# Solution to Exactly

#### by Evan Chen, Curtis Chou, Linus Strese, Anderson Wang and Azalea Weisblat

This is a puzzle about suspiciously exact numbers in fiction.

First, we start filling in the blanks. One good place to start is with some of the more distinct "words" like WHATSIT, BUMI, ELOI, etc. We notice that each of these is a number from a fictional universe.

 A CHANCE OF SUCCESSFULLY NAVIGATING AN ASTEROID FIELD $$A = \frac{1}{3721}$$ B THE ANSWER TO THE ULTIMATE QUESTION $$B = 42$$ C YEARS SINCE THE BOAT SANK ACCORDING TO ROSE $$C = 84$$ D TYPES OF JING ACCORDING TO BUMI $$D = 85$$ E CAR SPEED NEEDED TO TIME TRAVEL $$E = 88$$ F PAGE TURNED TO AT THE REQUEST OF SNAPE $$F = 394$$ G TEMPERATURE AT WHICH PAPER BURNS $$G = 451$$ H PRISONER WHO STOLE A LOAF OF BREAD $$H = 24601$$ I LEAVES IN A PILE IN ZORK $$I = 69105$$ J MOMENTS SO DEAR $$J = 525000$$ K CODE FOR THE SAFE IN THE DREAM WITHIN A DREAM $$K = 528491$$ L YEAR THE TIME TRAVELER MET THE ELOI $$L = 802701$$ M YOUR NUMBER THAT I GOT OFF THE WALL $$M = 8675309$$ N CRATE HOLDING THE LOST ARK $$N = 9906753$$ O AGE OF MRS. WHATSIT IN YEARS $$O = 2379152497$$ P NEW NUMBER FOR EMERGENCY SERVICES $$P = 01189998819991197253$$

Once we've solved most of the clues, we might notice that the numbers are in increasing numerical order, helping us place the rest of them.

When we've solved all the clues, we can fill the numbers into the equation at the bottom:

$$N+\frac{B(M+H)}{C}+E*\left\lfloor F-\gcd(G,P)*\log_{AJ} O\right\rfloor-\frac{I}{D}+K-L$$ $$=9906753+\frac{42(8675309+24601)}{84}+88*\left\lfloor 394-\gcd(451,01189998819991197253)*\log_{\frac{525000}{3721}} 2379152497\right\rfloor$$ $$-\frac{69105}{85}+528491-802701$$ $$=9906753+\frac{8699910}{2}+88*\left\lfloor 394-41*4.36214\ldots\right\rfloor-813-274210$$ $$=9906753+4349955+88*215-275023$$ $$=9906753+4349955+18920-275023$$ $$=14000605$$

So we can conclude that 14000605 = __ __ BY ___ ___.

Googling the number if we don't recognize it, we can find that it is the number of FUTURES SEEN BY DOCTOR STRANGE in Avengers: Infinity War. Thus, the answer is DOCTOR STRANGE.

## Authors’ Notes

Two of these numbers are easy to get wrong. The CHANCE OF SUCCESSFULLY NAVIGATING AN ASTEROID FIELD is, according to C-3PO, approximately 3,720 to 1. This corresponds to a $$\frac{1}{3721}$$ chance, but it can easily be misparsed to mean $$\frac{1}{3720}$$. The number of MOMENTS SO DEAR is, according to Rent, 525,000. This is 600 short of the number of minutes in a year, the more famous number in the song. However, either of these numbers can be set to either the correct value or the incorrect one and the equation still resolves to the same number.

Both when constructing this puzzle and testsolving it, we came across the limitation of Google Sheets that it cannot deal with integers as large as 01189998819991197253, so it ends up interpreted as either a string or a float, both of which yield incorrect GCD values.

Some numbers we didn't get to include but considered include ORCS ON A MUNCHKIN CARD, POWER LEVEL LOWER BOUND, MILES I WOULD WALK and CHANCE OF SURVIVAL FOR LEEROY JENKINS.