On Friday I posted this puzzle….

When the day after tomorrow is yesterday, today will be as far from Sunday as today was from Sunday when the day before yesterday is tomorrow.  What day is today?

If you have not tried to solve it, have a go now.  For everyone else the answer is after the break.

Today is Sunday!

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. As the week in the question only has three days, and you don’t know which ones, the answer had to be Sunday without working out the logic! An answer of Saturday, for example, would be met with ‘How do you know Saturday is one of the three?’

    Of course, the logic does also agree that the answer is Sunday!

    1. There is some foolish discussion about whether Mr Wiseman has posted this exact some puzzle before.

      I would wish to sidestep the asides from the people posting as me and go right to the source of a simple answer to that question.

      Heraclitus said we can never step into the same river twice. He had three reasons (though Socrates and Plato only agreed with one). First there is never the same river. Second it can never be the same you. Finally you (not that it is) can never make the same step twice.

      This is all simple western philosophy which may lack the subtlty of chinese thought but at least is applicable in this case.

      Thus likewise Mr Wiseman can never post the same puzzle twice for he can never even be the same person.

      And yet I hold by my previous solution despite it having been slighted by @Steve and others. Elegance and simplicity in answering has an eternal unchanging value which transcends the pointless debates about sameness and difference to which this discussion has descended.

      For those who wish not to wait until Monday for DAve to reveal the answer is some variation of Pi can revisit my previous analysis.

      Those who which to continue the philosophical debate about “repeat puzzles” may find their tired tediousness has driven the rest of us away.

  2. It’s a lot easier of you imagine some brackets …

    (When the day after tomorrow is yesterday), today will be as far from Sunday as today was from Sunday (when the day before yesterday is tomorrow). What day is today?

    … then the question just becomes: if tomorrow is as far from Sunday as yesterday was, what day is it?

    1. Nicely done.

      P.s. – typo on the front page of your website – “vieo” needs a ‘d’, I think.

    2. Well spotted Sally, thanks! I’ve spelled video right on my website now. And then there’s the typo above where I’ve managed to spell “if” incorrectly in the first sentence.

    1. I rephrased the lines, so

      When the day after tomorrow is yesterday,
      today will be as far from Sunday
      as today was from Sunday
      when the day before yesterday is tomorrow.


      in 3 days
      we will be as far from Sunday
      as we were from Sunday
      3 days ago

      Sunday is the only day that satisfies that.

  3. counting days, with prior days as negative, the problem simplifies to: when +3 and -3 are equidistant from sunday, what day is 0?

    in a seven-day week (modulo 7), the answer is unique.

    1. I believe the answer is actually Tuesday, and here is why i believe that is…
      Staring from Tuesday the day after tomorrow is yesterday… meaning that there is a new today at Friday. then today (referring to the new today being on Friday) will be as far away from Sunday as that day “was,” (showing that the meaning of today has shifted…context clues) Which “was” today, when the day before yesterday was tomorrow! (meaning still going from Friday we go to yesterday which was Thursday, then tomorrow meaning Wednesday. and today comes before tomorrow… so Tuesday is the day before tomorrow/Wednesday) and both Tuesday and Friday are equidistant from Sunday.

      Diagram to follow along with:
      Sunday, Monday, Tuesday^today, Wednesday^tomorrow, Thursday^yesterday, Friday^NewToday, Saturday

      If you start at Sunday and go forward to Wednesday (the day after tomorrow is yesterday , again switching to the new today) then when it states to return, using those context clues(was), to the previous “today” which you chose as Sunday then it is impossible for Wednesday and Sunday to be equidistant from Sunday.

  4. I’m usually capable of at least understanding the answer to the quiz and often also I can figure out the answer. This week, however, both the question and the answer escapes my grasp.

    Can somebody please explain this as if I was five years old?

