Family occasion math puzzle

Ref: Professor Stewart’s Cabinet of Mathematical Curiosities by Ian Stewart.

Family Occasion

“it was a wonderful party,” said Lucilla to her friend Harriet.

“Who was there?”

“Well, there was one grandfather, one grandmother, two fathers, two mothers, four children, three grandchildren, one brother, two sisters, two sons, two daughters, one father-in-law, one mother-in-law, and one daughter-in-law.”

“Wow! Twenty-three people!”

“No. It was less than that. A lot less.”

What is the smallest size of party that is consistent with Lucilla’s description?


Nalin Pithwa

PS: Thanks to Prof Ian Stewart, who has done so much to popularize math.


  1. Posted April 8, 2016 at 4:02 am | Permalink | Reply


    • Posted April 8, 2016 at 4:36 am | Permalink | Reply

      Let us wait for others also to reply. Then, I will post the answer along with explanation. Thanks for participating !!!

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