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The Elder Twin

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The Elder Twin - Back to the River Crossing Puzzles

One day Kerry celebrated her birthday. Two days later her older twin brother, Terry, celebrated his birthday. How come?

This puzzle was submitted to Games Magazine's 'How Come' competition in 1992 by Judy Dean. It won.

This old topic is locked since it was answered many times. You can check solution in the Spoiler below.

Pls visit New Puzzles section to see always fresh brain teasers.

The Elder Twin - solution

At the time she went into labor, the mother of the twins was travelling by boat. The older twin, Terry, was born first early on March 1st. The boat then crossed the International Date line (or any time zone line) and Kerry, the younger twin, was born on February the 28th. In a leap year the younger twin celebrates her birthday two days before her older brother.

This puzzle was submitted to Games Magazine's 'How Come' competition in 1992 by Judy Dean. It won.

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Actually there is another solution. There was a rare case in America where a mother became pregnant some 6 months after she had already concieved. Since both children were in the womb together they are classed as twins though there birthdays were months apart. As far as I know both children were completely healthy

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Actually there is another solution. There was a rare case in America where a mother became pregnant some 6 months after she had already concieved. Since both children were in the womb together they are classed as twins though there birthdays were months apart. As far as I know both children were completely healthy

That's interesting. However, it does not fit the puzzle since the twins can not celebrate their birthdays months apart. As written in the puzzle:

Two days later her older twin brother, Terry, celebrated his birthday.
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One day Kerry celebrated her birthday. Two days later her older twin brother, Terry, celebrated his birthday. How come?

Actually there is yet another possible answer. It could be the case that Kerry has a set of older twin siblings and the question only refers to one of them, Terry while the other (Jerry?) is not mentioned for the sake of ambiguity.

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If there were more than 2, wouldn't they be called triplets?

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Not if she wasn't one of them.

Imagine it is so:

Kerry is 10 her birthday is on the 12th of March.

She has two brothers, who are twins, one of them, Jerry is the older as he was born at 23:50 and the other Terry was born at 00:10 the next day, they are both 13. Jerry therefore celebrates his birthday on the 14th of March while Terry celebrates his on the 15th.

The situation would hold true that Kerry celebrated her birthday one day, and her older brother, who is a twin, celebrated his two days later. It does not specify that Kerry is a twin only that her older brother is.

Complicated but it could work...

Parents anniversary is probably 9 months before the 12th of March, work that out..!

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One day Kerry celebrated her birthday. Two days later her older twin brother, Terry, celebrated his birthday. How come?

i dont celebrate my birthday on the exact date of my birth, could the same be true fot them?

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No

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The solution could work this way also: Mom gives birth to one twin on the evening of February 28th, and the other arrives shortly after midnight March 1st... So, then on leap year, the birthdays are two days apart.

No traveling through time zones for Mom! What Mom in her right mind would be traveling *and* laboring!

Same result with much less effort!

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The solution could work this way also: Mom gives birth to one twin on the evening of February 28th, and the other arrives shortly after midnight March 1st... So, then on leap year, the birthdays are two days apart.

No traveling through time zones for Mom! What Mom in her right mind would be traveling *and* laboring!

Same result with much less effort!

But then it would not fit the following:

Two days later her older twin brother, Terry, celebrated his birthday.

The older twin would celebrate before the younger one.

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I agree with "qazqaz," I dont' celebrate my birthday on the exact date of my birth.

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There is one more solution, I can think of.

May be both of them borned on 1st March and they were living in different timezone when they celebrated their birthday, which made terry celebrated birthday after 2 days of Kerry.

I think this could be a second answer because it doesnt say they celebrated it at the same place.

Thanks.

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May be both of them borned on 1st March and they were living in different timezone when they celebrated their birthday, which made terry celebrated birthday after 2 days of Kerry.

I think this could be a second answer because it doesnt say they celebrated it at the same place.

that isn't quite possible. assuming you live on earth and assuming you were both born on the same day. then it must follow that your birthday must be celebrated within 23 hours. There cannot be a 48 hours timezone difference. Even if you were continuously moving to different timezones to change the time of reference, it doesn't eliminate the fact that the birthday started at what time in what zone.

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Clearly, the brother, a fraternal twin, was simply born later.

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Clearly, the brother, a fraternal twin, was simply born later.

This is not true because the puzzle states that the brother is older. So, he had to be born earlier. This is why the crossing of the dateline is required. Of course, it does not really have to be the dateline

I agree with rayne1984 and puzzlewuzzle's solution as well. The ambiguity af the language does not clearly specify that the brother and sister are twins, just that the brother is a twin.

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the girl is not one of the wins. she had old twins brother called terry and berry...or whatever. and their birthday is two day late than the girls.

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The leap year answer is agreeable, also the one above this posting could be true.

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There is also an American solution:

The mother could be in an ambulance traveling on her way to a hospital that is in a different time zone (such as in the border town, Gary, Indiana). She could deliver the older son at 12:05am on March 1, in the ambulance, on the way to the hospital. Then, she could cross the time zone so as to arrive at the hospital at 11:30pm on February 28 and deliver the younger son.

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One was born Feb. 28th, the other March 1st and this year is leap year.

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Actually there is another solution. There was a rare case in America where a mother became pregnant some 6 months after she had already concieved. Since both children were in the womb together they are classed as twins though there birthdays were months apart. As far as I know both children were completely healthy

This is not humanly possible. As anyone who has ever given birth can attest, once a woman goes into labor WHATEVER is in her womb will be expelled - regardless of time of conception.

There is another solution to the puzzle, though. Let's take a look at how it's worded:

One day Kerry celebrated her birthday. Two days later her older twin brother, Terry, celebrated his birthday. How come?

Terry (and his twin) could very well be older siblings to Kerry. There is nothing in the puzzle that states Kerry and Terry must be twins of each other.

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Kerry, had a birthday, then her twin brother had a birthday.

I don't think Kerry and the brother were twins. I think the brother was the twin to another sibling.

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This riddle does not include silly ideas as one not celebrating his or her birthday on the exact day or otherwise.

The answer is odd, but works.

Good puzzle. Well done, Judy Dean.

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Kerry was born at 11:59 PM on February 28th. Her twin brother was born at 12:02 on March 1st. They celebrated their birthday on a leap-year, thus creating a two-day difference.

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With new reproductive technologies, here is another solution. IVF is used and two embryos (twins) are conceived. One is implanted and Terry is born nine months later. The other is frozen for awhile. After a few months, the other embryo is thawed and implanted and Kerry is born two days before her brother's first birthday. From then on, her birthday will always be celebrated two days before her twin's.

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I do agree with the actual solution as an answer to the question; However, it never said that this was a twin brother that was in the womb with her. She could have had a set of older twin brothers that were born earlier than her. You can still call one of them your twin brother b/c that person is your brother and a twin. Say Terry and his twin were born May 3rd, 1980, then Kerry was born May 1st 1981. She would celebrate her B-day 2 days before her older twin brother.

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