As Mary wasn't at school today, her teacher decided to send her the homework by text message using his old mobile phone. Unfortunately the teacher did not know how to use the predictive text facility so the wrong words were sent. Can you figure out the correct NewAnswers?

Predictive Text entry, allows you to enter text by pressing only one key per letter. As you enter a word, the phone will automatically compare all of the possible letter combinations against a built in dictionary of words, and determine which word you intended to type. When it guesses incorrectly, you will get the type of result seen here. Other words have been substituted for the ones we want.


A Mathematics Lesson Starter Of The Day



One + Five = 6

Three x Eight = 24

Forty Six x Eight = 368

Nine x Forty Four = 396

Words produced by the same combination of keypresses are often referred to as "textonyms". This was the method coded messages were sent in the Sam Bourne novel "The Righteous Men".

The Righteous Men is also available as an audio book.

Alternative Answers

663 + 3483 = 4146

84733 x 34448 = 2918882384

36789749 x 34448 = 1267333273552

6463 x 367893687 = 2377696899081

Mr.Whiitick, Castnf Primary

Friday, February 13, 2009

"Wow my Maths set of Year 5s really got stuck. Good Maths starter but hard!"

Year 8, MSJ

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

"Really good, clever idea. some students found the concept hard."

6S, Cambridge Primary

Monday, March 1, 2010

"Once we'd got the idea of it, we found this cool!! Our teacher helped us a bit!"

Tom Nick, Wellington College

Thursday, February 24, 2011

"EPIC Puzzle. Very fun."

Bob Casel, Mount Cook School

Thursday, February 24, 2011

"Logicly Speaking the 3 can be a 4 making this into a maths paradox
but on the other hand decimly it will be a 3 being a 4x4=16."

5th Class, Cloghroe National School, Co. Cork, Ireland

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

"This was good fun, but quite difficult. It took a quarter of an hour for most of the class to get the answer. It was well worth doing."

P6/7 St Elizabeth,

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

"Fantastic! P6/7 loved the problem and once we understood the concept we found it really easy!"


Thursday, February 27, 2014

"Just wondering for how many more years will this starter be relevant. The photograph is an old phone and the newer phones don’t require predictive text as they provide a full keyboard. The comments above suggest that you like this starter but happy to replace it with something more up to date if you think pupils won’t relate to this."

Y5, Willen

Monday, February 27, 2017

"We got half if it but now we are stuck - where are the answers?

[Transum: Keep trying Year 5. There answers are available to teachers and appear lower down this page when the teacher is signed in.]"

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Laptops In Lessons

Teacher, do your students have access to computers such as tablets, iPads or Laptops?  It would be great to follow up this Starter with an interactive student activity below.

Laptops In Lessons

Here is the URL which will take them to a related activity on code breaking.


Student Activity



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