A line of people has formed to enter a place where only members are allowed inside. There is a doorman who says something to each person, and based on the person's response he can determine if they are a member or not. A former member who recently returned from a 10 year prison sentence approaches the entrance. The doorman, who happens to be a Star Wars fan, playfully takes advantage of the current date and says, "May the 4th be with you." The former member says something in response, and the doorman then says, "You are no longer a member. You may not enter."

What was the former member's response, and how did the doorman know the person was no longer a member?

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I was waiting for one of these puzzles to crop up. $\endgroup$ – Will May 4 '16 at 18:47
  • $\begingroup$ Do they say the date, the prison member might not no the date $\endgroup$ – Beastly Gerbil May 4 '16 at 18:50
  • $\begingroup$ @BeastlyGerbil - the former member does not mention the date. $\endgroup$ – TTT May 4 '16 at 18:50
  • $\begingroup$ Did the person have access to internet in prison? $\endgroup$ – Munir May 4 '16 at 19:40
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    $\begingroup$ "Live long and prosper" $\endgroup$ – BenM May 5 '16 at 3:48

The door is to:


The ex-prisoner responded with

"And also with you." Which was the common response to "May the lord be with you."

Which is wrong because it was recently changed to:

"And with your spirit", so it is clear the prisoner has not been to church in a long time, so the doorman isn't letting him in to heaven.


This answer is NOT me saying that if you are not a good catholic you won't get into heaven, I just think it's the answer to the puzzle.

  • 8
    $\begingroup$ Did that really happen? When? I guess it's been a long time for me, too. $\endgroup$ – user3294068 May 4 '16 at 19:27
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    $\begingroup$ I figured it wouldn't be a church because there aren't usually bouncers at them, so I went with heaven $\endgroup$ – gannolloy May 4 '16 at 20:11
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    $\begingroup$ I... think a church makes more sense than heaven. How would you be a former member of heaven? Unless you're a fallen angel. $\endgroup$ – Andrew Whatever May 4 '16 at 21:47
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    $\begingroup$ You're not a former member of heaven you're a former member of the church and only members get into heaven by the logic of the puzzle $\endgroup$ – gannolloy May 5 '16 at 1:36
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    $\begingroup$ Clever puzzle. Though one can go to church in prison (and I would not be surprised if church attendance is higher there than the general population). $\endgroup$ – user21939 May 5 '16 at 8:27

Here's the protocol:

The building is a club for movie fans. The doorman states a quote from a movie franchise and the member must respond with the name of the last movie in that series.

But the former member (who was in prison from circa 2006 to 2016) gets it wrong because:

He says, "Revenge of the Sith" which was released in 2005, not knowing about "The Force Awakens" of 2015.

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    $\begingroup$ I think this is plausible but people in prison are able to keep up with movie releases. $\endgroup$ – Engineer Toast May 4 '16 at 19:18
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    $\begingroup$ This is a great answer. When I first read it I was shocked that the 10 years worked out so perfectly. (But then I realized that actually even 2 years would have been enough to not know about the most recent film.) Still very cool though. $\endgroup$ – TTT May 4 '16 at 19:42
  • $\begingroup$ @EngineerToast yeah, but people in prison are also able to do what is required for the accepted answer. $\endgroup$ – user21939 May 5 '16 at 8:25
  • $\begingroup$ @dan1111 I agree with that. This would be true of most changes that happen in the world whilst one is incarcerated. I would have commented as much if it had been accepted when I posted here. $\endgroup$ – Engineer Toast May 5 '16 at 12:44

A plausible, if iffy, answer (and the first thing that always comes to mind, when I hear this quote):

The building is a church (probably Catholic). A member of a Catholic church tends to respond to that quote with "And also with you" automatically, due to giving that response to "May the Lord be with you", so frequently.
It's a bit of a stretch because I don't know of any churchs who only allow Members inside (would be a bit pointless), but it's still the first thing that I thought of.

  • $\begingroup$ Doesn't address how the doorman knew he was no longer a member though $\endgroup$ – wizloc May 4 '16 at 19:00
  • $\begingroup$ I had a similar line of thought. $\endgroup$ – gannolloy May 4 '16 at 19:01
  • $\begingroup$ This was very close. I actually made a mistake and inadvertently left the word "building" in the puzzle from my original version of it which was about church rather than heaven. You probably know now that the phrase was correct; you just missed the part about it being the old phrase. $\endgroup$ – TTT May 4 '16 at 19:44

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