    1. OK, here’s a try:
      Me: Let’s say today is Sunday. What day is the day after tomorrow?
      You: Tuesday
      Me: Right. Now, when will Tuesday be “yesterday”?
      You: Um, the next day…Wednesday?
      Me: Right! So how far is Wednesday away from Sunday?
      You (counting on your fingers): Um, Monday..Tuesday..Wednesday.. 3 days!
      Me: Yes! Now… when was the day before yesterday?
      You: Saturday.
      Me: No, that would be yesterday…we need the day before.
      You: Friday.
      Me: Right! And when would Friday be “tomorrow”?
      You: Thursday?
      Me: Yes. And now, how far is Thursday away from Sunday?
      You (counting on your fingers again): Friday, Saturday, Sunday.. 3 days!
      Me: 3 days in both cases. So Sunday’s the answer. Try the same with any other day, and you’ll see that it won’t work.
      You: Nah. I think I’ll go outside and play in the street.

  5. For today’s (22 August 2014) puzzle please refer to the exact same puzzle (only the names have been changed to protect the innocent) from a couple of month’s back:

    1. That’s all very well for you clever types.
      I could answer it for Joan in June but I’m still struggling to answer it for Edward.
      10 minutes and counting….

    2. “Joan in June” is one of my favourite art nouveau movies. I was disappointed with the Scottish remake, “Ben Doon and Phil McAvity”.

  6. Those of you who say this is the same puzzle clearly have not thought it through well enough

    Please do your homework and retune your psychic antennae before posting such smug comments in future. You can all learn a lot from my behaviour and I would urge you to do so.

    1. There is no question that we have all learnt a lot from your behaviour, Barry, but not necessarily in the way you might think.

    2. That’s not Barry posting above. The voice is wrong. My guess would be one of those bullies called Janus or Starman.

    3. I agree with Izzy – that isn’t Barry posting. But I believe that, not because of the phrasing, but because I believe there is no Barry. Think back. How often do these puzzles have a superficial trap which Barry can avoid and crow about, but a deeper one into which he almost always falls? The only logical conclusion is that these puzzles and designed that way SOLELY to allow the creation of the “Barry” postings so that the poster can study our responses. Who would want to do such a thing, I hear you cry? Could it be a famous psychologist who is interested in how the mind works and who has author-access to this site? Too obvious. It is clear to me that “Barry” is actually the man in the bear suit, working – I strongly suspect – for the intelligence services. Obviously, they’ll never confirm or deny it, we’ll only find out if those of us “in the know” suddenly start disapp

    4. And let’s not forget that we “made” Barry in the first place. We helped to create that persona, every bit as much as whoever posts under that name did. He (if it is a he and not a she or a they) is (at least in part) either a social construct or an application of the psychoanalytic theory of projection and projective identification (or both)*. The fact that he also has some excellent comic timing (sometimes) is a bonus, I reckon.

      It’s been a good performance from a good performance artist, but I suspect the “real” Barry we won’t hear from much anymore. The joke was good but it’s gone now.

      *Bad sentence on my part but I’m in a rush.

    5. Nope, wasn’t me. I was standing in the queue for Canadian Atheist at the time. Plus, I couldn’t bring myself to wear his irritating skin.

      Wouldn’t mind a go in the bear-suit though…

    6. Hey, has anyone seen Pat Harkin? We were supposed to meet up for afternoon crumpet but he hasn’t showed.

    7. Sorry, that should be *for an afternoon tea crumpet*. Don’t want you to get the idea that Pat’s a weirdo or anything…

    8. You all need to get outside a lot more! There is a world out there where things happen and you can talk to other people face to face and interact, you never know you may even meet a member of the opposite sex! or even just get a life!

  7. I remembered it from a few months earlier but I couldn’t recall the solution, so I cheated. I found the answer on a website of puzzles submitted by students at Woodlands Junior School. So, a 12 year-old might have posted this puzzle (different ages but same puzzle) and I still couldn’t get it. The upside is, here are dozens more puzzles for people like me who aren’t exactly the brightest lamps in the street on a Friday morning after being in the pub last night.

  8. This isn’t the same as the bygone ‘Joan’s Weight Gain Puzzle’, poor Ed has been standing behind red boxes on Deal or No Deal for a few weeks now and it seems his moment in the spotlight is still a while away

  9. Actually. The answer is the same day that it is on the calendar day that you are reading it. Therefore, the answer changes daily corresponding to the day of the week you are reading it. The period before the question “what day isit today? Separates that question from the rest of the details. The rest of it is just there to confuse you into a whole bunch of calculations you don’t need to do.

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