The Ultimate Question is the actual question behind the question, "What is the meaning of Life, the Universe, and Everything?
When Deep Thought revealed the Ultimate Answer to be 42, Loonquawl and Phouchg were somewhat annoyed, until they found out there was more to the question than what it seems, but it was beyond Deep Thought what it is. Deep Thought made the plans for the supercomputer that would be called the Earth , while some mice commissioned it, that would solve the Question in 10 million years.
5 minutes before it was complete, the Vogons destroyed it to make a hyperspace bypass.
The mice needed something to say for their 5D chat show, so they tried to make up some of these questions:
- What's yellow and dangerous?
- What do you get when you multiply six by seven? (only in book)
- How many Vogons does it take to change a lightbulb? (only in movie)
- How many roads must a man walk down? (The mice chose this)
In "The Restaraunt at the End of the Universe" Ford and Arthur randomly pull Scrabble stones out of a bag on the planet Earth to get the Question "What do you get if you multiply six by nine?"
Turns out this is an error, although in base 13, 6 by 9 will equal 42. Douglas Adams joked "Sorry, but I don't do jokes in base 13".
Science and 42 come across in more ways than you think. (e.g: What is the degree of a rainbow?)
Also, "To be or not to be?" (That is the question)