Hi All,

This question is actually based on a 'math truism' of a sort. If you've ever taken an accounting class, then you might have learned about "transpositional errors" - errors that happen when you put the same digits in the wrong "order." While this question focuses on 2-digit numbers, the issue is exactly the same and works in any variation.

Putting a set of digits in a different order will ALWAYS lead to a difference that is divisible by 9.

23 and 32 is a difference of 9, which is divisible by 9

147 and 714 is a difference of 567, which is divisible by 9

34567 and 56374 is a difference of 21,807 which is divisible by 9

Here, we're told that the positive difference between S and T is LESS than 40, and we're asked to find the GREATEST difference between S and T. In simple terms, we're looking for the largest multiple of 9 that is less than 40:

36

Final Answer:

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Rich

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