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I'm pretty sure that what you're referring to is the short, funny, irreverent novel by Douglas Adams called "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy." The number was chosen by Adams to signify nothing and everything. It is the ultimate answer to the equation that explains everything, and it is the punch line of the joke of jokes. If you take the number of all the stars in the universe and divide that number by the number of galaxies, you get 42. Sure you do; try it. 42 is specific and absurd. Read the book; you'll see. Or you won't.
It has also been pointed out 613 × 913 = 4213 (base 13) by a few readers. (Arthur uses his subconcious on primitive Earth to find the answer and comes up with, "What do you get if you multiply six by nine?")
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