I came up with this puzzle the other day. It may not too original or particularly challenging, but I thought it could be fun. What's the next symbol in this sequence? (There's also a hint in here somewhere)

$ { \large \prime \prime } \qquad {\prime \,}_{\Large\prime}^{\Large\prime} \qquad { \Large \circ } \qquad {_{\Large\prime}^{\Large\prime}\Large \circ } \qquad {\Large\prime\,_{\Large\circ}^{\Large\circ} } \qquad {\large ? } $

  • $\begingroup$ Inspired from Roman numbers? :) $\endgroup$
    – Bhaskar
    Apr 29, 2016 at 9:56
  • $\begingroup$ @L16H7 Sort of. I thought if a tablet containing an ancient numeral system were discovered with no context, we would need to also find some sort of numerical pattern or formula that could be worked out to understand what the symbols represented. The symbols and patterns were chosen mostly for aesthetic purposes, the similarity to Roman numerals was coincidental. $\endgroup$
    – p.s.w.g
    Apr 29, 2016 at 11:58
  • $\begingroup$ FYI, the question mark is not a part of the sequence. $\endgroup$ Apr 29, 2016 at 15:18

1 Answer 1


The answer is


because the symbols represent

the prime numbers, where $\prime$ has a value of 1 and $\circ$ has a value of 5.

The hint is that

$\prime$ is the "prime" symbol.

  • $\begingroup$ Yup. Answered in under 20 minutes. Hopefully my next puzzle will pose a bit more of a challenge :) $\endgroup$
    – p.s.w.g
    Apr 29, 2016 at 5:25

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