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Holiday Daze Puzzler

Can anyone here make any sense of this puzzler? Is it some sort of semantics trick, or what? I don’t see how the day of the week has anything to do with the year. Monday is Monday no matter what year the Monday occurs. The answer seems nonsensical. Maybe there’s a subtlety I’m not seeing?

Holiday Daze Puzzler (from mid-November 2019 podcast)

RAY: Everyone knows that New Year’s Day follows Christmas Day by one week. For example, if Christmas is Monday, then New Year’s Day will be on a Monday, too.

Here’s the question. What is the most recent year in which Christmas and New Year’s Day fell on different days of the week?


RAY: And the answer is…last year! And the year before. They are a week apart but they’re in different years. Every year they fall on a different day.

Read the question carefully, in what YEAR did they fall on different days of the week ?
Not what WINTER did they fall on different days ?

New Years day always comes before Christmas, You’re thinking Christmas comes before New Years.

In the YEAR 2019, New years day was on a Tuesday, Christmas will be on a Wednesday.

In the YEAR 2020, New years day will be on a Wednesday, Christmas will be on a Friday.


This is one of those “when is 22+3 not 25” questions.

The answer, of course, is on a clock.

22+3 is 1

I understand what you folks are saying, but given the “New Year’s Day follows Christmas Day” in the premise, seems a bit of a semantics ruse.

In other words it isn’t really a puzzle; it’s like in high school, when you arrive to the classroom and find there’s an unexpected test being given that day, already on your desk. The first line says "do not speak to other students during this test. read through all the questions before beginning ".

Question 1. Why is there a sqrt (-1) in Schrodinger’s Equation?
Question 2. What is the N-S magnetic polarization orientation of a counter-clockwise wound coil?

Question 19. Why is the meaning of life, the universe, and everything equal to 42?
Question 20. Do not answer any of the above questions, just sit quietly and read until the end of class.


Yes, New Years Day follows Christmas Day, but not in the same year. The question was in what Year ?

Now, Christmas Eve and New Years Eve are on the same day of the week every year, This year they are both on Tuesday


What year is this upcoming holiday season?

2019 & 2020 ====

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I refer to it as the “2019 holiday” season, since most of it occurs in 2019.

I refer to it as the “2019 holiday” season, since most of it occurs in 2019.

You are right but it still cover’s two year’s.

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Speaking of, I managed to convince my 10 year old nephew that the government moved Christmas to March this season and so we have extra time to figure out what to get him. His mom was very confused when I brought him back home. :wink:


I like the trivia.

Ever see the movie “Little Man Tate”. About a young boy who’s a genius. Mom is played by Jody Foster.

At the beginning of the movie the boy is in grammar school and the teacher shows the numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 on the board. She then asks the kids what numbers are divisible by 2. No one raised their hands, so she called on the class genius Tate. His response was - “All of Them”…which was NOT the answer she was expecting. She was really expecting the answer to "What numbers are EVENLY divisible by 2.

That reminds me of the question," If there are 10 birds sitting on a fence and you shoot one, How many are left?"

Answer “Only the dead one.”

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