School-Safe Puzzle Games

Sunday in Macau

Lucy was born on a sunny Sunday in Hong Kong and celebrated her 7th birthday party on a rainy Sunday in Macau. How old was she in 1996?

Thanks to Bilbao (an untouchable 11 solver) for submitting

Also-have a nice surprise coming in 1-2 weeks as we bring back an old favorite (sequel…;)

If you can figure the above brain teaser out, you may submit your answer in the comments section below. Answers to be revealed Friday.

11 Comments to “Sunday in Macau”

  1. Falwan | Profile

    6 years old…

  2. michaelc | Profile

    She celebrated her birthday on Sunday. I think you have to take this as it WAS her birthday on Sunday. Sometimes you celebrate around your birthday, and not always on your birthday.

    For a 7 year period to fall on the same day, she must have been born during a period of no leap years, therefore she must have been born before a turn of the century. The year 2000 doesn’t work because it was a leap year being divisible by 400.

    According to Wiki, “Beginning as a trading port, Hong Kong became a dependent territory of the United Kingdom in 1842”, so that rules out years before 1842.

    So she must have turned 7 years old sometime shortly after the year 1900. So she had to be born sometime after 3/1/1896, or before 3/1/1897.

    Being rainy and sunny at the same time of year, I’d take a wild guess and say it was in the summer time. So that would put Lucy at 100 years old in 1996 if it was on or after her birthday.

  3. Shawn | PUZZLE GRANDMASTER | Profile

    Well, there must be some hidden knowledge that I don’t yet have, but I think there could be several answers.

    1. In China, you are 1-year old on the day you are born. This means that Lucy’s 7th birthday was celebrated 6 years after the day of her birth.
    2. Hong Kong and Macau are in the same time zone, and are not affected by the international date line (assuming that we are talking about Macau in China and not one of the other cities by that name).
    3. Hong Kong and Macau both observe leap years.

    Trial and error with an online date calculator shows that January 8, 1961 was a Sunday, as was January 8, 1967. This would make Lucy 36 years old in 1996 if counting Chinese birthdays (35 years old western-style).

    But what about January 7, 1990 and January 7, 1996? Both of these dates are Sundays, and that would make Lucy 7 years old in 1996 (or 6 years old outside of China).

    But many, many other dates work, too. I did not try to find the weather on each possible date pair to confirm sunny v. rainy, as I am not a masochist.

    So, how can this be narrowed down to a unique answer?

  4. cflw60 | Profile

    Lucy was born on a sunday 1887.

    In 1996 she was 109 years old.

    Rafa W.

  5. cflw60 | Profile


    She was 99 and turned 100 years old.

    Rafa W.

  6. j0daddy | Profile

    It was a rainy Sunday on Dec 19th 1999, the day before Portugal officially handed Macao back to the Chinese, so… in 1996 Lucy celebrated her 4th birthday?

  7. Sue | Profile

    In 1996, Lucy was 36 years old and celebrating her 9th birthday. Her birthday was Feb. 29, 1960 (a Sunday and a leap year day) so her 7th birthday was Feb. 29, 1988 (also a Sunday and a leap year day)

  8. HammyCat | Profile

    Maria was born in 1820, on Sunday, February 29 (a leap year) 28 years later, in 1848, slave trade starts in Macau. (this is the rainy day, but I don’t know about Hong Kong’s sunny day) There were 7 leap years, making Maria technically 7.Therefore, in 1996 Maria is 44.

  9. RK | Founder | Profile


    Seven years in a row without day shift happened between 1896 and 1904, since 1900 was not a leap year. So Lucy was born between 1st March 1896 and 28th February 1897. Were she born in 1896 she would be 100 in 1996. Were she born in 1897 she would be 99 in 1996

    michaelC & cflw60 got it

  10. michaelc | Profile

    Food for thought after reading Shawn’s post.

    Here’s some research I pulled off the web.


    The Chinese traditional way to count the age is different from the Western way. In China, people take the first day of the Chinese New Year in lunar calendar as the starting point of a new age. No matter in which month a child is born, he is one year old, and one more year is added to his age as soon as he enters the New Year. So what may puzzle a Westerner is that a child is two years old when he is actually two days or two hours old. This is possible when the child is born on the last day or hour of the past year.


    Although I’ve read Macau has more of a Portuguese culture than a Chinese culture.

    I’ve certainly learned something from this puzzle. :)

  11. bilbao | Profile

    Sue´s answer is a really smart lateral thinking solution.

    Though to be exact: feb.29th on Sunday happened in 1920, 1948 and 1976.
    Leap years that share the same day of week for each date repeat every 28 years.

    Following Sue´s reasoning:
    Lucy was born Feb.29 1948, celebrated her 7th birthday party Feb.29 1976 and in 1996 was 48 years old and celebrating her 12th birthday.
    Or Lucy was born Feb.29 1920, celebrated her 7th birthday party Feb.29 1948 and in 1996 was 76 years old and celebrating her 19th birthday.

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