Find the largest eigenvalue of the following matrix $$\begin{bmatrix} 1 & 4 & 16\\ 4 & 16 & 1\\ 16 & 1 & 4 \end{bmatrix}$$

This matrix is symmetric and, thus, the eigenvalues are real. I solved for the possible eigenvalues and, fortunately, I found that the answer is $21$.

My approach:

The determinant on simplification leads to the following third degree polynomial. $$\begin{vmatrix} 1-\lambda & 4 &16\\ 4 &16-\lambda&1\\ 16&1&4-\lambda \end{vmatrix} = \lambda^3-21\lambda^2-189\lambda+3969.$$

At a first glance seen how many people find the roots of this polynomial with pen and paper using elementary algebra. I managed to find the roots and they are $21$, $\sqrt{189}$, and $-\sqrt{189}$ and the largest value is $21$.

Now the problem is that my professor stared at this matrix for a few seconds and said that the largest eigenvalue is $21$. Obviously, he hadn't gone through all these steps to find that answer. So what enabled him answer this in a few seconds? Please don't say that he already knew the answer.

Is there any easy way to find the answer in a few seconds? What property of this matrix makes it easy to compute that answer?

Thanks in advance.