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.

A man was showing his guests his family portraits.  Pointing to one portrait, he said ‘I have no brothers or sisters, but that man’s father is my father’s son’.  Who was represented in the portrait?

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. If he was a poet he’d have said
      “Brothers and sisters have I none
      But that man’s father is my father’s son”

      Spoilers no doubt will follow…

    2. What a slowcoach!


      5 seconds spent wondering why this is even being called a puzzle and one second on ‘officially’ declaring the answer (in my head), just to play along.

    3. To quote myself: “5 seconds spent wondering why this is even being called a puzzle..”

      Perhaps that’s the actual puzzle – a meta-puzzle to which only Dr. Wiseman knows the answer.

  1. Nice one, dr. Wiseman! I liken it to Julie’s mother, who has 4 daughters. The first 3 are named Eenie, Minie, and Hermione. What name does the 4th daughter have?

    Though once known, this kind of puzzle and its solution will stay with most people, plenty of people unfamiliar with it will get it wrong until the logic is pointed out to them, after which they’ll facepalm.

    1. I’m pretty sure that’s “Does this waitress look like she’d spit in my order if I tell her she got it wrong.”

      Still, got this as I read it.

  2. I’ve heard that less than 2% of the public call in to radio shows and that % doesn’t represent the most desirable in certain aspects.
    Seems like the % of people commenting (comments such as ‘satan’, ‘Jesus’, and other
    silliness) fall in to that. Worse than the very weak Friday’s puzzle are the
    dumb comments.

    1. “Worse than the very weak Friday’s puzzle are the dumb comments”.
      You said it pal.

  3. this reminds me of a joke i heard about mikhail gorbachev, dan quayle, and boris yeltsin. i’ll post it on monday with the solution.

  4. It’s a very old puzzle, and I knew the answer straight away. To be fair, if one has not heard it before, it takes a few minutes to think about it properly. Whenever it is discussed, I am amazed at how many people misunderstand it, or mis-hear it, and are adamant that their (incorrect) answer is the right one.

  5. Very simple if you reduce to maths symbols:

    M – the mirror

    TM – the man you are looking at in the mirror

    TMF – TM’s father

    ME – Me

    MF – my father

    MFS – my father’s son

    XB, XS – no sisters or brotherers


    TMF = TFS

    So cancelling Ts and Fs

    M = S

    So the mirror image is S, the sun

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