Shimer College

October 30, 2013

Solve the Hard Math Problem

Two grandmothers, with their two granddaughters;
Two husbands, with their two wives;
Two fathers, with their two daughters;
Two mothers, with their two sons;
Two maidens, with their two mothers;
Two sisters, with their two brothers;
Yet only six in all lie buried here;
All born legitimate, from incest clear.

How might this happen?

NOW CLOSED! Check back for the next problem.

Send your answers to Bev Thurber, Professor of Natural Sciences, at by November 6, 2013.

Winners will be announced on the website!


From 536 Curious Problems & Puzzles by Henry Ernest Dudeney, ed. Martin Gardner (p. 214), which indicates that the problem is etched in a tombstone from 1538.