# 3 = 6 ? Another non math question. Another Grandpa Mystery

Now I know Grandpa asks silly questions all the time.

He says to me:

"Son, this is based on my personal experience.

I was with a friend today. He made a gesture. By making this gesture he showed me that 3 can mean 6."

What gesture did Grandpa's friend make?

• Well I would have said it was something like this, but the puzzle a non-math question... DVL12 $\color{darkorange}{\bigstar}$ :D Commented Aug 26, 2018 at 11:14
• I really hate long cipher puzzles. This is more of my type. Commented Aug 26, 2018 at 15:44
• @DEEM is there supposed to be one definitive answer?
– 1848
Commented Aug 26, 2018 at 20:08
• I think so @1848. The Pregnant Ladies answer is interesting but one I have in mind is "language" related
– DrD
Commented Aug 26, 2018 at 21:54
• Appreciate your comments. I thought just the non math clue and the Language tag was enough to explain the puzzle. But I guess it needed too much simplification to re open it. I respectfully disagree with members who put the puzzle on hold. But so be it.
– DrD
Commented Aug 27, 2018 at 14:43

I believe the answer is that

3 fingers represents 6 in American Sign Language.

The actual symbol is

• With the knowledge and language tags, I figured it had to be something like this. Tbh I thought you were going to say "yes, this is exactly what I was thinking", @jafe :P Commented Aug 27, 2018 at 14:26
• Please note that the 3 fingures in a different way also represent 3 or 9 in the sign language.
– DrD
Commented Aug 27, 2018 at 14:44
• Ah, nice answer. This is new to me. +1 Commented Aug 28, 2018 at 2:10
• Fun fact, this also says "W" :) Commented Jan 31, 2019 at 19:53

Well this is a bit far fetched but let's try:

Three pregnant women, each carrying one child equal six people. :)

• That is funny. LOL. But look at the clue. His friend showed him.
– DrD
Commented Aug 26, 2018 at 13:02

The Answer could be

The Roman Number III = VI With the First two lines joined together at the bottom?

• Yes, like this: thumbs.dreamstime.com/b/… Commented Aug 26, 2018 at 16:00
• And this matches the words in the question “He made a gesture. He showed me that …”. As soon as I re-read the question, this was obvious, but you beet me to it. Commented Aug 27, 2018 at 9:38

Guess,

If three is a crowd, six could be a crowd too.

And

If grandpa was talking about having guests somewhere and if you have three guests it is a crowd, and if you have 6 it is also a crowd.

Perhaps

Grandpa and his friend return home after a long night at the bar. "Look grandpa," his friend says, holding up 3 fingers. "How many fingers am I holding up?" Even though the world spins around in circles, grandpa manages to focus his eyes on his friend's hand. The fingers blur and seem to split in two. "6," he breathes. "6 fingers."

• Upvote for Creativity
– user44188
Commented Aug 27, 2018 at 10:33

In English, 6 is the third 3-letter number (1,2,6).

Not completely "non-math", but the crux of my solution is linguistic:

3 (numbers) can mean (average to) 6, e.g. the three numbers 4, 5, 9.

Grandpa agreed to meet his friend at 3, the friend didn't arrive until 6.

• I like this answer better than the intended one. Commented Aug 27, 2018 at 14:56

$$3!=6.$$

The story of three is $6$

so...

...the answer will be six with the help of using $3$ only.

• Title says nonmath question so I'm guessing its something else? Commented Aug 26, 2018 at 11:20
• Not sure to understand @user584880: you have stated that 3! = 6, which is a known fact, but how is it a solution to the 3=6 puzzle? Commented Aug 26, 2018 at 11:25

Another guess,

Is it because six has 3 letters?

Some users here might find this answer sexist, but unfortunately, it is true.

In some countries, the legal status of a woman is worth half of that of a man.

So, my guess is

The testimony of six women equals to three men.

The gesture Grandpa's friend made was the sign for the number 6 in American Sign Language. The sign consists of pointing your three middle fingers up while connecting your pinky and thumb, palm facing forwards. A picture of it can be found here.

Thus,

3 fingers = 6.

This fits the question because:

Apart from being language and gesture related, it does not involve math, and a previous question has indicated Grandpa lives in the U.S.

• I assume you arrived at the answer independently. El-guest answered a fraction before you may be. So I gave you +1. Good job.
– DrD
Commented Aug 27, 2018 at 14:47
• @DEEM Yes, I was typing out my answer and when I tried to submit I found the post had been closed during that time. When I happened to refresh as it was opened again I could not find the correct answer, didn't bother to check the comments on OP though :-) FWIW, I think the question was perfectly valid from the start; if you had the answer it was obvious it was the right one.
– clid
Commented Aug 28, 2018 at 7:31

When $$a(3)=6$$ According to OEIS, this is over $180,000$ results. In English, we would say, 'when is a(3) equal to 6', but if you were a big OEIS fan, and you know all sequences use 'a' terms, so you drop the sentence's reference to 'a' - 'when is 3 equal to 6?' is what you might say.

Could he mean this?

The “one, two, many” theory is that cultures developed words for “one” and “two” before anything else, and any numbers after are referred to as “many”. So three could be equal to six.

This answer is "language related".

Grandpa and his friend were out clubbing tonight (grandpas can go clubbing too!). The friend went to get some drinks. Seeing the queue at the bar, he thought he could order all drinks of the night in one order so he would't have to queue again. So he turns to the grandpa, trying to ask him how many he wants. But grandpa doesn't understand him, since the music is too loud and grandpa's hearing could be a bit better anyway. So what the friend does is achieve eye contact with grandpa and hold up three fingers, mouthing the word "three drinks?". Grandpa is a little confused by that number and just agrees, nods, and puts one thumb up. He thinks maybe his friend picked someone up already and that would be why the friend wanted to get three drinks. But what the friend was actually asking if grandpa also wants 3 drinks for the whole night. So when grandpa affirmed "three", the friend went ahead and bought six. 3 = 6. QED.

The gesture mentioned in the edit is of course the showing of the three fingers. Oh how close to the solution I was with that gesture. I drafted this while gestures were not mentioned yet in the question

Three can's, each one have 2 bottles so its 6 !!

• Why two bottles? Commented Aug 26, 2018 at 16:38
• Three cans, with two bottles each would be 9 total.
– Taco
Commented Aug 26, 2018 at 16:58
• $6!!=48$, though I don't see what that has to do with cans and bottles. Commented Aug 26, 2018 at 17:30

It is about food. Every guest eat for two.