Can You Solve This Tricky Numbers Riddle in Less Than 60 Seconds?

This numbers riddle is stumping even the savviest mathematicians. 

For some people, math comes naturally. For others, not so much. But this number riddle is stumping even the savviest mathematicians. The riddle was created by Adam Spencer, comedian, mathematician, and author of The Big Book of Numbers. In his riddle, Spencer wrote down the numbers 1 through 19 out of numerical order. To solve it, you need to figure out the specific way he ordered the first 14 numbers and finish the riddle by adding the last five. See if you can pass this elementary school math test. It’s a lot hard than you would think.

Here it is: 8, 18, 11, 15, 5, 4, 14, 9, 19, 1, 7, 17, 6, 16, ?, ?, ?, ?, ?

Tatiana Ayazo/, Shutterstock

Confused? Here’s a hint: you don’t actually need to be a mathematician to solve this. Try to solve these math riddles on the smartest can get right.

If you’re still stuck, here’s another hint. Which five numbers are missing? 2, 3, 10, 12, and 13. We just need to figure out which order those should be in. It can’t be numerical since the rest of the riddle is out of order… so, what is it?

Ready for the answer? As it turns out, all that’s required to solve the puzzle is the ability to spell. Yes, Spencer ordered the numbers in alphabetical order as they’re spelled. So, the missing last five numbers would be 10, 13, 3, 12, and 2 in that order. Next, see if you can solve the hardest riddles ever.


Popular Videos

Brittany Gibson
Brittany Gibson is a regular contributor to’s culture, food, health, and travel sections. She was previously an editorial intern for and Westchester Magazine. Her articles have appeared on Buzzfeed, Business Insider, AOL, Yahoo, and MSN, among other sites. She earned a BA in English from the University of Connecticut