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After my Anatomy and Physiology final, our teacher gave us a paper with riddles on it to do for fun. I have asked MANY people, and no one can figure it out. I figured all of the others out quite quickly and on my own, but this one has stumped me. It goes like this:

The other day, I heard the following conversation:
"Charles is related to you the same way I am to your son."
"And you are related to me in the same way Charles is to you."

How are Charles and the second man related?


All I know is that it has a legitamate answer (it's not "they aren't" or "they're friends".)

Anyone care to take a shot at it?
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"Charles is related to you the same way I am to your son."
"And you are related to me in the same way Charles is to you."

Let's make it easier.

In the first sentence, let "you" = Bill, let "I" = Fred, and call Bill's son Paul:

1. "Charles is related to Bill the same way Fred is to Bill's son Paul."

Then, in the second sentence, "I" also = Bill and "you" = Fred:

2. "And Fred is related to Bill in the same way Charles is to Fred."

From 1, we know that

3. Charles and Fred are different generations.

From 2 + 3, we then know that

4. Fred and Bill are different generations.

If Charles and Bill are of the same generation, then Fred and Paul are of the same generation. But 2 makes that impossible. So

5. Charles and Bill are of different generations.

By 2, we know that Charles and Fred must be either both younger or both older than Bill. But 1 makes the former impossible, because of 3. Therefore

6. Charles and Fred are both older than Bill.

By 1, we then know that Charles is older than Fred.

The sequence in terms of generations is therefore:

  1. Charles
  2. Fred (1st man)
  3. Bill (2nd man)
  4. Paul


  5. At which point we can reapply 1 and 2, and see that only steps of one generation will work.

    Avuncular relationships are excluded, because then, by 1, Charles must be the great-uncle of Bill, and Fred of Paul; but that's incompatible with 2. Therefore the speakers are father and son, and Charles is the second man's grandfather.

    MrP
I'm kind of dense today. I can't get any solution to work for me. Emotion: embarrassed

(The only way I make this work -- sort of -- is if Charles is "I".)
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How about this way, Julie?

Father: "Your grandfather is related to you, son, in the same way I am related to your son."
Son: "And you are related to me, father, in the same way Grandfather is related to you."

Though clearly, they have very elementary conversations in this family.

MrP
Oh! I assumed both lines were spoken by the same person. No wonder I was confused.

(I merely cut and paste the two lines into a Notepad without going back to the original post. Should have reread the original question.)
Charles is the 2nd man's son, because the 2nd man is the 1st person's son, making Charles the 1st person's grandson.

Three generations of men.
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Maybe father and son?
charles is related to you as a cousin and the second man is your cousin
I'm not sure that works; if Charles is #2's cousin, and #2 is #1's cousin, how can the relationship of Charles to #2 be the same as the relationship of #1 to #2's son?
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