[Transcribers note: Many of the puzzles in this book assume a familiarity with the currency of Great Britain in the early 1900s. As this is likely not common knowledge for those outside Britain (and possibly many within,) I am including a chart of relative values.
The most common units used were:
the Penny, abbreviated: d. (from the Roman penny, denarius) the Shilling, abbreviated: s. the Pound, abbreviated: L
There was 12 Pennies to a Shilling and 20 Shillings to a Pound, so there was 240 Pennies in a Pound.
To further complicate things, there were many coins which were various fractional values of Pennies, Shillings or Pounds.
Sixpence (or tanner) 6d.
Shilling (or bob) 1s.
Florin or two shilling piece 2s.
Half-crown (or half-dollar) 2s. 6d.
Crown (or dollar) 5s.
Sovereign (or Pound) L1 or 20s.
This is by no means a comprehensive list, but it should be adequate to solve the puzzles in this book.
Exponents are represented in this text by ^, e.g. '3 squared' is 3^2.
Numbers with fractional components (other than 1/4, 1/2 and 3/4) have a + symbol separating the whole number component from the fraction. It makes the fraction look odd, but yeilds correct solutions no matter how it is interpreted. E.G., 4 and eleven twenty-thirds is 4+11/23, not 411/23 or 4-11/23.
AMUSEMENTS IN MATHEMATICS
HENRY ERNEST DUDENEY
In Mathematicks he was greater Than Tycho Brahe or Erra Pater: For he, by geometrick scale, Could take the size of pots of ale; Resolve, by sines and tangents, straight, If bread or butter wanted weight; And wisely tell what hour o' th' day The clock does strike by algebra.
In issuing this volume of my Mathematical Puzzles, of which some have appeared in periodicals and others are given here for the first time, I must acknowledge the encouragement that I have received from many unknown correspondents, at home and abroad, who have expressed a desire to have the problems in a collected form, with some of the solutions given at greater length than is possible in magazines and newspapers. Though I have included a few old puzzles that have interested the world for generations, where I felt that there was something new to be said about them, the problems are in the main original. It is true that some of these have become widely known through the press, and it is possible that the reader may be glad to know their source.
On the question of Mathematical Puzzles in general there is, perhaps, little more to be said than I have written elsewhere. The history of the subject entails nothing short of the actual story of the beginnings and development of exact thinking in man. The historian must start from the time when man first succeeded in counting his ten fingers and in dividing an apple into two approximately equal parts. Every puzzle that is worthy of consideration can be referred to mathematics and logic. Every man, woman, and child who tries to "reason out" the answer to the simplest puzzle is working, though not of necessity consciously, on mathematical lines. Even those puzzles that we have no way of attacking except by haphazard attempts can be brought under a method of what has been called "glorified trial"—a system of shortening our labours by avoiding or eliminating what our reason tells us is useless. It is, in fact, not easy to say sometimes where the "empirical" begins and where it ends.
When a man says, "I have never solved a puzzle in my life," it is difficult to know exactly what he means, for every intelligent individual is doing it every day. The unfortunate inmates of our lunatic asylums are sent there expressly because they cannot solve puzzles—because they have lost their powers of reason. If there were no puzzles to solve, there would be no questions to ask; and if there were no questions to be asked, what a world it would be! We should all be equally omniscient, and conversation would be useless and idle.
It is possible that some few exceedingly sober-minded mathematicians, who are impatient of any terminology in their favourite science but the academic, and who object to the elusive x and y appearing under any other names, will have wished that various problems had been presented in a less popular dress and introduced with a less flippant phraseology. I can only refer them to the first word of my title and remind them that we are primarily out to be amused—not, it is true, without some hope of picking up morsels of knowledge by the way. If the manner is light, I can only say, in the words of Touchstone, that it is "an ill-favoured thing, sir, but my own; a poor humour of mine, sir."
As for the question of difficulty, some of the puzzles, especially in the Arithmetical and Algebraical category, are quite easy. Yet some of those examples that look the simplest should not be passed over without a little consideration, for now and again it will be found that there is some more or less subtle pitfall or trap into which the reader may be apt to fall. It is good exercise to cultivate the habit of being very wary over the exact wording of a puzzle. It teaches exactitude and caution. But some of the problems are very hard nuts indeed, and not unworthy of the attention of the advanced mathematician. Readers will doubtless select according to their individual tastes.
