Day 3: Equality’s Palindrome Search

Art by Jim McClain, Cory Carani, and Art Lyon

Hello, everyone! As the creator of Solution Squad, I am sometimes asked, which of the characters is my favorite? And I take the easy way out on that, responding that they’re like my children and how could I choose from them?

But the longer answer is, they’re not my children; they’re me. I relate to each one of the Solution Squad characters because they represent different aspects of my life and personality. Absolutia has my temper, Abscissa has my impulsiveness, often saying things before thinking it through, and Ordinate is big and strong. Well, I used to be strong, anyway. Today, we are taking a look at Equality. Equality represents the athlete in me. I played three varsity sports in high school, and so did she. But Equality is also one very important thing that I hold as one of my best qualities. She is persistent. She does not quit. When she has a goal, she will accomplish it, no matter what it takes.

Still sticking to the introduction of the characters, We’ll find Equality’s origin on p. 102 of Solution Squad. Remember the other day, I offered a free download of the entire book in digital form. Notice that Equality’s real name is Hannah Harrah. Hannah reads the same backward and forward, as does Harrah. These types of words are called palindromes. If you look at the names of the rest of her relatives, you will note that they all have palindromic names!

Now, I’m going to give away an Easter egg. An Easter egg is a bit of trivia that someone has hidden in a bit of data, whether a video game, comic, or movie. This Easter egg is Equality’s date of birth. She is listed as being born on December 21, right? And if you put that into numerical date format, it makes what? 12/21! Another palindrome.

Yes, you could say I have too much time on my hands, but that is honestly the amount of effort I put into creating Solution Squad for you. There is stuff like that everywhere! Keep coming back and I’ll reveal more secrets!

Today’s activity, Equality’s Palindrome Search, is about what an algorithm is. An algorithm is a repeated series of steps. The steps themselves are called iterations. The math in the lesson is pretty straightforward. It’s adding whole numbers! You have to take a number, reverse its digits to make another number, and add them together. Then you check to see if you’ve made a numerical palindrome, a number that reads the same backward and forward, like Hannah or Harrah. 34543 is an example of a numerical palindrome. It’s easy to give up on this one, so be like Equality and be persistent. E-mail me your answer at and I’ll award a prize to the first person who finds the number with the highest number of iterations before it becomes a palindrome! Good luck!