School-Safe Puzzle Games

Fathers and Sons

fishing family

2 fathers and 2 sons go fishing. Each catch 1 fish.

What’s the minimum # of fish that could have been caught?

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30 Comments to “Fathers and Sons”

  1. Blusummers13 | Profile

    Two. As long as they’re both fathers, they’re clearly both sons since they’re guys.

  2. Falwan | Profile

    Grandfather – Son – Grandson.

    That’s 2 fathers and 2 sons:

    So, minimum # of fish is 3 !!

  3. Lath | Profile

    The obvious answer is 4. One for each person.

    The better answer is 3. If there is a grandfather, father, and son, then there are 2 fathers and 2 sons.

    The best answer is 1. The could each catch and release the same fish.

  4. Ahmed | Profile

    I would say 3
    I’m assuming a son, his father, and his grandfather are going fishing.
    This means 2 fathers (father & grandfather)
    and 2 sons ( son & father)

  5. amboutwe | PUZZLE MASTER | Profile

    3. Son, Father, Grandfather.

  6. TonyTKL | Profile

    Not sure about the wording of the question. But if the “each” refers to the father-son pair, then minimum is 2.

  7. Migrated | Profile


    The son, his father and the grandfather.

  8. Mashplum | PUZZLE MASTER | Profile

    There could be as few as three people – a son, his father, and grandfather. The minimum number of fish is one, if they catch and release the same fish three times.

  9. suineg | PUZZLE MASTER | Profile

    I think the answer could be 3, a grandfather, a father and a son
    2 fathers: the grandfather is father of the father and the father of the son
    2 sons: the father is the son of the grandfather and the son of the father

  10. ahsergio | Profile

    3 fishes
    if the grandfather, the father, and the son – 3 generations, there will be 2 fathers and 2 sons

  11. critterlvr | Profile

    The minimum number of fish that could have been caught is 3. The fishermen are a son, father, and grandfather. The son is the son of the father, the father is the son of the grandfather. The grandfather is the father of the father, and the father is the father of the son…hence 2 fathers & 2 sons.

  12. ruddwd | Profile

    3 – Grand Father > Father > Son
    2 fathers and 2 sons

  13. Shawn | PUZZLE GRANDMASTER | Profile


  14. aaronlau | Profile

    2. They are fathers of their children and also sons of their parents.

  15. Margot | Profile

    Three fish total. There is a Grandfather, a Father, and a Son. The Grandfather and Father each have their sons on the trip (making two), and the Son and the Father each have their Fathers (making two).

  16. stathis_p | Profile

    Three. You have a son, dad and grandpa

  17. shaks | Profile

    i think 3, a man, his son and his grandson. Two fathers, two sons, 3 fish

  18. hex | PUZZLE MASTER | Profile

    hey, i guess it could be 2 if each has a father and son. They will both be fathers and sons. So 2 fish.

  19. Oneiric | Profile

    Well, it could be 2. It could be 2 friends, who are at the same time father of their son and son of their father.

    However, if each father is with his son on the boat, the answer is 3.

    The older man is the father of the middle one, who is the father of the younger boy. (Older: Father; Middle: Son and father; Young: Son)

  20. pgzzz | Profile

    There are two answers to this.

    The first is two fish – Both the men have children so they are both fathers and all men are sons of someone so there are only two people fishing.

    The second is if they have to be fathers and sons of the other people present. In this case there are three people – Grandfather, father and son. This means three fish.

  21. munna | Profile

    3 fishes. Grandfather, father and son. Grandfather & father makes 2 fathers. Father and son makes 2 sons.

  22. Someone | Profile

    boy + dad + grandpa = 2 fathers and 2 sons

    3 fish

  23. markodiablo | Profile

    Since it’s not mentioned whether they keep the fish or put it back, I have two answers:

    1) Minimum is 1 because when they put the fish back in the water, the next person can catch the same fish, and this continues until they all catch it.

    2) Minimum is 3 if becasue they are a son, father, and grandfather, and they each catch a different fish.

  24. exzeta | Profile

    two fathers and 2 sons

    it could be a family like this

    son, father, grandpa they are two fathers and two sons

  25. michaelc | Profile

    The minimum would be 2. Say 2 middle aged men that were both fathers as well as sons, not necessarily to each other.

    If they had to be father’s and sons to one another, the minimum would have to be 3 (Unless they were their own Grandpa or something odd like that!). One son, one father who is also a son. And one grandfather who is also a father.

    The maximum number would be 4, and probably what most people think of, without thinking of it. ;)

  26. RK | Founder | Profile

    This is an interesting problem. The answer I initially had in mind was 3, but 2 is also feasible as several of you point out. And Lath even makes a case for 1 :!:

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