In many cases only the mere answers are given. This leaves the beginner something to do on his own behalf in working out the method of solution, and saves space that would be wasted from the point of view of the advanced student. On the other hand, in particular cases where it seemed likely to interest, I have given rather extensive solutions and treated problems in a general manner. It will often be found that the notes on one problem will serve to elucidate a good many others in the book; so that the reader's difficulties will sometimes be found cleared up as he advances. Where it is possible to say a thing in a manner that may be "understanded of the people" generally, I prefer to use this simple phraseology, and so engage the attention and interest of a larger public. The mathematician will in such cases have no difficulty in expressing the matter under consideration in terms of his familiar symbols.
I have taken the greatest care in reading the proofs, and trust that any errors that may have crept in are very few. If any such should occur, I can only plead, in the words of Horace, that "good Homer sometimes nods," or, as the bishop put it, "Not even the youngest curate in my diocese is infallible."
I have to express my thanks in particular to the proprietors of The Strand Magazine, Cassell's Magazine, The Queen, Tit-Bits, and The Weekly Dispatch for their courtesy in allowing me to reprint some of the puzzles that have appeared in their pages.
THE AUTHORS' CLUB March 25, 1917
PREFACE v ARITHMETICAL AND ALGEBRAICAL PROBLEMS 1 Money Puzzles 1 Age and Kinship Puzzles 6 Clock Puzzles 9 Locomotion and Speed Puzzles 11 Digital Puzzles 13 Various Arithmetical and Algebraical Problems 17 GEOMETRICAL PROBLEMS 27 Dissection Puzzles 27 Greek Cross Puzzles 28 Various Dissection Puzzles 35 Patchwork Puzzles 46 Various Geometrical Puzzles 49 POINTS AND LINES PROBLEMS 56 MOVING COUNTER PROBLEMS 58 UNICURSAL AND ROUTE PROBLEMS 68 COMBINATION AND GROUP PROBLEMS 76 CHESSBOARD PROBLEMS 85 The Chessboard 85 Statical Chess Puzzles 88 The Guarded Chessboard 95 Dynamical Chess Puzzles 96 Various Chess Puzzles 105 MEASURING, WEIGHING, AND PACKING PUZZLES 109 CROSSING RIVER PROBLEMS 112 PROBLEMS CONCERNING GAMES 114 PUZZLE GAMES 117 MAGIC SQUARE PROBLEMS 119 Subtracting, Multiplying, and Dividing Magics 124 Magic Squares of Primes 125 MAZES AND HOW TO THREAD THEM 127 THE PARADOX PARTY 137 UNCLASSIFIED PROBLEMS 142 SOLUTIONS 148 INDEX 253
AMUSEMENTS IN MATHEMATICS.
ARITHMETICAL AND ALGEBRAICAL PROBLEMS.
"And what was he? Forsooth, a great arithmetician." Othello, I. i.
The puzzles in this department are roughly thrown together in classes for the convenience of the reader. Some are very easy, others quite difficult. But they are not arranged in any order of difficulty—and this is intentional, for it is well that the solver should not be warned that a puzzle is just what it seems to be. It may, therefore, prove to be quite as simple as it looks, or it may contain some pitfall into which, through want of care or over-confidence, we may stumble.
Also, the arithmetical and algebraical puzzles are not separated in the manner adopted by some authors, who arbitrarily require certain problems to be solved by one method or the other. The reader is left to make his own choice and determine which puzzles are capable of being solved by him on purely arithmetical lines.
"Put not your trust in money, but put your money in trust."
OLIVER WENDELL HOLMES.
1.—A POST-OFFICE PERPLEXITY.
In every business of life we are occasionally perplexed by some chance question that for the moment staggers us. I quite pitied a young lady in a branch post-office when a gentleman entered and deposited a crown on the counter with this request: "Please give me some twopenny stamps, six times as many penny stamps, and make up the rest of the money in twopence-halfpenny stamps." For a moment she seemed bewildered, then her brain cleared, and with a smile she handed over stamps in exact fulfilment of the order. How long would it have taken you to think it out?
