Well we did them in junior school. The school was separated into houses - red, green, yellow and blue (original eh!) and we had plastic badges in each colour with 'I know my tables' on it - to get your relevant badge you had to sit a test where you had 25 X questions and 25 divide questions - you had to get all 50 right to get your badge and you also got points for your house.
So, yes, I know my tables! Got my badge when I was 7 but I've always had a mathematical/scientific brain - don't ask me to do anything like poetry though! Good job there wasn't a badge for that!
Another way of remembering your 9x is that every answer will add up to 9 - 18 1+8=9, 27 2+7=9, 36 3+6=9 etc etc..there are patterns all over the place in maths. Still doesn't make me any good at it whatsoever.