I heard this classic riddle a long long time ago and really liked it, but I'm afraid it was way too simple for you all in the format that I originally heard it, so I have tweaked it just a little:

101 / 50 + 0 = 1/9

The answer is the name of a person. Who is it, and why?


The equation is actually of the form "name = description" (or who = why, if you prefer).

Now that a correct answer has been given, here is the riddle as I originally heard it, suitable for any well-educated person:

A hundred and one, divided by fifty, followed by nothing: one of nine.

  • $\begingroup$ Is it one word or two? $\endgroup$ – thepace Feb 2 '15 at 5:57
  • $\begingroup$ The name is one word. $\endgroup$ – Hellion Feb 2 '15 at 14:39
  • $\begingroup$ @Hellion I think that the first half of the original riddle is harder than the modded one. The second half of the original is easier though. $\endgroup$ – dmg Feb 2 '15 at 15:59
  • $\begingroup$ The 101 / 50 reminded me of Gauss, myself. Except it would be * and not /. $\endgroup$ – Joe Z. Feb 4 '15 at 0:07

My guess is:

Clio one of the 9 Muses


In roman: 101 = CI, we put 50 = L in between to get CLI and we "add" 0 which kinda looks like "O" and we get CLIO. There are 9 muses and she is one of them so that is the reason behind 1/9.


The roman numbers are a reference to the roman time, when the muses actually got their roles (for example Clio became the muse of history).


one big "thanks" to @rand al'thor as he provided the basis by mentioning the roman numerals in his answer.

  • $\begingroup$ You are correct, sir(?)! $\endgroup$ – Hellion Feb 2 '15 at 15:02
  • $\begingroup$ @Hellion, "sir" it is :) Anyway, now that this was answered, do you mind sharing the original riddle as well? $\endgroup$ – dmg Feb 2 '15 at 15:21
  • $\begingroup$ Excellent! But @Hellion saying the answer is "the name of a person" was a bit confusing - I assumed it would be an actual name, like Derek Smith, rather than a name and description. $\endgroup$ – Rand al'Thor Feb 2 '15 at 21:52
  • $\begingroup$ @randal'thor, yeah, sorry about that; when I came back and looked at it, I thought perhaps I hadn't expressed that well. Hence my first "hint". $\endgroup$ – Hellion Feb 2 '15 at 22:40

101/50 could be

CIBYL (which sounds like it could be a name),


101 in Roman numerals is CI, 50 in Roman numerals is L, and the division stroke is often read as 'by'.

  • $\begingroup$ + 0 could be "to" $\endgroup$ – warspyking Feb 1 '15 at 4:14
  • $\begingroup$ +0 could also be "no", "none", "nil" etc, with the plus just symbolizing that you're combining the words. $\endgroup$ – EFrog Feb 1 '15 at 13:27
  • $\begingroup$ Or just 'o'. I like @warspyking's idea though! $\endgroup$ – Rand al'Thor Feb 1 '15 at 13:53
  • $\begingroup$ Meta-information maybe, but nothing offensive or otherwise against SE guidelines. Many answers have a few lines in them that don't really answer the question; look at some of the answers to this question. @Doorknob really has a problem with me ... sigh ... $\endgroup$ – Rand al'Thor Feb 1 '15 at 15:52
  • $\begingroup$ Hmmm... why the DV, I wonder? $\endgroup$ – Rand al'Thor Feb 2 '15 at 21:52

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