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Google-style question put to prospective employees

An Australian company called Bigcommerce hangs ads with a mathematical conundrum for its telephone number. It says no one has solved it.

Simple, no?

Everyone wants to hire clever people.

Unless, of course, they happen to be smarter than their bosses. Then it's trouble.

The intention of most companies, though, is to hire brains. So one Australian startup called Bigcommerce thought it would separate the wheat from the hapless by posting ads that included a mathematical conundrum.

Solving it would allow the wise to access its special "Batphone," where eager people were waiting.

However, as Australia's reports, prospective engineers seem to be having trouble solving the puzzle.

Below the message: "We only hire Software Engineers who can solve complex problems" is a math problem.

Bigcommerce claims that the simple: "+61 (02) 1BP49B" with a smaller "36" at the end has bamboozled all who have seen it. The Batphone has been silent.

One would hate to think that Bigcommerce, which provides "ecommerce software and shopping cart solutions," was being a touch coy about this solution.

However, its vice president of engineering, Soren Harner, says it shouldn't be hard. Some of his current employees have already solved it.

It is said that Google interviewers used to ask extremely clever questions of candidates in order to make themselves feel intelligent. The company insisted a few months ago that it had ceased this fine practice.

But this would seem to be a legitimate riddle.

Harner admitted to that it was hard to find the right people: "We are recruiting a lot of people but compared to the number of people who would like to work in a tech start up there is a scarcity."

I know that Technically Incorrect's readers are among the most exalted percentile, so I feel sure that they will crack this with just one sip of an espresso.

The answer's 42, right?