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Number Odd Man

Odd means different from others. Let us consider a few examples to understand the concept of odd man.
  1. 1 4 9 16 25 36 63 81.
On observing the terms of the above number series carefully, we notice that all the terms except 63 are perfect squares of natural numbers. 63 is not a square of natural number. Hence, 63 is said to be the odd man.
  1. 3 6 9 12 92 114 222.
In this example, all the terms except 92 are multiples of 3. But 92 is not a multiple of 3. Hence, 92 is considered as the odd man.
  1. 2 3 5 7 9 11 13.
In the above number series, all the terms except 9 are prime numbers. Hence, 9 is known as the odd man. In the same example, we can also argue that all the terms except 2 are odd numbers and 2 is the odd man. So, some of the problems on ‘number odd man’ may have multiple answers. In such cases, depending on the options provided, appropriate answer has to be selected.
  1. 235 354 424 541 613.
This problem is some what tricky. The sum of digits in each term except 354 is 10. The sum of digits of 354 is 3 + 5 + 4 = 12. Hence, 354 is considered as the odd man.

In problems relating to ‘number odd man’, a number series is given. All the terms in the series except one term follow a particular pattern or rule. Only one term does not follow the pattern. In other words, one of the terms in the given series is wrong. We are required to identify the wrong term. If we replace this wrong term by an appropriate right number, the pattern should hold throughout the series.

The concept is very much similar to the one learnt in ‘number series’. In number series we are required to find the missing term, where as in number odd man we are required to identify the wrong term which does not follow the pattern. In both the cases, our main work is to observe the terms of the given number series carefully and to identify the pattern followed therein.

In some problems on ‘number odd man’, numbers are not given in the form of a number series. Five numbers (or pair of numbers) are given. All the numbers except one are alike in a certain way. We are required to find the number (or pair of numbers) which is different from others. In such problems options are not normally given. Let us discuss two such examples to understand the concept correctly.
 
Example-1
Identify the odd man out from the following five numbers:
  1. 385
  2. 572
  3. 671
  4. 264
  5. 427
Solution
On careful observation of the above five numbers, we notice that in all the numbers except 427, the middle digit is the sum of the first and the last digits.
 
In 427, this pattern is not followed.
 
Hence, 427 is an odd man.
 

Example-2
Identify the odd pair from the following five pairs of numbers:
  1. 6, 37
  2. 7, 50
  3. 8, 65
  4. 10, 99
  5. 11, 122
Solution
We observe that in all the pairs except the fourth pair, the second number is 1 more than the square of the first number.
 
But in pair (4), the second number is 1 less than the square of the first number.
 
Hence, pair (4) is the odd pair.
 





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