What is the next number in this sequence, and why?

4 2 3 4 6 2 4 8 3 _?

Also, since people here find sequence questions to be arbitrary, the following uses the same rule. What number is next?

4 5 6 4 4 8 9 2 2 9 3 9 4 3 4 4 4 6 2 _?

Attribution: Me. I wrote this, and expect it to be answered fairly quickly. Referring off to WolframAlpha or similar shouldn't be needed to solve this.

Hint (sort of?):

If WolframAlpha actually gets the next number, I would be extremely surprised. Also, since a comment mentioned it, the tags [sequence] and [number-sequence] were deliberately not included

  • $\begingroup$ Is the omission of both the [number-sequence] and [sequence] tags intentional? $\endgroup$
    – bobble
    Commented Aug 17, 2022 at 2:58
  • $\begingroup$ @bobble, the tags put on the puzzle here are the tags which apply: it's definitely a pattern, and while a computer could be used to solve this, I believe it is easy enough without. I deliberately didn't include [sequence] and [number-sequence] in the tags list. $\endgroup$
    – enkorvaks
    Commented Aug 17, 2022 at 4:18
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ puzzling.stackexchange.com/q/110568 $\endgroup$
    – user39583
    Commented Aug 17, 2022 at 8:53
  • $\begingroup$ This sequence has several duplicates on this site. The rule is way too popular. $\endgroup$ Commented Oct 13, 2022 at 1:37

1 Answer 1


The sequences are completed by:

3 and 4.

The rule is:

Each number sequence is made up of the length of the words of the sentence preceding it, so we are looking for the word lengths of why and next.

Note that the blank to fill in is marked with the underscore. The question mark in each sequence represents the question mark in the sentence above. (Other punctuation, even the full stop, is ignored, though.) It's also clear that Wolfram Alpha would have a hard time finding a sequence based on some text on the internet.


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