I was wondering around on Puzzling when I saw this question posted three days ago.
It is a great puzzle and it reminded me me about another puzzle a saw a long time ago. I'm using Keelhaul question to post this version (if that's ok with the community):

Two stereotypical british gentlemen that don't know each other engage in this unusual conversation on a sunny summer day (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 King!

What year is it?

Can you spot the differences and solve this version?


1 Answer 1


As with the other question,

A knows that no one 8 years younger can have the same birthday as his. On the face of it, all the century+41 dates mentioned in the answer to that question "work" because there was a king in the year in question.

That's not actually quite true, because

it wasn't until September 1752 that the UK switched to using the Gregorian calendar with its rule that most century-years aren't leap years. So 1441, 1541, 1641, 1741 are actually no good. But 1941 works fine and the UK had a king in that year, so perhaps that's our solution.

But, wait.

That switch to the Gregorian calendar meant that several days in September 1752 were skipped. So no one had 41st birthdays on any of those days in September 1793. George III was king during all this time. So the year could be 1793 instead of 1941. So it seems we have two solutions.

But (confession: I failed to spot this despite attempting to check; thanks to Jaap Scherphuis in comments for being less stupid than me)

the question asks us to spot the "differences", with the final "s" emphasized, for a reason: the only actual difference in the dialogue is the Queen->King change, but the preamble tells us (as it didn't last time around) that this is happening on a summer day and the birthday in question is the following month. That fits the September case (the gentlemen are meeting in August) and not the February case (it would be January).

So in fact

the year is 1793, the month is August, and our first gentleman was born in September 1744, somewhere between the 3rd to the 13th inclusive. The second gentleman cannot have had his birthday on the same day because it would have required him to be born in in 1752 between those dates, which were omitted from the year 1752 in the British Empire. (I think it is reasonable to suppose that a "stereotypical British gentleman" was in fact born in the British Empire.)

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ You are missing the fact that the rot13(gvzr bs lrne) is mentioned in the question. $\endgroup$ Mar 2, 2021 at 16:35
  • $\begingroup$ Yep, @JaapScherphuis is correct! You really missed that part! So there is just one solution for the year... Will you edit your answer so I accept it? $\endgroup$
    – Pspl
    Mar 2, 2021 at 16:39
  • $\begingroup$ D'oh! I did indeed miss that. $\endgroup$
    – Gareth McCaughan
    Mar 3, 2021 at 9:04
  • $\begingroup$ OK, fixed now. Thanks again to Jaap. $\endgroup$
    – Gareth McCaughan
    Mar 3, 2021 at 9:14

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