"So here is a number between 1 and 60" Says Grandpa

"If you take its WORD anagram and subtract this number you will get

Anagram of the number - number > 5

What is that number"?

"So it is the anagram of the spelling of the number?" I asked

"Yes, son. Think"

Post script

I see a lot of Fractions as answers. There is a simple integer solution. No Fraction.

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Noting the absence of the 'language' tag, I'm guessing Grandpa's only interested in English words for numbers? $\endgroup$ – Stiv May 13 at 13:15
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ That is right @Stiv $\endgroup$ – DrD May 13 at 13:27
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Considering the accepted answer, you can't really put that into a mathematical equation. You already mostly wrote it out in words (which would loosen up the allowable inputs a bit), so I would suggest just finishing that sentence, i.e. "... you will get a number greater than 5" and removing the equation. $\endgroup$ – NotThatGuy May 14 at 13:26
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ This is quite brilliant, why not ask a generalization to other languages? (e.g. What is the smallest number in each language L having the property that its anagram is also (objectively) a legitimate number or numerical quantity in that language?) $\endgroup$ – smci May 14 at 17:36
  • $\begingroup$ Here's the Multiilanguage generalization of “What number is that? Asks Grandpa” $\endgroup$ – smci May 14 at 18:03

Grandpa is thinking of




anagrams to



OVER FIFTY minus FORTY-FIVE yields over five.

| improve this answer | |
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ This sounds right. I like it. +1 $\endgroup$ – MacGyver88 May 13 at 20:08
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I agree with MacGyver88, this really explains the lower bound. +1 $\endgroup$ – Tom May 13 at 20:35
  • $\begingroup$ @Tom abj pna lbh thrff gur nafjre gb gur cerivbhf dhrfgvba: Fnl zr bhg ybhq V jvyy trg fgebatre? $\endgroup$ – DrD May 13 at 22:42
  • $\begingroup$ @DEEM, oh I see, but not all the answers, I may post a try! $\endgroup$ – Tom May 14 at 5:11

NB This answer was given when the first line of the puzzle read: "So here is a number below 60" Says Grandpa - since then a further stipulation has been added to restrict the number further to 'between 1 and 60'...

I note that Grandpa hasn't specified that the number must be:

greater than 0 - just that it has to be "below 60".

To this end, I propose that Grandpa might be thinking of:


Its anagram is then:


and the calculation works out as:

-67 - (-76) = -67 + 76 = 9

which is indeed larger than 5...!

| improve this answer | |
  • $\begingroup$ I am sorry @Stiv. I should have written that it is between 0 to 60. MY BAD $\endgroup$ – DrD May 13 at 14:19
  • $\begingroup$ @DEEM Aw, that's a shame - I thought I had it! :) $\endgroup$ – Stiv May 13 at 14:20
  • $\begingroup$ MY apology. Not thinking straight. Your way it could be -79 and -69 also right? $\endgroup$ – DrD May 13 at 14:22
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @DEEM Not quite - the first digit has to be the larger of the two to end up with a difference greater than positive 5 when the number is taken from its anagram. My way, it could be any of -76, -86, -87, -96, -97 or -98 (if we restrict ourselves to just two-digit negative numbers) - I chose -76 as the largest of all the possibilities. $\endgroup$ – Stiv May 13 at 14:27
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Actually, the ones involving an 8 wouldn't work, since you only add a 'y' when it's in the tens place, and the other digits add a "ty", so they won't anagram properly. $\endgroup$ – Darrel Hoffman May 14 at 14:53

Ok thinking outside the box...

The number could be



Eon - One > 5 Since an eon is a really big number (can be 1 Billion or just a really impossibly long measure of time) that minus 1 is always greater than 5

| improve this answer | |
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ Wow. Great out of the box thinking @Bee. +1 Grandpa had another number in mind $\endgroup$ – DrD May 13 at 13:53

Oh boy, here I go swiping again:

The number is

Fifty-sevenths, $\frac{50}{7}$, and its anagram is seventy-fifths, $\frac{70}{5}$.

The difference is

$\frac{70}{5}-\frac{50}{7} = \frac{490-250}{35} = \frac{240}{35}= \frac{48}{7} = 6 \frac{6}{7} > 5$.

Second Try

I’m going to use

an incorrect (obsolete) spelling of forty, namely fourty, to get fourty-six and sixty-four (64-46=18).....

| improve this answer | |
  • $\begingroup$ Wow. OK. But there is a simple integer number @El-Guest $\endgroup$ – DrD May 13 at 15:52
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Outside of using an incorrect spelling for forty (ie. fourty), I’m not seeing any integers with anagrams... @DEEM $\endgroup$ – El-Guest May 13 at 16:01
  • $\begingroup$ Boy you are so close @El Guest $\endgroup$ – DrD May 13 at 16:35
  • $\begingroup$ @DEEM is my second attempt correct? $\endgroup$ – El-Guest May 13 at 16:54
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Thank goodness, that would’ve been a copout of an answer $\endgroup$ – El-Guest May 13 at 17:56

Perhaps the integer between 1 and 60 is

50, or as Grandpa calls it, three hundred and fifty sevenths

the anagram of the number - number > 5

three hundred and seventy fifths - 50 = 74 - 50 = 24

I upvoted El-Guest's answer and it may have been sniped !

| improve this answer | |
  • $\begingroup$ it took me a while, I was thinking that rot13(guerr uhaqerq naq svsgl friragu jnf guerr uhaqerq naq (svsgl friragu)) $\endgroup$ – melfnt May 13 at 20:59
  • $\begingroup$ @melfnt, NP - I hoped there being no hyphen between the last two words made this ok. Still, serves me right trying to snipe, shoover's answer is better. $\endgroup$ – Tom May 13 at 21:18

46 and 64

Fourty Six and Sixty Four

64 - 46 = 18 > 5

| improve this answer | |
  • $\begingroup$ Think I ninjaed you if this is correct, but nice guess! $\endgroup$ – El-Guest May 13 at 16:57
  • $\begingroup$ I think you were just pipped to this suggestion by @El-Guest by about 5 minutes - bad luck! But welcome to Puzzling :) $\endgroup$ – Stiv May 13 at 16:58
  • $\begingroup$ Yes. It was based on @El-Guest's finding. No denying. :) $\endgroup$ – Anoop Sharma May 13 at 17:00
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Spelling is important! Forty is the correct spelling $\endgroup$ – DrD May 13 at 17:49
  • $\begingroup$ @DEEM..So this is not the correct answer?? $\endgroup$ – Anoop Sharma May 14 at 6:53

I dont know if this qualifies for anagram, still the difference is too low

the number could be $\frac{50}6$ with anagram `sixty fifth'. The difference is $\frac{60}5-\frac{50}6 = 3.66..$'

| improve this answer | |
  • $\begingroup$ But is it > 5?? $\endgroup$ – DrD May 13 at 15:17

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

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