Hitchhiker fans, help!

I know, everyone knows that the answer to the Ultimate answer is 42 (sorry for not putting spoilers in the title), but I THOUGHT I read in one of the books that even though the earth had been destroyed, the question had been deciphered as well, and that question was “What is 6 times 8?”.
Without reading through all the books again (not that that is a bad thing), can anyone confirm that?

Help, I’m about to panic:p

If you look in one of the later books (probably the fourth one), Arthur and Ford play a game pulling scrabble tiles out of a bag on the assumption that some random human factor will… well, I didn’t understand exactly. They end up spelling “What do you get when you multiply six by nine?” and conclude there must be a cock-up somewhere.

All memories approximate.

When Arthur pulls Scrabble tiles out of the bag at the end of “Restaurant,” he comes up with the question “What do you get when you multiply six by nine?” The answer to this question is, of course, not 42. He got the wrong question because he was descended from the shipwrecked Golgafrinchans, not the apemen who were originally part of Earth’s programming. Even if Earth hadn’t been destroyed and the question-finding program had been completed, the humans had the wrong question imprinted on their brainwave patterns. Hence, “six by nine.”

Simulpost! I think this means we have to get married or something, Bryan.

Consulting the guide:


The best bet for the 6x9 question is to use the numbers as a base 13:

DNA is on record as using that binary in the plain vanilla solution. If you still insist in the question being 6x7:


Mostly harmless.

I don’t know if this is what you had in mind, but at the end of hitchhiker weren’t the mice trying to come up with question that had the answer 42 to satisfy the other mice people, and one of the quesiton they thought about was what is 6x7, but they decided the question was to straighforward.

One of my favorite quotes of DNA was given at a lecture at CMU in 1999, in response to the base 13 question.

“I don’t write jokes in base 13.”