## Is your name a prime number?

My niece, Mellissa, is a member of a book club. Recently the club's book of the month was Mark Haddon's "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time."

Mellissa passed the book on to me. On page 32 is this passage: '... you see someone's name and you give each letter a value from 1 to 26 (a=1, b=2 etc) and you add the numbers up in your head and find that it makes a prime number, like Jesus Christ (151), or Scooby Doo (113), or Sherlock Holmes (163), or Doctor Watson (167).'

Because I like to amuse Mellissa I wrote a program so she could enter any name and test its primality. Oddly enough, she and I were both prime.

At the next meeting of Mellissa's book club she presented the prime-name program. The members entered their names and had a lot of fun trying to guess who was likely to be prime and who not. Apparently it must have caused a minor sensation because when Mellissa's boyfriend arrived to pick her up he was surprised at the amount of noise and contemplated calling the cops but then realised the noise was laughter.

 The book THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT-TIME tells how Jesus Christ, Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson are prime numbers if their letters are replaced by numbers. If you enter your name (upper or lower case, or mixed) the program will tell you if it is a prime number. Is your name a prime number? Extract from "Silver Blaze" by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. I saw by the Inspector's face that his attention had been keenly aroused. "Is there any other point to which you would wish to draw my attention?" "To the curious incident of the dog in the night-time." "The dog did nothing in the night-time." "That was the curious incident," remarked Sherlock Holmes.
Top | Home