# What number is 30 less than when multiplied by 6 times itself?

#### Tedwonny

##### Member
I came across an IQ question - the title.

Doesn't 'when multiplied by 6 times itself' means 'a x a x a x a x a x a'?

multiply the number by '6 times itself' ?

I don't quite understand what 'times' is doing here. It would be much clearer if it's 'when multiplied by 6 itself'.

Thanks

#### Raymott

##### VIP Member
I agree. I don't think it makes sense.
30 is less than 6 x 6 (36). But I can't see how the question is asking that.

#### BobK

##### Harmless drudge
Staff member
The 'writer' (in the loosest possible sense - bozo with a spell-checker) has tried to be concise by stripping out repetition essential to the meaning:
What number is 30 less than its own value when it is multiplied six times by itself - which is pretty poorly expressed but does at least make sense. As a general case, there is no number that is less than itself!

Perhaps disentangling this tortured meaning is part of the test...?

(But I don't think Raymott meant he was agreeing with your last sentence. ;-))

b

#### Raymott

##### VIP Member
No, I was agreeing that it's nonsense.

#### Peedeebee

##### Member
It's really difficult to express some (even simple) maths ideas in words. But even so, in BrE at least, we could use the word times to describe multiply- as well as the word multiply in the same phrase but that would make it rather clumsy.
multiply by 6
multiply 6 times
times by 6-
all of those would be understood.

School children would understand the meaning "times it by" 6. So times gets used even without the word multiply!
In the original I think would just have left out times itself.