Thursday, January 11, 2007

Mr and Mrs Smith

Mr. and Mrs. Smith and their two children form a typical American family. If exactly two of the following statements are true, what is the first name of the father, mother, son and daughter:
  • George and Dorothy are blood relatives.
  • Howard is older than George.
  • Virginia is younger than Howard.
  • Virginia is older than Dorothy.


  1. Dad: Howard
    Mom: Virginia
    Bro: George
    Sis: Dorothy

    Using clues 2 and 4

  2. Gill,

    If you say that, then either Dorothy or George (or both)are adopted. Otherwise the first clue (Blood relatives) must also be true, thereby negating the primary premise of "Typical American Family".

    If that idea is in question, then clue #1 could be true and we have some incestual criteria where blood relatives could be the parents.

  3. So,

    George - Father
    Virginia - Mother
    Dorothy - Daughter
    Howard - Son

    Clue 1 True - George is Blood related to Dorothy (Father / Daughter)

    Clue 2 - False - Howard is not older than George

    Clue 3 - False - Virginia is not younger than Howard.

    Clue 4 - True - Virginia is older than Dorothy.


  4. I think Gill's right, full or half brothers & sisters (not step or adopted) ARE blood relatives, as are parent/child. Husband and wife are NOT blood relatives in a "typical American family."

  5. If Gill is correct, and clue 1 is true, then the premis of the question is not met. ONLY 2 clues can be true. Using your logic, Tamara, three clues are now true, so that is not a viable answer.

  6. Ah, I get it! Tricky, that.

  7. Lots of controversy on yesterdays question. That's great to see. I like posing the harder questions.

    George and Virginia are the parents of Howard and Dorothy.

  8. Ahh, ic. Didn't get the trick or crux of the question. Thx don.


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