It’s well known that three follows two on the number line. Since three is one less than four, adding one should equal four. However, the placement of three validates the fact that adding one makes it five, not four. In fact, three’s exact placement is directly prior to five.

Can you prove it?


Look after three to find what you need.


2 Answers 2


The word three occurs four times in the riddle. Since we have an acrostic tag, we can look one place after each occurrence of three and we get four words that start with F I V E, proving that 3 + 1 = 5

  • 4
    $\begingroup$ Aha, I see you pipped me to the post, quite literally! :) $\endgroup$
    – Stiv
    Commented Sep 27, 2021 at 18:00
  • 6
    $\begingroup$ If I wasn't on a mobile phone maybe my answer would look half as beautiful as yours $\endgroup$
    – Amoz
    Commented Sep 27, 2021 at 18:01

The last line here is pretty key: three’s exact placement is directly prior to five. Since:

there are four occurrences of the word 'three' in the body of this puzzle, one per sentence (one as "three's"). And if we look at the letters that begin the words that immediately follow their occurrences we see the word 'five' spelled out:

...three Follows...
...three Is...
...three Validates...
...three's Exact...

Regarding the title:

3 plus 1 does not equal 5 in any mathematical sense - that's not the OP's intent here. Rather, this puzzle's purpose is to say "one word after 'three'" i.e. 'three' +1...


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.