Anniversary Party
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The Dance Studio Wedding Anniversary Party

The four siblings of the Brown family – two brothers and two sisters – liked to do different activities together.

One month they decided to take dance lessons at SSQQ.  All four people loved their lessons and decided to stick with it.  Amazingly, over the course of the next year, each of the 4 siblings met their future spouse while taking lessons here at the studio. 

Not surprisingly, the four ‘outsiders’ blended in beautifully with the Brown siblings.  As a result, all four couples grew very close and enjoyed every opportunity to get together. 

On one occasion, three of the couples got together at the dance studio to celebrate the anniversary of the fourth couple. 

The three couples that were not having an anniversary each brought a different gift certificate for the special couple (one gift was a Tango lesson).

From the following clues can you find the full names of all 4 couples (one husband is Rick, and two last names are Black and White), identify the couple having the anniversary, and determine which present each of the other couples brought?

Note:  In this problem you may assume that the wives all adopted their husband’s last names.
You may also assume
that a spouse’s sibling’s spouse may be termed an ‘in-law’.

1.    Mara and her husband brought a gift, but it was not a Cha Cha lesson.

2.    Martha’s sister is married to Nick’s wife’s brother, who is not Dick.

3.    Nick’s last name is not White, and his wife is not Mara.

4.    Two of the couples that brought gifts were Maria and her husband, and Mick and his wife; their gifts, not necessarily respectively, were a Cha Cha lesson and a Swing lesson.

5.    Mara’s only brother-in-law and his wife, Marla, were not there to celebrate their wedding anniversary.

This one will probably drive you nuts.  It is very short, but so confusing!

When I first worked it on the airplane coming home from Colorado 3 years ago, I got it right, but I lost most of my hair in the process.  After I picked the puzzle for this month's torture offering, I decided maybe I should work it again to see if I still had the magic.

After starting over three times, I finally got an answer.... only to realize it was wrong.  Yes, believe it or not, I got it wrong after doing it right the first time three years earlier. Is that pathetic or what?

Okay, so maybe I moved too fast and wasn't as careful as I should have been. On the other hand, this puzzle had my number the first time so it was no surprise that I struggled badly the second time.

I bet it isn't just me. I predict this little puzzle will confound you like no other. When you think you have the answer, email it to

And please don't get your feelings hurt if I tell you to give it another shot. This one is very tricky.

Rick Archer

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