# Puzzle 78 | The lost bus Number

Jay was an old friend of Rakesh and was coming to visit him from a small town. Jay came over late. When Rakesh asked him the reason, Jay told him that when he was coming to the city in the bus, he had placed his luggage under his seat. While getting off, he had forgotten to take back the luggage and by the time he had realized, the bus had left. So he went to a police station to report about it, which took him time. Rakesh inquired what happened next, to which Jay replied that he does not remember the bus number but there was a certain peculiarity about it – the bus number was a perfect square and when turned upside down, then it was also a perfect square! Jay requested his friend Rakesh to help him.

Rakesh quickly phoned the bus company and came to know they had only 500 buses numbered from 1 to 500. Using this information, Rakesh deduced the bus number within a minute. Can you tell what was the number?

**Solution** : Bus number was 196.

**Explanation** : We know that the only digits which can be turned upside down and still be read as a digit are 0, 1, 6, 8 and 9. The digits, 0, 1 and 8 remain 0, 1 and 8 when turned upside down, but 6 becomes 9 and 9 becomes 6. Therefore, the possible numbers on the bus are 9, 16, 81, 100, 169 and 196. Out of these, 196 is the only number which becomes a perfect square when turned over because 961 is the perfect square of 31. Hence, 196 is the bus number.

This puzzle is contributed by** Feroz Baig**. Please write comments if you find anything incorrect, or you want to share more information about the topic discussed above