So, this is my first attempt at a puzzle on here. I've no idea how easy/hard this will be.

Puzzle: Barry, Susan and Jonah are friends. One day the three walked into a candy shop. The three later walked out with fifteen pieces of candy to share between them, as friends typically do.

A little while later, Barry's younger sister, Alicia, walked into the same store. She left with six. Then Susan's younger sister, Pattie, got eight. Finally Jonah's older brother Chris walked into the same store. The clerk, having sensed the pattern, correctly guessed he would be wanting eleven.

What pattern did the clerk discern?


The shopkeeper knew for certain one thing you do not, but it's not a crucial detail

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ I'm guessing it is related to their ages $\endgroup$
    – user14352
    May 24, 2016 at 2:00

2 Answers 2


The clerk gave each person candy according to

the number of letters in their first name.

Barry, Susan, Jonah received a total of 15 pieces of candy because:

each has 5 letters in their name


has 6 letters in her name


is short for "Patricia", which has 8 letters


is short for "Christopher", which has 11 letters

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @DanRussell Since I was so excited that I managed to finally figure one of these things out, I chose to post first and add a more detailed explanation later. ;) $\endgroup$
    – jamesdlin
    May 24, 2016 at 3:24
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @gannolloy The prices of the candy $\endgroup$
    – paste
    May 24, 2016 at 4:15
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ too bad the shop keeper didn't know this guy $\endgroup$
    – Chowzen
    May 24, 2016 at 5:17
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ They were buying alphabet candies. $\endgroup$
    – Jasen
    May 24, 2016 at 9:09
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @jamesdlin The shopkeeper knew how much candy Barry, Susan and Jonah bought. The puzzle never actually stated how much each got; just that they got fifteen total. Though it could be assumed, the shopkeeper was in a position to actually know. $\endgroup$
    – Altainia
    May 24, 2016 at 13:35

I assumed that it went as follows:

Barry, Susan, and Jonah each walk in and get five pieces each.
Then, Alicia gets six pieces, adding one to five.
Pattie gets eight pieces, adding two to six.
Chris got eleven, adding three to eight.
The number that they go up by goes up by one each time.


now seeing the correct answer, I change my mind.

  • $\begingroup$ Huh, I didn't see that pattern. Props. $\endgroup$
    – Altainia
    May 24, 2016 at 18:06

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