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#21. Brain puzzle for the whole brain: The Blind Beggar

Exercise multiple areas of your brain by trying to answer this riddle:

A blind beggar had a brother who died. What relation was
the blind beggar to the brother who died?
“Brother” is not the answer.

Now, your brain’s turn. What is the answer?

tick tick tick tick…

still working on it? …

Explanation (answer at bottom):
This puzzle is very simply stated and yet stumps those who have not heard it before, because the listener tends to make an implicit assumption about gender – in this case that a blind beggar is a man.

Brain Use:
This puzzle touches on analytical functions like abstract reasoning, hypothesis testing, and implicit assumptions residing in your frontal lobes, as well as your creativity in finding novel solutions to problems and emotional memory.

The blind beggar was the sister of her brother, who died.



Next brain teaser in SharpBrains’ top 25 series:

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46 Responses

  1. yahobahne says:

    wow, assumption is a powerful thing. we all do it and as a result many bias, discriminations and prejudices are formed.

  2. terrell owens says:

    The beggar is obviously the sister

  3. Alvaro says:

    good job-and welcome!

  4. Rhiannon says:

    There is a similar riddle that I heard a number of years ago that reminded me of and helped me with this one: A man and his son are in a car accident and both rushed to the hospital with serious injuries. The doctor who is about to operate on the son says, “I can’t operate on this boy; he is my son.” How is this possible?

  5. Alvaro says:

    Hello Rhiannon, that’s a good one. I’ll post it on its own-and we can post the answer, say, by Monday.

  6. jacky says:


  7. Lisbeth Laursen says:

    Just found this great page! I am at my first year as a math teacher (grade 1-6) and have found a lot of interesting information and things to try out! Thanks very much for all your work

    🙂 Lisbeth, Denmark

  8. Alvaro says:

    Glad to hear, Lisbeth! Feel free to share with us good teasers and exercises you may find.

  9. rhannon
    i know that one the answer is…………..
    the doctor was his mother

  10. emina says:

    i like this type of teaser, and I’m looking forward in seeing more of this!
    It’s actually my first time to visit and I instantly got hooked. great blog!

  11. Jess says:

    well… i thought for about 10 secs… and then i got it 😀
    I’m 16..

  12. kate says:

    hmm…I don’t really get this. Why couldn’t the begger be a man? If he was a man, he could still have a Brother..?

  13. Annemarie Lykke Hansen says:


  14. Colleen Rae says:

    The correct answer should be – sibling.
    There is no evidence of gender.

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