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There are five sisters in the room:
Ann is reading a book,
Margaret is cooking,
Kate is playing chess,
Marie is doing laundry.
What is the fifth sister doing?

Source: BRIGHTSIDE

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    $\begingroup$ pls provide source, thanks! $\endgroup$ – Omega Krypton Jan 15 '19 at 13:39
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    $\begingroup$ Brightside... yuk. $\endgroup$ – Jasper Jan 15 '19 at 15:25
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    $\begingroup$ In the image before, wasn't one of them cooking ? Now 2 of them are reading... $\endgroup$ – LMD Jan 15 '19 at 20:20
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    $\begingroup$ Why is Marie doing laundry in the kitchen? Or is Margaret cooking in the laundry room? I hope the fifth sister is looking at real estate ads, so they can all get out of this poorly designed abode. $\endgroup$ – Nuclear Hoagie Jan 15 '19 at 20:41
  • $\begingroup$ Already asked here (closed) and here (deleted). I'm not closing this one as a duplicate because it seems to be the sole surviving version on our site of this puzzle. $\endgroup$ – Rand al'Thor Jan 16 '19 at 9:08
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I think the fifth sister is

playing chess with Kate, since it's a two-player game and there's nobody else in the room.

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    $\begingroup$ correct. but I used to play very often chess problem solving alone with me. $\endgroup$ – Albrecht Hügli Jan 15 '19 at 13:35
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    $\begingroup$ When you say "correct", do you mean that this is the intended solution? $\endgroup$ – Brandon_J Jan 15 '19 at 14:52
  • $\begingroup$ We chess players often play against ourselves; this is excellent practice for looking at the board from multiple points of view. It's also good for working through previously played games, trying to work out the next move. Kate might also be working through a chess problem. $\endgroup$ – Prune Jan 15 '19 at 17:22
  • $\begingroup$ Another distinct possibility is that Kate is playing with any of the mentioned sisters: it's Kate's move, and her opponent is confident of the position's continuation, so has taken up another activity while awaiting Kate's response. I used to do this quite often in school, especially if a classmate needed homework help. $\endgroup$ – Prune Jan 15 '19 at 17:24
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    $\begingroup$ Where does it say there's no one else in the room? $\endgroup$ – BlueRaja - Danny Pflughoeft Jan 15 '19 at 19:22
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I would presume that the fifth sister is

the other chess player.

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  • $\begingroup$ why the down vote? $\endgroup$ – Albrecht Hügli Jan 15 '19 at 14:42
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    $\begingroup$ could also be because the original answer was in clear instead of 'spoiler' $\endgroup$ – Flying_whale Jan 15 '19 at 15:00
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    $\begingroup$ Couldn't uncover the previous answers before I posted mine. Sorry, I'm new and didn't know how the spoiler format worked. I had to edit mine to include it. I'll figure it out eventually. $\endgroup$ – Solz Jan 15 '19 at 15:00
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    $\begingroup$ @Solz Just remember that downvotes are never personal dislikes - they're just a flag to say "this answer could be improved, regardless who wrote it", and often people undo them once the answer has been edited. Welcome to Puzzling.SE! $\endgroup$ – user41531 Jan 15 '19 at 15:35
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    $\begingroup$ Yes, I figured it out after I posted the answer, then edited it. I'm not worried about a down vote. That's part and parcel of being new. You make mistakes until you catch on. Thank you, all. $\endgroup$ – Solz Jan 15 '19 at 23:43
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Maybe she is

writing the riddle, as someone (no one except herself) should be in the room to know exactly what people are doing.

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  • $\begingroup$ This was my assumption too, but the other four could tell you also. $\endgroup$ – Albrecht Hügli Jan 15 '19 at 14:27
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This riddle cannot be solved with certainity. Very likely the fifth sister is playing chess, but this needn't be the case, even in a pre-computer time; consider the plot of Stefan Zweig's "chess novel"(original title : Schachnovelle) - the main character, Dr. B, is able to play chess against himself.

Also it would be possible that one of the three other mentioned sisters played with Kate while doing the laundry / cooking / reading.

Conclusion : A fun riddle but missing a clear solution.

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My answer takes us in the other direction:

  1. Governing the United Kingdom - she is the Queen

  2. Ann is Princess Ann - the queen's daughter

  3. Margaret is Princess Margaret - the queen's sister

  4. Kate is the Duchess of Cambridge - Kate Middleton

  5. Marie is the Princess of Denmark

  6. Although they are not all sisters by birth it could be that they are all sisters of royalty and that the final person is who most likely ties them together.

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  • $\begingroup$ I don't know why spoilers aren't working for this post - if anyone can help me fix it I would be very grateful $\endgroup$ – sam_smith Jan 15 '19 at 22:22
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    $\begingroup$ I suggested an edit. $\endgroup$ – Brandon_J Jan 15 '19 at 22:43
  • $\begingroup$ Spoilers are weird. You can't have two in a row without text in between. $\endgroup$ – Brandon_J Jan 15 '19 at 22:49
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Alternative answer

Ann is reading a book
Margaret is trying to cook
Kate is moving her rook
Marie is hanging clothes on a hook

So perhaps the fifth sister is

Tidying the nook

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The 5th sister is playing chess. Chess needs two players

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