Here is the puzzle.  As ever, please do NOT post your answers, but do say if you think you have solved the puzzle and how long it took. Solution on Monday.

Two fathers and two sons were seated round a table.  There were four apples on the table.  Each of them took one apple and ate it entirely yet there was still one apple left on the table. How was this possible?

I have produced an ebook containing 101 of the previous Friday Puzzles! It is called PUZZLED and is available for the Kindle (UK here and USA here) and on the iBookstore (UK here in the USA here). You can try 101 of the puzzles for free here.


    1. And I suppose calling yourself “Einstein’s Grandad” (note the correct use of the apostrophe) is not a giveaway to the answer?

    2. Too easy, but mis-written. It should have said “2 fathers and 3 sons”, as each man is someone’s son!

    3. I didn’t know you were so pernickety about grammar Dave. If I were actually Einstein’s grandad, then you would be correct in your usage of the apostrophe. Since I am clearly not actually Einstein’s grandad I can choose whatever moniker I want, and can choose whether to use an apostrophe or not. By the way, neighbour has a “U” in it.

  1. Hello. I’ve solved it spending 5 seconds only. It’s very easy….with opened mind, of course.

    Saludos. Iñigo👀🇪🇸

    El 26/10/2012, a las 08:30, Richard Wiseman escribió:

    > >

  2. this one is at least a hundred years old, I have seen it so many times before in riddle books. I’m not sure it counts as “easy” when the reason you know it is that you have seen it before

  3. Yes it was easy, and yes I got it before I finished reading the question, but that doesn’t mean you can post the answer in the comments.

    1. Two apples left is the “right” answer unless one of the fathers came about via spontaneous generation.
      One apple left does’t make sense.

  4. (Yawn) I’d solved it before I’d reached “How was this possible?”

    Whatever happened to the taxing puzzles? Could we club together and buy Richard a decent puzzle book for Christmas? 🙂

  5. Anyone who already knows this one (it’s an “old saw” as they say) can’t really claim to have “figured it out.” But there should be some people to whom it’s new. Unless they saw Dave’s typical spoiler. A better puzzle would be: Why is Dave such a schmuck?

  6. For everyone saying that it was too easy or that it’s written wrong, you’re not thinking enough outside the box.

    Think about cloning and how Fry is his own grandfather. That should put you on the right track. 3 apples are eaten.

  7. A variation

    Three fathers went to a dinner without their spouses.
    Each was accompanied by their oldest child.
    They all sat together at the same table.
    No others sat at that table.
    Both sexes were at the table
    6 pieces of Rhubarb pie were brought to the table for dessert.
    Each parent ate a piece of pie, to set a good example for his child.
    Each of the three children claimed to eat a piece of pie.
    After the meal there were three pieces of pie left.
    What sex was the child that lied?

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