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The Importance Of Making An Appointment Before Visiting The Temple

Tuition given in the topic of E-Maths Tuition Questions from the desk of Miss Loi at 10:45 am (Singapore time)

Updated on

Continuing from the previous episode

They overturned every dustbin in the neighbourhood.

They harassed the MRT station staff, shopkeepers and students in the area.

They searched and scoured every corner of the district. (or so they thought)

But, despite sweeping through Novena like a Korean typhoon, Smiling 哥 and his ‘band of brothers’ were still none the wiser as to the location of the elusive Temple.

He was dead sure, though, it was in the vicinity – after he realized that his favourite Udders Ice Cream (and subsequently all shops in the area) possessed the same first three digits of that bogus postal code.

As fate would have it, a passing student was spotted holding a copy of Miss Loi’s exam papers (latest 2010 edition). And to cut the story short, a single scoop of Udders’ Rum Rum Raisin ice cream was intoxicating enough to quash what’s left of the student’s loyalty to The Maths Tutor 😕

The forbidding 38 Steps to 'Salvation'

Thus before long, they arrived at the start of the 38 Steps, situated in the deepest and most ulu recess of the area, where a great sense of foreboding implored the party not to proceed further.

But there was no turning back now, and with great trepidation they took their first steps up the stairs, having no idea then of the horrors that were in store for them …


Ha ha ha ha ha …

A disembodied voice echoed chillingly through the stairway.

Suddenly one of the men let out shriek, before slumping to the ground muttering “log 0 … log 0 … ln 0 …”.

Mua ha ha ha ha ha …

Another one screamed hysterically, and stood frozen like a statue while crying “tan 90° … tan π/2 … tan 270° …”

Horrifying scenes reminiscent of Medusa’s Temple in Clash of the Titans ensued, as one by one his brave men fell, their weak PSLE-trained minds corrupted by sudden visions of mathematical expressions that would’ve induced “Math Error” messages in most MOE-approved calculators.

In the end, Smiling 哥 was the only man left standing before the Temple Gates, where he found himself firmly locked out.

Temple Fortification

Temple Fortification

You are not my student. You do not belong here at my Temple! Leave now before I turn you permanently into a Mathematical Constant!

Loi Loi! Let me in! I mean you no harm. My brothers need your help and salvation!

pleaded Smiling 哥 desperately.


thundered the voice *brief tremor*

But something about the 凄凉 way he pleaded moved her, and after a moment’s hesitation, the voice continued

The secret pin to unlock the Temple Gates is a very special four-digit number. If you subtract the five-digit number formed from adding a ‘3’ after it, from another five-digit number formed from adding a ‘3’ before it, you’ll get 3843.

Find this number and tell me why is it so special, and I *may* consider helping you.

Upon seeing his hapless look, the disembodied voice continued hauntingly

You look lost. Even my Sec One students will have no problem finding this number. Who ask you last time always skip math lessons? Huh? HUH?!

Seriously, you don’t really have much time left to tell me why is this number so special. Prepare to choose the symbol to represent yourself as a Mathematical Constant!

Mua ha ha ha ha ha ha …


Revision Exercise

To show that you have understood what Miss Loi just taught you from the centre, you must:

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Comments & Reactions


  1. clarion-x's Avatar
    clarion-x commented in tuition class

  2. mathslover's Avatar
    mathslover commented in tuition class


    Happy 77th birthday Miss Loi!

    If you let the number be abcd, then use 3abcd - abcd3, and then use simple subtraction, you will get abcd = 2906.

    And considering you used the number 33 in this question, and you are certainly unlikely to be 33 years of age, the only logical explanation is that you were born in 1933.



      @mathslover: Disembodied voice (which most definitely sounds <77 yrs old) speaks again

      Actually this question is adapted from another question that required the formation and evaluation of an algebraic equation. But it was difficult to fit the hallowed number of 2906 into the original question.

      So for the purpose of practice, as well as to atone for your 77-year-old heresy, can you obtain the answer through a suitable algebraic equation?

      • mathslover's Avatar
        mathslover replied to Miss Loi’s comment


        @Miss Loi: Let the desired 4 digits be 'a' 'b' 'c' and 'd' in that order. Hence the number we want to find will be 1000a + 100b + 10c + d.

        30000 + 1000a + 100b + 10c + d - (10000a + 1000b + 100c + 10d + 3) = 3843
        9000a + 900b + 90c + 9d = 26154
        1000a + 100b + 10c + d = 2906

        Q.E.D. ^^

        And why do I have a feeling you'll have something to say about students complaining this is 1 equation with 4 unknowns and hence 'unsolvable'?

        P.S. @ clarion-x : Having to admit I was wrong about Miss Loi's age being 77 is worse than death...

        Happy 38th birthday Miss Loi! See, I halved 77 and so kindly rounded it down. 😀


          @mathslover: 'Aroused' by mathlover's working, memories of Smiling 哥's hated primary school maths lessons came flooding back, and he decided to 'repackage' the a,b,c,d in order to construct the algebraic equation/formula using just one variable (coz he was one of those straight-minded students who refused to believe that a single equation can solve for 4 unknowns)

          Let Miss Loi's birthday the special number be x.

          "five-digit number formed from adding a ‘3′ after it"
          ⇒ 10x + 3 (×10 to 'shift all digits one space to the left')

          "five-digit number formed from adding a ‘3′ before it"
          ⇒ 30000 + x

          ∴ (30000 + x) − (10x + 3) = 3843

          Thus, he solved the above and got x = 2906.

          And with all the clues and promptings from here and over at the Maths Tutor's Facebook Wall, a sudden realization came to him and he took a deep breath and shouted

          Happy Birthday! Loi Loi!

          ^^ Q.E.D. ^^

  3. clarion-x's Avatar
    clarion-x commented in tuition class


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