# A natural system of equations

What goes in the question mark? (Same for both equations). It is something very well-known.

Hint:

This transcends those other 2018 puzzles.

The value of ? is

e

because

e ~= 2.718281828459045

and then

For a slightly different definition of minus (changing that digit to 0),

2.718 - 2nd (digit) = 2.018
And then again for the second line,
e - 2nd - 6th would be 2.0182018...
or "this year this year".

Hints/title:

Natural system = e is the base of the natural logarithm, and this answer "transcends" since e is a transcendental number.

• Markiplier would be so proud!!
– R.D
Sep 17, 2018 at 9:48

Warning: This is the mathematician-with-no-humour approach

Numbers are numbers, so "$2^{nd}$" is $2$ and "$6^{th}$" is $6$.

Next:

You have two unknown values, "?" and "this year", that I rename $x$ and $y$ just because.

Now the system is just:

$x-2=y$ and $x-2-6=y*y$

Which I can solve like in high school and get:

$x=\frac{5\pm i\sqrt{23}}{2}$

Which is obviously not what you were waiting for.

• As a mathematician without humour also, please, take my upvote (+1) Sep 14, 2018 at 17:39
• If you want a real solution maybe take 2nd as 1/2 and 6th as 1/6? Wolfram|Alpha link Sep 15, 2018 at 5:23
• But this answer is funny Sep 15, 2018 at 12:34