The precocity of some youths is surprising. One is disposed to say on occasion, "That boy of yours is a genius, and he is certain to do great things when he grows up;" but past experience has taught us that he invariably becomes quite an ordinary citizen. It is so often the case, on the contrary, that the dull boy becomes a great man. You never can tell. Nature loves to present to us these queer paradoxes. It is well known that those wonderful "lightning calculators," who now and again surprise the world by their feats, lose all their mysterious powers directly they are taught the elementary rules of arithmetic.
A boy who was demolishing a choice banana was approached by a young friend, who, regarding him with envious eyes, asked, "How much did you pay for that banana, Fred?" The prompt answer was quite remarkable in its way: "The man what I bought it of receives just half as many sixpences for sixteen dozen dozen bananas as he gives bananas for a fiver."
Now, how long will it take the reader to say correctly just how much Fred paid for his rare and refreshing fruit?
3.—AT A CATTLE MARKET.
Three countrymen met at a cattle market. "Look here," said Hodge to Jakes, "I'll give you six of my pigs for one of your horses, and then you'll have twice as many animals here as I've got." "If that's your way of doing business," said Durrant to Hodge, "I'll give you fourteen of my sheep for a horse, and then you'll have three times as many animals as I." "Well, I'll go better than that," said Jakes to Durrant; "I'll give you four cows for a horse, and then you'll have six times as many animals as I've got here."
No doubt this was a very primitive way of bartering animals, but it is an interesting little puzzle to discover just how many animals Jakes, Hodge, and Durrant must have taken to the cattle market.
4.—THE BEANFEAST PUZZLE.
A number of men went out together on a bean-feast. There were four parties invited—namely, 25 cobblers, 20 tailors, 18 hatters, and 12 glovers. They spent altogether L6, 13s. It was found that five cobblers spent as much as four tailors; that twelve tailors spent as much as nine hatters; and that six hatters spent as much as eight glovers. The puzzle is to find out how much each of the four parties spent.
5.—A QUEER COINCIDENCE.
Seven men, whose names were Adams, Baker, Carter, Dobson, Edwards, Francis, and Gudgeon, were recently engaged in play. The name of the particular game is of no consequence. They had agreed that whenever a player won a game he should double the money of each of the other players—that is, he was to give the players just as much money as they had already in their pockets. They played seven games, and, strange to say, each won a game in turn, in the order in which their names are given. But a more curious coincidence is this—that when they had finished play each of the seven men had exactly the same amount—two shillings and eightpence—in his pocket. The puzzle is to find out how much money each man had with him before he sat down to play.
6.—A CHARITABLE BEQUEST.
A man left instructions to his executors to distribute once a year exactly fifty-five shillings among the poor of his parish; but they were only to continue the gift so long as they could make it in different ways, always giving eighteenpence each to a number of women and half a crown each to men. During how many years could the charity be administered? Of course, by "different ways" is meant a different number of men and women every time.
7.—THE WIDOW'S LEGACY.
A gentleman who recently died left the sum of L8,000 to be divided among his widow, five sons, and four daughters. He directed that every son should receive three times as much as a daughter, and that every daughter should have twice as much as their mother. What was the widow's share?
A charitable gentleman, on his way home one night, was appealed to by three needy persons in succession for assistance. To the first person he gave one penny more than half the money he had in his pocket; to the second person he gave twopence more than half the money he then had in his pocket; and to the third person he handed over threepence more than half of what he had left. On entering his house he had only one penny in his pocket. Now, can you say exactly how much money that gentleman had on him when he started for home?
9.—THE TWO AEROPLANES.
A man recently bought two aeroplanes, but afterwards found that they would not answer the purpose for which he wanted them. So he sold them for L600 each, making a loss of 20 per cent. on one machine and a profit of 20 per cent. on the other. Did he make a profit on the whole transaction, or a loss? And how much?
"Whom do you think I met in town last week, Brother William?" said Uncle Benjamin. "That old skinflint Jorkins. His family had been taking him around buying Christmas presents. He said to me, 'Why cannot the government abolish Christmas, and make the giving of presents punishable by law? I came out this morning with a certain amount of money in my pocket, and I find I have spent just half of it. In fact, if you will believe me, I take home just as many shillings as I had pounds, and half as many pounds as I had shillings. It is monstrous!'" Can you say exactly how much money Jorkins had spent on those presents?
11.—THE CYCLISTS' FEAST.
