 expressed as 9/29/1955 is split as 9, 29, 19, and 55, these four numbers add up to seven times the reverse of 61.

10. Ifill was born on the 272nd day of 1955 where 272 equals the sum of 16 and its square where 16 is the reverse of 61.

11. Lastly, the sum of the month and day numbers of Ifill’s birthday, namely 11 and 14, equals 25 and the 25th prime number is 97 (Gwen Ifill) where 25 and 97 add up to twice 61.

Your extraordinary commitment to your profession and true democracy will be missed Gwen Ifill. I hope you rest in peace.

[1] Gwen Ifill, Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gwen_Ifill

Aziz Inan is a professor of electrical engineering teaching in the Donald P. Shiley School of Engineering and can be reached at ainan@up.edu.