# A Simple Number Sequence

What would be the next digit that follows these numbers?

1, 11, 20, 30, 7, 49, 42, 23, 3, ?

Just so it's clear, you won't need any mathematics to solve this at all! In fact, everything you need is here.

• so no math or lateral thinking needed? hmmm... Nov 11, 2016 at 8:47
• A little thinking outside the box is definitely required, but I left off the 'lateral thinking' tag to discourage answers like "this sequence is the number of footsteps needed to cover the width of a soccer field in New South Wales!". Nov 11, 2016 at 8:52
• When you say next digit are you saying the next number is one digit or you want the first digit of the next number (which may be 10 or more)? Nov 11, 2016 at 9:01
• I'm pretty sure I've solved it, but that there is a 42 missing between 49 and 23. Nov 11, 2016 at 9:02
• @JonathanAllan, thank you for spotting that error, and damn that was quick! Nov 11, 2016 at 9:06

68

Because

If you read only the alphabetic characters of the question each number in the sequence is the first occurrence of a letter ordered by the alphabet:
A is first found at index 1 - Asimple...
B is first found at index 11 - ...numB...
C is first found at index 20 - ...ersequenCe...
D is first found at index 30 - ...whatwoulD...
E is first found at index 7 - asimplE...
F is first found at index 49 - ...nextdigitthatF...
G is first found at index 42 - ...nextdiGitthat...
H is first found at index 23 - ...sequencewHatwould...
I is first found at index 3 - asImple...
...and
J is first found at index 68 - ...thatfollowsJustsoitsclear...

• Ah, you were just a second earlier. You counted the ? as well? Nov 11, 2016 at 9:07
• I thought this would stump the community for a little longer than this. Guess I underestimated Puzzling SE. Congratulations! Nov 11, 2016 at 9:09
• @Levieux you were faster answering but he commented abov 9 min ago Nov 11, 2016 at 9:12
• @Levieux oh, nope - I just can't count near that number without Bill & Ted influencing my numeracy. Thanks! Nov 11, 2016 at 9:15

I would say it's

68: The position of the first occurrence of the letter J.

Here is an attempt.

If it is a simple number sequence and everything we need is here and no math is needed.
Perhaps it is just that, 1 full complete sequence of number.
That would mean that the next number would be "1" since the first sequence if over and we start a new loop.
For example, if we say 4,1,3,4,1,3,? then the answer is 4

• Nice try, but nope. That would be too lazy on my part, wouldn't it? :) Nov 11, 2016 at 8:41