If: 2 = 6 3 = 12 4 = 20 5 = 30 6 = 42 Then: 9 = ?
My answer to this riddle is 9. See, as long as the “=” symbol is there, 9 cannot be anything else, and all the previous statements are complete nonsense. 2 = 6, 3 = 12, 4 = 20, 5 = 30 and 6 = 42 can never be true.
I didn’t pursue further study of math after school, neither academically nor recreationally (yes, there are people who do “recreational math”, or math for fun…it takes all sorts, I suppose), but in my senior year I had near-perfect scores in calculus, algebra and trigonometry, so I’m pretty sure that the “=” symbol can mean only one thing: whatever appears to the left of the symbol has exactly the same value as whatever appears to the right. No exceptions.
On the one website I managed to find that discusses this riddle the couple of commenters who pointed this out were quickly reminded that the problem uses the qualification “if → then”. My problem is “=” cannot be qualified. To say “if 2 = 6, then…” is insane because it simply cannot ever be. “=” is absolute. If the riddle said 2⇒6 then the mathematically correct answer is 9⇒90 without a doubt.
But as it is the only possible answer, the only logical answer and the only one that makes any mathematical sense, is 9=9.
Am I wrong? Or am I a genius? What answer did you write down before you read my explanation? Be honest now.
I know there are some math whizzes who read this blog. I’d love to hear from you.