“Alright,” said Andy, "this time it is just a standard logic puzzle. Let's write what we know about each person next to their names. It says that the parents stand on either side of their daughter, so that means there is a mother, father and daughter, and they are all standing together."
Kirsty picked up his train of thought:
“Yeah, and it says that Linda is 21 years older than her daughter, so Linda is the mother, and..." she studied the clues for a moment, then continued. "... and Alison is the only other girl, so she must be the daughter. She is sixteen, so her mother must be 37."
Andy nodded and made a note of this on the paper, then continued:
“If the family are standing together, they must be either the first three people, or the last three people. It says here that the stranger is the first in line, so it must be the latter. It also says the women are in the middle, and we already know the daughter is between the parents, so the second and third people must be Linda and Alison."
“Oh, and Tony has a wife who is five years younger, so he is the father, he is last in line, and he is 42. That leaves just one thing: the combined age of George and Tony is 89, so we can work out that George's age is 47.”
“Right then,” said Andy, "I think we have all the information. I'll just write it out again with the people in the right order."
After half a minute of writing, Andy showed the following:
1. George - 47
2. Linda - 37
3. Alison - 16
4. Tony - 42
“So the numbers are . Oh my God!" cried Andy, "Those are the numbers of my savings account! All my money is in that account. Hang on, I have to check that my money is still there."
He quickly took out his phone and checked his banking app. Kirsty watched as his face went white.
“Sis," he said, "all my money's gone! What am I going to do?"
This story will be continued, including a new and slightly more difficult puzzle, in a future article in The Full English Magazine.