Math CentralQuandaries & Queries


Question from sherry, a parent:

Ms. Thomas said to her class, when my older was little his nickname was Zed. The nickname my brother gave me was like his but with the first letter turned 90 degrees the second letter changed to the first letter of the alphabet and the third letter turned a half rotation. Does anyone know what my nickname was. My brother gave me the nickname because I slept too much. Could you please explain this to me so I can help my child solve it. Thanks

Hi Sherry,

The rotations being referred to are like as if you stuck a pin in the middle of the letter and then spun it partway around. A 90 degree rotation would be 1/4 of the way around so if you imagine a point at the top of the letter to be 12:00 on a clock, 1/4 of the way would spin the letter until that point now stood at 3:00. A "half rotation" is half of all the way around the circle so the point would move from 12:00 to 6:00.

For example, a capital E spun 90 degrees would look like a table top with 3 legs and when spun a half rotation, it would be a backwards facing E. A full rotation would bring it back to its original position, a normal E.

Hope this helps!


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