Question 49 in our cryptic quiz: “Three is the magic number”

23rd September 2009 by Emilie

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And now, back to the mice. Ray is confused and needs your perspicacity:

Hardboiled, The Journey

Ray’s Confusion

After we got the bears out of town, it was time to get ourselves to safety. We’d arranged to stay with a distant cousin who was working on some Ecuadorian islands. We were taking a train to the coast, a boat to the island and then hiking inland to find her.We had a tradition, my brothers and I, of challenging each other to puzzles on long trips and just because we were on the run didn’t mean we’d so easily abandon tradition. Nick was up first and I drew the short straw.
“Okay Ray,” he said, “each of these groups of four numbers have had the same mathematical formula applied to them.”
I groaned. Nick knows I hate math puzzles.
“Now all you need to do,” he went on, ” if figure out the formula and fill in the missing number. I’ll give you a hint–you’ll need to use an extra number, and always the same number, in each formula.”
I squinted at the paper as Sam looked over my shoulder. Suddenly he laughed, “Just remember the reason we’re in this mess, Ray!”
It was going to be a long train ride.

 Nick's Train Challenge

QUESTION: What number should appear where the question mark is?

Answer in your comments please and keep an eye on the blog, the next question won’t be long to come!

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