This is an old puzzle and won't take long to be solved, but I think it's a useful addition to the site.

In a hotel in France at the time of the German occupation, two men and two women are in a lift moving downwards. One of the men is a uniformed German officer, the other a secret member of the French resistance. One of the women is young and beautiful, and the other is an elderly lady.

A momentary power cut causes the lights to go out for thirty seconds, leaving the four people in pitch blackness. There is the sound of a kiss followed by a punch. The lights come back on again, revealing that the German has just acquired a black eye.

The old lady thinks, "It's nice to see that young women these days can look after themselves. That rude German must have kissed her, but she gave him what for!"
The German thinks, "Ow! That schweinhund Frenchman must have kissed this young lady, and she punched me by mistake."
The young lady thinks, "What odd people these Nazis are! He must have ignored me and kissed this old woman, or even the other man, and got punched for his trouble."

What happened?

  • $\begingroup$ That was too easy because you didn't write what Frenchman thought. In my opinion there should be also information from Frenchman (told as first, before old lady thoughts) e.g. "He deserved it" $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 30, 2015 at 19:58

2 Answers 2


A very intriguing puzzle, but one that is easy to find the solution to (I have already seen this so I knew the answer).

The Frenchman makes a kissing sound, then punches the German officer in the eye. Nobody was really kissed, so nobody was offended, and the officer did not suspect the Frenchman of punching him.

  • $\begingroup$ Great! I knew this one wouldn't last long. Could you add a logical explanation? Thanks :-) $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 29, 2014 at 17:50
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ German Officer & a Secret Member of the French Resistance. Probably the French Resistance member wanted to give it to the German Office without compromising his secret cover. $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 29, 2014 at 18:03

We've seen 'inside the heads' of the German and the two women, so we know none of them performed either the kiss or the punch. Thus the Frenchman must have done both, and the answer is:

The Frenchman kissed his fist and punched the Nazi in the eye.

(mdc32 has already provided the answer, but I wanted the logical explanation included for the record.)


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