Beach Day by Rodger Bliss
May 2024
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Lichtenberg’s Riddle

Grave-5
While ambling about your local cemetery, you stumble upon a grave marker situated before a six-grave plot. Glancing down, you notice an inscription upon the family stone. It reads:

Here lie…

2 Grandmothers with their 2 Granddaughters
2 Husbands with their 2 Wives
2 Fathers with their 2 Daughters
2 Mothers with their 2 Sons
2 Maidens with their 2 Mothers
2 Sisters with their 2 Brothers…

Yet but 6 corpses all lie buried here,

All born legitimate, from incest clear.

How is this possible?

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3 guesses to Lichtenberg’s Riddle


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  • Luca

    Phew, i needed to make a scheme for this one.

    (Female) Person 1:
    -Grandmother of person 5
    -Mother of person 3
    -Mother-in-law of person 6

    (Female) Person 2:
    -Grandmother of person 6
    -Mother of person 4
    -Mother-in-law of person 5

    (Male) Person 3:
    -Son of person 1
    -Brother-in-law of person 4
    -Father of person 5
    -Was initially married to another, divorced and married with person 6

    (Male) Person 4:
    -Son of person 2
    -Brother-in-law of person 3
    -Father of person 6
    -Was initially married to another, divorced and married with person 5

    (Female) Person 5:
    -Granddaughter of person 1
    -Sister-in-law of person 6
    -Daughter of person 3
    -Married to person 4

    (Female) Person 6:
    -Granddaughter of person 2
    -Sister-in-law of person 5
    -Daughter of person 4
    -Married to person 3

    Sidenote: Person 5 and 6 were born before the divorces so they aren’t result of incest

  • Crabman

    This is simular to a scenario in the book “With a Tangled Skein” in the Incarnations of Immortality series by Peirce Anthony. Two women married each others sons and each had a daughter. A diagram would be best, as that’s what I have on paper

         GM1      GM2 
          |   \   /   |
          |    \ /    |
          |     X    |
          |    / \    |
        S1–/    \–S2
           |         |
           |         |
           D2    D1

    GM = Grand Mother
    S = Son
    D = Daughter

  • Both of you are a winner today! Your complete solutions are concise.
    1: Two women each have a son from a previous marriage (not buried).
    2) The sons marry the woman who is not their mother.
    3) The sons and the women each have a daughter that never marries.
    It is also the plot of this movie.