It’s very simple when you hear the answer!

Jack is looking at Anne, but Anne is looking at George. Jack is married, but George is not. Is a married person looking at an unmarried person?

  • A: Yes
  • B: No
  • C: Can’t be Determined

Decide on an answer before you continue reading.

According to this article in The Guardian, almost 80% of people answered this question incorrectly.  I must confess that I would be in that 80% category, but when I read the answer and the associated explanation I did find it a very useful exercise in creative or innovative thinking.

The correct answer is A – it can actually be determined if a married person is looking at an unmarried person.

We know that Jack and George are married but we don’t know whether Anne is married or not.  But it doesn’t matter whether we know whether she is married or not.  We do know, however, that she must be either married or not – she must be one of those two options.

So, if she IS married, and we know she is looking at George, then a married person is looking at an unmarried person.

Or, if she is NOT married, and we know John is looking at her, then a married person is looking at an unmarried person.

It can only be one of these two scenarios, and in both cases, a married person is looking at an unmarried person.

It’s very simple when you hear the answer!!

Conor Foley