Can you convert the following to my unusual currency?

1.25, 1.75, 2.75, 3.25

Having done that, can you explain why some people think the smallest of these is somehow the biggest - at least as far I'm concerned. After all, the odd (and some would imagine negative) result of it wasn't entirely of my making!

Anyway, it provided my partners and me with a short break (and quite a lot of money).

Who am I and what does all of this mean?


My puzzles are usually too easy. It looks like I may have strayed the other way this time.

Solution strategy (steps added in sequence as they appear in the question)

1. "Remember the 60s?" - Nothing clever here, just setting the era.

2. "Far out man!" - There are three clues here. One regarding punctuation (or lack of), one etymological - setting the milieu, and one gender specific.

3. "convert" - This refers to a basic arithmetic operation than most numerate 15-year-olds or younger could do.

4. "unusual currency" - Look at the tags. Different disciplines use different currencies. The definition of currency here is the last (d) in this dictionary. https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/currency Why is it unusual? Well sometimes people step outside of the ordinary and explore new ideas - that is the case here. They can still express their ideas using the customary language.

1.25, 1.75, 2.75, 3.25 - Mathematicians should spot something about this sequence although something may mislead them. The sequence is incomplete because it excludes the "usual" numbers, not because of anything to do with Euclid's achievements. Note that the sequence can be extended downwards a short way but, the higher you get, the less likely will the numbers be (in this discipline).

"the smallest of these is somehow the biggest - at least as far I'm concerned" - "I" is the person you are trying to identify. The smallest number (in that numerical series after conversion) was his biggest number!

More tomorrow

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ I think the mathematicians among us have 'spotted something about those numbers'. The tricky part is relating it to the rest of the puzzle, as on its own that pattern doesn't yield an answer... $\endgroup$
    – Stiv
    Jul 17, 2020 at 11:05
  • $\begingroup$ @Stiv - rot13( Bxnl. Va gung pnfr, V'yy nqq nabgure gnt. V qvqa'g orsber orpnhfr V gubhtug vg jbhyq unir znqr vg gbb rnfl!) $\endgroup$ Jul 17, 2020 at 11:14
  • $\begingroup$ rot13("Naljnl, vg cebivqrq zl cnegaref naq zr jvgu n oernx (naq dhvgr n ybg bs zbarl)."znxrf zr guvax vg'f nobhg n 1960f onaq (r.t. Gur Orrgyrf, Gur Ebyyvat Fgbarf), fb lbh'er ybbxvat sbe gur anzr bs n fbat, creuncf?) $\endgroup$ Jul 17, 2020 at 14:12
  • $\begingroup$ @simonalexander2005 I was thinking a rot13(onaq zrzore, naq Evatb Fgnee va cnegvphyne (orpnhfr gur Orngyrf'f fhpprff jnf abg ragveryl bs uvf znxvat)) $\endgroup$
    – user70451
    Jul 17, 2020 at 14:48
  • $\begingroup$ @simonalexander2005 - user70451 - rot13(Abg pbeerpg ohg lbh ner abj va gur evtug onyy cnex. Pna lbh fbzrubj pbaarpg gurfr vqrnf jvgu gur "znguf" ng gur ortvaavat?) $\endgroup$ Jul 17, 2020 at 16:49

2 Answers 2


You are

Dave Brubeck

and those numbers are

unconventional time signatures used by Brubeck:
1.25 = 5/4 -> Take Five
1.75 = 7/4 -> Unsquare Dance
2.75 = 11/4 -> Eleven Four
3.25 = 13/4 -> World's Fair

Of particular note is the smallest of these, since

Take Five is the biggest selling Jazz single ever. Note that this piece was actually composed by the Dave Brubeck Quartet saxophonist Paul Desmond and hence was not entirely of Brubeck's making (he composed the other songs, though).

The title is a reference to

the album Time Out (although the album was actually released at the end of 1959).

  • $\begingroup$ Congratulations, you have correctly identified the person and their achievement! Could you perhaps be more specific about each of the clues, as is customary on this site. (P.S. You have already done much of this by implication). Practically everything I wrote has some kind of clue in it. In a while, I'll list the missing details using rot13. $\endgroup$ Jul 21, 2020 at 10:54

I think the unusual currency you're referring to is

British, specifically the farthing

And the conversions are as follows

1.25 (a penny and a farthing).
1.75 (a penny and three farthings).
2.75 (2 pennies, 3 farthings).
3.25 (3 pennies and a farthing).

Can you explain why some people think the smallest of these is somehow the biggest

I think this refers to the Penny-farthing which was a type of bicycle used in the Victoria era, named because the proportions of the wheels resembled a penny and a farthing.

After all, the odd result of it wasn't entirely of my making!

The high bicycle seems to have originated in France rather than in Britain.

Anyway, it provided my partners and me with a break (and quite a lot of money).

Not exactly sure about this line but I think it provides a "break" in terms of yielding a smaller denomination, i.e, the pound and penny can be broken down into smaller parts.


The farthing ceased to be legal tender in 1961 but many would remember them still being around during that period.
There is a pun in the title representing far thing ("Far out, man")


The farthing represented 1/960th of a pound sterling (a further reference to 1960).

  • $\begingroup$ Very ingenious but not what I have in mind. rot13(Gur dhrfgvba fnlf "Jub" nz V, abg "Jung" nz V. Lbh zhfg qvfgvathvfu orgjrra "vg" naq "V" Gurl ner qvssrerag) $\endgroup$ Jul 17, 2020 at 10:40
  • $\begingroup$ P.S. rot13(Lbh nyfb unir gb qvfgvathvfu orgjrra "vg" naq "gur erfhyg bs vg". Nyy fbhaqf irel pbashfvat ohg znxrf frafr va gur raq) $\endgroup$ Jul 17, 2020 at 13:48

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