Grandpa likes pencils but not pens

Grandpa likes Beijing but not Tokyo

Grandpa likes math but not chemistry

Grandpa likes Contact but not _______

Make sure to explain!

Hint 1:

Grandpa does not like London

Hint 2:

Grandpa likes adding (Like actually)

  • $\begingroup$ has the final word 7 letters? $\endgroup$ – user52327 Nov 8 '18 at 15:22
  • $\begingroup$ @Jannis It can, I'm just looking for the explanation, and a word that follows the rule (There are multiple) $\endgroup$ – PotatoLatte Nov 8 '18 at 16:10

Partial Answer:

In Chinese, Beijing literally means "North Capital" and Tokyo "East Capital". So It may have something to do with directions.

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ I also found something out, it's propably useless: If you sum up the ASCII values of the (lowercase) letters for each word, the first digit of those numbers is always the number of letters in the word. I did not find a better fitting pattern in those numbers, but maybe ASCII values are important $\endgroup$ – Finni Nov 8 '18 at 17:07
  • $\begingroup$ @ Finni very likely that your comment is part of the answer due to the "no-computer" tag $\endgroup$ – Omega Krypton Nov 10 '18 at 2:39

Grandpa likes pencils but not pens

Grandpa likes Beijing but not Tokyo

Grandpa likes math but not chemistry

Grandpa likes Contact but not



Grandpa is old, and therefor only likes old things. Out of any two (similar) things he very much prefers the older one.
pencils have been around for a long time (they where charcoal sticks at some point), pens are a quite recent thing.
Beijing was founded ~1000BCE, Tokyo probably in the 14th century.
Mathematics was pretty much the first science developed by advanced. Human civilisation, chemistry (as science) only started in the middle ages

Contact is a movie starring Judie Foster from 1997, Flightplan is from 2005

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ This would work, except for the mathematics tag. $\endgroup$ – Excited Raichu Nov 8 '18 at 18:09
  • $\begingroup$ Nice try, but this isn't correct. Think about the hint $\endgroup$ – PotatoLatte Nov 8 '18 at 18:31
  • $\begingroup$ Why is it Flightplan but not other movies? Thanks! $\endgroup$ – Omega Krypton Nov 9 '18 at 16:14
  • $\begingroup$ @OmegaKrypton I pretty much just chose a random movie. $\endgroup$ – Nicolai Nov 9 '18 at 16:18

Okay, the hint was (kind of) asking for it.

Grandpa likes Contact but not London

Seriously though, this question is a little broad. I came up with a rule that is fairly bullshit (but still follows the tags and such)

Convert to A1Z26 using this here converter and copy/paste it into a new tab. The new tab will interpret the dashes in between letters as minus signs and cough up a number. In case you're too lazy to do it yourself, the number by word is:

pencils: -46
pens: -22
Beijing: -52
Tokyo: -46
math: -16
chemistry: -114
Contact: -70

So, what do they have in common? Well, the last two digits of each number on the left is smaller than the last two digits of its counterpart on the right... Hmm...

A lot of words work for this, but:
London: -50
So I believe London is the answer after all (at least, it's as justified as anything else)!


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