What is the sum of all of the phone numbers you have ever called?

Thomas Edison really likes to keep in mind,

A number that should be quite easy for you to find.

Just find the sum of all the numbers you've ever called.

But be wary as some people might become quite appalled,

At the variant that is shared by governments abroad.

But remember to answer the question of whether the number is even or odd

Hint:

Think about the different types of things that Edison invented.

Hint2:

The word sum has a double meaning here.

Hint3:

What do governments care about with regards to the phone numbers you have called?

Final Hint (it practically gives it away imo):

It is an object that can be used with an invention of Edison's. It is also something governments really like to look at carefully...

• @Rubio I couldn't determine what was edited in the post. I assumed that they changed something in the title or in the meaning of the words. Is there a grammatical issue somewhere that I am not detecting? Apr 18, 2017 at 2:16
• It was edited to add "A number that should be quite easy for you to find."
– Rubio
Apr 18, 2017 at 2:18
• @Rubio oh! Well to sanyone who reads that edit tag, that's the edit tag I use for any unidentifiable edit within a word based puzzle on here when reversing. There's been many times where people have edited old posts to "make them sound better" and completely ruined the puzzle, rhyme, and general meaning of the post because it was "too wordy and chopped across several lines". Sorry for the confusion. I just figured the edit was either meaningless or a potentially damaging edit. :p Apr 18, 2017 at 2:25
• Does the puzzle depend on any assumption about where "you" are located (e.g., in the United States versus somewhere else)? Apr 18, 2017 at 23:30
• You replaced Alexander Graham Bell with Thomas Edison! And Edison is mention in hint too! So does the puzzle answer depend on one of this person? Or it does not matter whose name is in hint?
– user4956
May 1, 2017 at 4:23

3 Answers

The answer here is

a RECORD.

Thomas Edison really likes to keep in mind,

I missed when the name changed; Bell was the telephone, Edison was the light bulb and the phonograph.

A number that should be quite easy for you to find.

This may be a reference to finding a record, perhaps in a database. Various bits of information about you are numbers and could be stored in logs or databases; in particular, your phone number is an index into the telco's database that indicates how to route a call specifically to you, and numbers you call are similarly recorded in logs and databases for billing purposes.

Just find the sum of all the numbers you've ever called.

The hint tells us "The word sum has a double meaning here." It's not talking about adding the numbers together, it's talking about the cumulative total of all the numbers you've ever called - a record of every phone call you've ever made.

But be wary as some people might become quite appalled,
At the variant that is shared by governments abroad.

If any government, foreign or otherwise, were keeping a record of every phone call you make, a lot of people would rightly be appalled.

But remember to answer the question of whether the number is even or odd

Per OP, the fact that the solution (a RECORD) is not a number means the answer to the question of whether it is even or odd is "neither".

Hint:

Think about the different types of things that Edison invented.
As noted, among other things Edison invented the phonograph.

Hint2:

The word sum has a double meaning here.
Already addressed.

Hint3:

What do governments care about with regards to the phone numbers you have called?
They might care about you calling suspicious people or suspicious places, or using suspicious words while on the phone. See, for example, ECHELON, a communications interception system widely rumored to keep records and recordings of such things.

Final Hint:

It is an object that can be used with an invention of Edison's. It is also something governments really like to look at carefully...
Of course, a RECORD goes with Edison's PHONOGRAPH, and governments are probably interested in the RECORDS of suspicious persons. There's also the idea of governments looking at the RECORD of calls you make, or even of actually RECORDING your calls outright.

• Great job! You got it. The second and fifth one's are wrong, but that's just because there are no red herrings. Bell was just a legit typo. I mixed them both up. So you can ignore that. I assumed that it was he who made that invention. Think about what makes it easy to find? Cause you can find it afaik. Also, think about the nature of it in a mathematical sense. You might have to take the last hint quite literally for that one. Jun 19, 2017 at 17:03
• I looked over it again. Perhaps #6 is probably being a bit too crazy with the puzzle. It's neither even nor odd, cause it's not a number. Sep 5, 2017 at 13:25

Now that, tag do no exists -

This is what I got -

Sum of "All of the" phone numbers can be treated as letters on telephone keypad -
A = 2 L = 5 L = 5 O = 6 F = 4 T = 8 H = 4 E = 3

37 is the sum of all of the keys on the telephone.

And, its ODD

• clever solution, but no that's not it. May 4, 2017 at 15:06

Alexander Graham Bell really likes to keep in mind,

A number that should be quite easy for you to find.

This looks like an referance to telephone keypad, i.e. Numbers 0-9. It also suggest that this required number is short.

Just find the sum of all the numbers you've ever called.

If we consider Number as a referance for digits, there are only 10 digits we have ever called/used, 0,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9. Sum of these digits is 45!

But be wary as some people might become quite appalled,

At the variant that is shared by governments abroad.

This might be a referance to .45 caliber gun used by most security agencies worldwide including US

But remember to answer the question of whether the number is even or odd

45 is an odd number!

• Um, are you sure about that last line?
– Deusovi
Apr 19, 2017 at 5:35
• If I have only used the phone once (to dial 1471) or twice (to dial 333) [[ referring to a comment by @Gareth ]] then I may get either odd or even, and I would not have even touched 2,5,6 & 8. I see too many "assumptions" in this answer : assume it is keypad, assume digits are numbers, assume it refers to .45 gun !
– Prem
Apr 19, 2017 at 10:26
• @Prem I am literally just geussing the answer :) And the keyboard is juat referance to digits, I didn't say the dialled numbers, the digits we use, there are only 10
– user4956
Apr 19, 2017 at 20:17
• Nope. You are definitely incorrect. I won't acknowledge the last line as depending on your interpretation you have a 50/50 shot of getting it right or wrong. Apr 20, 2017 at 2:10