Walking past Grandpa, who seemed to be snoozing, I saw a note in his left hand, with the name of a film I recognized on it. As I sat down opposite him, he opened his eyes.

Me: "What's on your mind Grandpa?"
Grandpa: "The lawn needs a trim, but I'd rather watch the film I've written down on this note in my hand."

Me: "Grandpa, if I can't guess the film, I'll cut the grass - front and back!"
Grandpa: "OK son, I'll give you some clues. It was released in a leap year, and won a prime number of Oscars."

I said the name of the film I'd seen on the piece of paper.

Grandpa smiled, handed it to me and said, "You've a lot to learn son, looks like I'll be watching my film after all."

What film had Grandpa written down, and how was I tricked?

In tribute to DEEM's Grandpa series, which are so enjoyable and interesting.

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ I'm not an expert on films, but maybe rot13(bayl n cneg bs gur zbivr gvgyr jnf ivfvoyr va tenaqcn'f cvrpr bs cncre. Vg pbhyq or gur ivfvoyr cneg vf gur gvgyr bs nabgure zbivr juvpu nyfb jnf eryrnfrq va n yrnc lrne naq jba n cevzr ahzore bs Bfpnef) $\endgroup$
    – melfnt
    Commented Apr 19, 2020 at 17:43
  • $\begingroup$ I was going down the path of thinking that rot13(gur gvgyr vf n lrne gung ybbxf yvxr vg fcryyf fbzrguvat hcfvqr qbja, be ivpr irefn, ohg V pna'g svaq bar). $\endgroup$
    – shoover
    Commented Apr 19, 2020 at 17:49
  • $\begingroup$ @Tom: doh, my brain hiccuped. I thought it said the release years were prime. But they're leap years. $\endgroup$
    – smci
    Commented Apr 20, 2020 at 7:49
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Thanks for the attribution @Tom. This is the kind of thing Grandpa loves to do. Been there done that. :) $\endgroup$
    – DrD
    Commented Apr 20, 2020 at 18:47

2 Answers 2


You guessed

Argo (2012), which won three Oscars.

Grandpa's film was

Fargo (1996), which won two Oscars.

How you were tricked:

Grandpa was awake all along, and in order to trick you he deliberately concealed the first letter of the film with his thumb?

Credit to

melfnt, who guessed the exact mechanism in the comments!

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Ah yes, Frances's first Oscar-winning film! $\endgroup$
    – hexomino
    Commented Apr 19, 2020 at 18:28

It was the film TITANIC made in 1952, awarded 1 Oscar, that Grampa wanted to watch. You read TITANIC and assumed he wanted to see the one made in 1996, awarded 11 Oscars.

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ It looks like Titanic (maybe made in 1952) was released in 1953. The prime is in an older edition of Hardy's Pure Mathematics. $\endgroup$
    – Tom
    Commented Apr 19, 2020 at 19:14
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    $\begingroup$ Technically 1 isn't a prime because 1 and itself are the same number. $\endgroup$
    – merrybot
    Commented Apr 19, 2020 at 19:56
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    $\begingroup$ 2 is a prime. 1 isn't. $\endgroup$
    – merrybot
    Commented Apr 19, 2020 at 20:34
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ A prime number is a number greater than 1 that is not the product of any two numbers other than 1 and itself. I know my mathematics. $\endgroup$
    – merrybot
    Commented Apr 19, 2020 at 21:20
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    $\begingroup$ Not to mention the later film was not released in 1996... $\endgroup$
    – Jafe
    Commented Apr 20, 2020 at 6:29

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