The abc conjecture is as hard as the xyz conjecture

Paulo Ribenboim's letter to A. Nitaj concerning abc and xyz

The story goes as follows. My grandson seeing me often absorbed and studying in my office, asked: "Papa Paulo, what are you always studying?" As he is a smart seven year old boy, I tried to impress him: "I am working on the abc conjecture."

Hearing abc he said right away: "This is easy" and recited, singing the well-known tune "abc..defg...hijk...lmnop..." As a result, he lost all respect for me. I would be the greatest grandpa, if I had said "The xyz conjecture"...

Paulo Ribenboim, 19 August, 2002