Car Talk’s puzzler of the week has some mathematical interest.

See Car Talk’s transcript of the question.

In brief, we are given the equation…

(12 + 144 + 20 + 3√4) / 7 + 5(11) = 9

^{2}+ 0

(which holds true, by the way)

… and asked to transcribe it as a limerick.

The last line of the limeric is given: “Is nine squared, and not a bit more.”

The answer, ROT13’d for your convenience until the Car Talk folks reveal it:

N qbmra, n tebff, naq n fpber

Cyhf guerr gvzrf gur fdhner ebbg bs sbhe

Qvivqrq ol frira

Cyhf svir gvzrf ryrira

Is nine squared, and not a bit more.

This is not the only equation to be immortalized in a limerick. There’s also this old chestnut. It

relies on pronouncing the letter z as “zee” (rather than “zed”,) as well as reading “log base e” (usually spelled “ln”) for “log”.

The integral

z^{2}dz

From one to the cube root of three

All times the cosine

Of three pi over nine

Equals log of the cube root of e.

This equation also holds true.

There’s also this classic from Lewis Carroll which waxes a bit philosophical:

Yet what mean all such gaieties to me

Whose life is full of indices and surds

x^{2}+ 7x+ 53

= 11/3.

Perhaps fittingly, this last equation has only imaginary solutions.

Twelve plus one forty four

Plus twenty plus the square root of four

Divided by seven

Plus five times eleven

Is nine squared, and not a bit more.

A dozen, a gross, and a score

Plus three times the square root of four

Divided by seven

plus five times eleven

is nine squared, and not a bit more