Two stereotypical british gentlemen that don't know each other engage in this unusual conversation (it's almost as if they were a setup for a puzzle):

Gentleman A - Hello sir, I'll have you know that next month, I'll turn 49.
Gentleman B - What a coincidence, next month is my birthday too, though I'll only turn 41. Maybe we share the same birthday?
Gentleman A - Well, I'm afraid this is impossible. Anyway, I must go - Good day, sir.
Gentleman B - Good day to you, and God save the Queen!

What year is it?


1 Answer 1


I think the year is


The first gentleman is born on

February 29th

The second gentleman was born in

1800, which was not a leap year (years divisible by 100 but not divisible by 400 are not leap years).


The choice of century is based on the fact that Britain needed to have a Queen in the year of the conversation (see Gentleman B's last statement), in which case this is the only one that works (Queen Victoria). For example, the ruling monarchs in 1441, 1541, 1741 and 1941 are Henry VI, Henry VIII, George II and George VI, all Kings, so the conversation couldn't have happened in any of those years.

  • $\begingroup$ Quick, and correct :) $\endgroup$
    – Keelhaul
    Commented Feb 26, 2021 at 16:02
  • $\begingroup$ @Keelhaul Thank you, this is a very nice puzzle! $\endgroup$
    – hexomino
    Commented Feb 26, 2021 at 16:33
  • $\begingroup$ Can you please explain further about the choice of the year? Why not 1900, for example? Is it to do with some British history? $\endgroup$
    – Sid
    Commented Feb 26, 2021 at 16:41
  • $\begingroup$ @Sid, that's in the last paragraph but I can flesh this out a bit more. $\endgroup$
    – hexomino
    Commented Feb 26, 2021 at 16:44

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