My dear brother,

It has been almost nine years since we lost you. We’re a big family so losing just one may not seem like much of a loss but it has left a hole nonetheless. You’re still here in spirit – in fact, people keep forgetting you’re no longer part of our family – but it’s not the same. You were always kind of out there but we all cared about you. I don’t think anybody else has written yet and I’m sorry for that. I can’t make up for their lack of action but I feel like, if anyone is going to keep this family together, it has to be me. Even though I was adopted into this family and never really matched the rest of you, I feel like I must be the leader.

If my nephew would ever slow down to think about it, I’m sure he’d write, too. He’s always been our main line of communication. You know how he is, though, always in a hurry. His dad – our big brother – is still trying to apologize for him but, at this point, it doesn’t really feel sincere. He’s cold-natured on the outside but I believe there’s still some warmth in there, deep down. Those two have been distant for so long that I don’t know if they’ll ever really get along. I still find myself having to stay between them. Even his “daughter” has to stand between them. (You remember why I say “daughter” in quotes, right? We’re still not sure if she’s his or dad’s. Gods, our family is so messed up…) Of course, it only gets worse when his other son decides to get involved. He’s always stirring up trouble.

Granddad is still kickin’ around out there somewhere. He’s a pretty icy guy but he means well. I think dad and even some of our brothers try to be like him but he’s still the undisputed master of the cold shoulder. He and I barely talk, really. I feel kind of guilty about it – I feel like I should get to know my whole adopted family better – but the trip to go see him is just so costly that it’s hard to justify it most of the time.

Listen, I know you’re pretty far out there most of the time but I don’t want you forgetting where you belong. I don’t care what others say, you still belong in this family. I know at least one of our brothers is out near you once in a while. He’s still a little wet behind the ears despite his age but he’ll try to swing by. Try to say hi sometime, OK? Maybe send a letter?

All the love in the world,


Primary Question: Who is writing the letter and to whom are they writing it? (Get the tick)

Bonus Question: Can you name all the family members mentioned? (Get +1)

  • Letter writer
  • The brothers
  • The nephew
  • The daughter
  • Dad and Granddad
  • $\begingroup$ Oh, I think I get it. Don't have the time to put the pieces together though. $\endgroup$ May 18, 2015 at 18:02
  • $\begingroup$ @DaaaahWhoosh Yeah. I get it too, but it would take a lot of knowledge, or a lot of Googling to write up the answer. Not going to bother. I'll just leave it to someone else. $\endgroup$
    – Aura
    May 18, 2015 at 18:04
  • $\begingroup$ Does the letter follow the rules of grammar? Specifically, are people's first name capitalized always? Also, are the names explicitly written in the letter, or is this a lateral thinking puzzle? $\endgroup$
    – n00b
    May 18, 2015 at 18:10
  • $\begingroup$ @DaaaahWhoosh OK, so that's fair. I didn't think about the work required to answer. Check the edit. $\endgroup$ May 18, 2015 at 18:11
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I love this puzzle. Very creative and fun! $\endgroup$ May 18, 2015 at 18:58

1 Answer 1


The family is composed of

The planets and the mostly Greco-Roman gods for whom they were named

The brothers are

Jupiter(Zeus), Pluto(Hades), and Neptune(Poseidon) ( the god of the ocean - "wet behind the ears despite his age")

The lost brother is

Pluto, whose celestial body was deemed not a planet in 2005, almost 9 years ago; among the most distant planets from the sun, it was always kind of 'out there'

The letter writer is

The Earth, named not for a Roman deity but a Germanic one, hence "adopted" and not matching the rest, but as the only populated planet the only one able to 'keep the family together' - also identified in the Greek pantheon with Gaia, whose union with Uranus gave birth to the titans - and she sends 'all the love in the world' -- literally!

Dad and Granddad are

Saturn(Cronus), the father of the Olympians, and his father Uranus, the cold(warm?) gas giants who are 'distant'

The daughter is

Venus, who is variously identified as the daughter of Neptune(Poseidon) and of Jupiter(Zeus)

The nephew who is "our main line of communication" is

Mercury(Hermes), the messenger of the gods. In astrology, the planet Mercury governs communication; it is the planet that orbits and rotates fastest

The son that's always stirring up trouble is likely

Mars, the god of war

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ I agree with @pacoverflow - This is close, but I think there's something off. $\endgroup$
    – Bobson
    May 18, 2015 at 18:48
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ If I'm on the right track, the only family member who is missing would probably not address her great-grandson as brother, nor sign herself as "Bro"... But yeah something seems a little off $\endgroup$ May 18, 2015 at 19:04
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Dang. I'd thought about the Earth being the letter writer (after finally discarding Helios, due to lack of brothers), but I couldn't figure out the connection that would make Jupiter "big brother". I was toying with Neptune when this got accepted. Nice job, dennisdeems. $\endgroup$
    – Bobson
    May 18, 2015 at 19:16
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @EngineerToast - I'd change the signature from Bro. Other than that, I think it's fine as stands. $\endgroup$
    – Bobson
    May 18, 2015 at 19:18
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @Bobson I merged the traits of gods and planets. Jupiter is the big brother because the planet is physically the largest. Uranus/ Granddad is the master of the cold shoulder because the planet has the coldest atmosphere in the solar system. $\endgroup$ May 18, 2015 at 20:42

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