"Actually," said Roscoe, "I can compute square roots lickity-split. And without a square root button on the old calculator."
"Fifty-three!" I shouted out, challenging him on the spot.
"No sweat," he said, talking and punching numbers simultaneously. "Fifty-three is close to 49, so we'll start with a guess of seven. Seven into 53 goes 7.57 times. Now we know that because 7 is too low, 7.57 must be too high, so let's take the average. In my head, that's 7.28. Then, 7.28 into 53 goes, well, gosh, would you believe it, 7.28 times. So I guess the answer must be 7.28."
For the guy to have extracted the square root to two decimal places with two divisions was impressive. But Roscoe had a different point of view.
"Too tiring," he said. "Prefer to work with round numbers. Sticks of dynamite and whole people…"