Mental Floss

Brain Game: Two Boys


Today's Brain Game is a riddle. The solution doesn't involve any real trickery; just a keen mind and careful reading. Good luck!

You and your twin brother were the only two children of your parents. (Your brother lives alone, never married, and never had kids.) When you graduated high school, you married your childhood sweetheart. Like your parents, you and your wife had twin boys. Neither you nor your wife ever wed anyone else, had children with anyone else, or adopted any children. When your two sons turned five years of age, you and your wife decided that you wanted a third son. Unfortunately, tragedy struck before she could become pregnant. While up north at a skiing lodge, an avalanche rumbled down the mountainside and swamped the hotel where you were staying. You were the only survivor; your father and mother, your wife, and both of your sons died in the accident. It's been a difficult time since then, but you're really looking forward to some fun this Christmas. That's when your two kids' grandparents plan to come to your house and visit them for the very first time. Since both your parents and your twins are no longer alive, how is this possible?

Here is the SOLUTION.


If you read the text carefully, it says that you and your brother were the "only two children of your parents." But when it refers to your kids, it says that "like your parents, you and your wife had two sons" and that you "wanted to have a third son."

You and your wife DID have only two sons - the twins - but the two of you also had two daughters. They were too young to ski, so they stayed home with a neighbor during the fateful trip. They're the "children" awaiting their "grandparents" this Christmas.

And yes, while your daughters' grandparents (your parents) are no longer with us, the girls do have another set of grandparents - your late wife's parents, who are alive and well and looking forward to seeing the girls for the first time ever this December.