First, this week I started a new channel containing life changing ideas in less than a minute.  It is called In59seconds, and I hope that you will come over and take a look.

Second, here is the puzzle.  Please do NOT post your answer, but do say if you think you have solved the puzzle and how long it took. Solution on Monday.

There was a family reunion involving the following people: one grandfather, one grandmother, two fathers, two mothers, four children, three grandchildren, one brother, two sisters, two sons, two daughters, one father-in-law, one mother-in-law, and one daughter-in-law. But only seven people attended. Who were they (e.g., a boy, his mother, etc)?

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. Solved it in a minute and then discovered that, if you change only the “daughters” from 2 to 3 and keep all the others as above, there is an alternative family tree.
    Maybe I’ve got too much time on my hands…

    1. I came up with the ‘7 people featuring 3 daughters rather than 2’ family tree first. It also features a son-in-law not present in the ‘2 daughers’ solution.

  2. There are some errors in the question as stated. But without even thinking about the various possibilities I can say with certainity that there were 7 grand-children attending the re-union.

    1. Carl, it’s not true to say that everyone has grandparents. I don’t, for example. So am I still a grandchild if I don’t have grandparents?

    2. The question neither says that the eldest members of the gathering have lost their grand-parents. Also, you may still be referred to as the grand-child of the late so-and-so.

    3. I take your point, Navneeth, and I suspect this might be a cultural thing. I can only speak for myself, I suppose, but I would never think of myself as a grandchild without the context of a grandparent. The one needs the other to make the relationship… Unless (as you say) you’re the grandchild of someone famous, perhaps.

    1. Agreed, sort of, ctj.
      There are at least two males and two females present (ignoring subsequent sex-changes!)
      Everyone is a child and everyone is a grandchild, now we are so long away from Adam & Eve (albeit this is not specified in the question!).
      Every grandmother is a mother, every father and brother is a son etc.
      The question, does, however, say there were seven people there. On that basis I think that there are far too many answers to this question for me to tabulate them all.

    2. On reflection, ctj, you are right.
      If there are two sons and two daughters there, there are only four people present.

    3. But the four people wouldn’t address the positions of father, mother, father-in-law, mother-in-law. I mean, they *might* be fathers, mothers etc, but not necessarily… Or am I being a nosepicker?

    4. Joe,
      Two questions:-
      1. If there are seven people there and two are sons and two are daughters what are the other three?
      2. Why do you say that four people “wouldn’t address the positions of father, mother, father-in-law, mother-in-law.”? Can you elaborate or demonstrate that this would be impossible for four people?
      PS Your personal life is none of my concern, but I will admit to nose-picking myself, but not in public.

    5. I completely follow the seven people solution that some twat revealed up above; I got the same answer myself. With the seven people you have person A who is person B’s father (for example). With four people – two brothers and two sisters – you don’t have anyone who is someone’s mother-in-law (for example). Or not *necessarily* someone’s mother-in-law. That’s all I was getting at; I don’t think it answers the question fully. But I’m happy to be proved wrong. I probably didn’t word it very well. I’m getting fluey and it’s time to go home. 🙂

    6. Joe Peshy:
      you’re right in that the 4-person solution doesn’t address the various positions listed in the puzzle, but that assumes that all of the relevant relations are still living and present at the reunion.

      for that, richard needed to specify that each grandfather, grandmother, etc. bore that relation to someone else present.

  3. It took me a couple of minutes, but after listing all the relationships in the question, I quickly worked out one possible solution which also tallied with all the remaining relationships.

  4. It might have been better to put the various siblings and in-laws first, so you don’t immediately get the whole picture of the family as you’re reading it. As it was, solved it before getting to the end.

  5. Because some people don’t understand “don’t post your answer” I try to figure it out before reading the comments. Got it in just a couple of minutes this time

  6. Brilliant. Great brain training material. Love your you tube tricks too. Took about a minute to work back from 7 people (first assumption; it is possible. First question; who fits into more than one category). Thank you

  7. How are there not 7 children here? In what way isn’t every single person a child of someone else (given that we haven’t yet figured out how to raise babies in the laboratory)?

    I know, same as the “everyone is a grandchild” mini-argument above.

  8. There need only be TWO people, a man and a woman, for them to be all the relations in themselves. The other five are superfluid.

  9. I think all stated relationships are with those who are actually at the reunion, not just living, otherwise any one individual could have many relationship descriptions.

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