'Twas last Bank Holiday, so I've been told, Some cyclists rode abroad in glorious weather. Resting at noon within a tavern old, They all agreed to have a feast together. "Put it all in one bill, mine host," they said, "For every man an equal share will pay." The bill was promptly on the table laid, And four pounds was the reckoning that day. But, sad to state, when they prepared to square, 'Twas found that two had sneaked outside and fled. So, for two shillings more than his due share Each honest man who had remained was bled. They settled later with those rogues, no doubt. How many were they when they first set out?
12.—A QUEER THING IN MONEY.
It will be found that L66, 6s. 6d. equals 15,918 pence. Now, the four 6's added together make 24, and the figures in 15,918 also add to 24. It is a curious fact that there is only one other sum of money, in pounds, shillings, and pence (all similarly repetitions of one figure), of which the digits shall add up the same as the digits of the amount in pence. What is the other sum of money?
13.—A NEW MONEY PUZZLE.
The largest sum of money that can be written in pounds, shillings, pence, and farthings, using each of the nine digits once and only once, is L98,765, 4s. 31/2d. Now, try to discover the smallest sum of money that can be written down under precisely the same conditions. There must be some value given for each denomination—pounds, shillings, pence, and farthings—and the nought may not be used. It requires just a little judgment and thought.
"This is queer," said McCrank to his friend. "Twopence added to twopence is fourpence, and twopence multiplied by twopence is also fourpence." Of course, he was wrong in thinking you can multiply money by money. The multiplier must be regarded as an abstract number. It is true that two feet multiplied by two feet will make four square feet. Similarly, two pence multiplied by two pence will produce four square pence! And it will perplex the reader to say what a "square penny" is. But we will assume for the purposes of our puzzle that twopence multiplied by twopence is fourpence. Now, what two amounts of money will produce the next smallest possible result, the same in both cases, when added or multiplied in this manner? The two amounts need not be alike, but they must be those that can be paid in current coins of the realm.
What is the largest sum of money—all in current silver coins and no four-shilling piece—that I could have in my pocket without being able to give change for a half-sovereign?
16.—THE MILLIONAIRE'S PERPLEXITY.
Mr. Morgan G. Bloomgarten, the millionaire, known in the States as the Clam King, had, for his sins, more money than he knew what to do with. It bored him. So he determined to persecute some of his poor but happy friends with it. They had never done him any harm, but he resolved to inoculate them with the "source of all evil." He therefore proposed to distribute a million dollars among them and watch them go rapidly to the bad. But he was a man of strange fancies and superstitions, and it was an inviolable rule with him never to make a gift that was not either one dollar or some power of seven—such as 7, 49, 343, 2,401, which numbers of dollars are produced by simply multiplying sevens together. Another rule of his was that he would never give more than six persons exactly the same sum. Now, how was he to distribute the 1,000,000 dollars? You may distribute the money among as many people as you like, under the conditions given.
17.—THE PUZZLING MONEY-BOXES.
Four brothers—named John, William, Charles, and Thomas—had each a money-box. The boxes were all given to them on the same day, and they at once put what money they had into them; only, as the boxes were not very large, they first changed the money into as few coins as possible. After they had done this, they told one another how much money they had saved, and it was found that if John had had 2s. more in his box than at present, if William had had 2s. less, if Charles had had twice as much, and if Thomas had had half as much, they would all have had exactly the same amount.
Now, when I add that all four boxes together contained 45s., and that there were only six coins in all in them, it becomes an entertaining puzzle to discover just what coins were in each box.
18.—THE MARKET WOMEN.
A number of market women sold their various products at a certain price per pound (different in every case), and each received the same amount—2s. 21/2d. What is the greatest number of women there could have been? The price per pound in every case must be such as could be paid in current money.
19.—THE NEW YEAR'S EVE SUPPERS.
The proprietor of a small London cafe has given me some interesting figures. He says that the ladies who come alone to his place for refreshment spend each on an average eighteenpence, that the unaccompanied men spend half a crown each, and that when a gentleman brings in a lady he spends half a guinea. On New Year's Eve he supplied suppers to twenty-five persons, and took five pounds in all. Now, assuming his averages to have held good in every case, how was his company made up on that occasion? Of course, only single gentlemen, single ladies, and pairs (a lady and gentleman) can be supposed to have been present, as we are not considering larger parties.
20.—BEEF AND SAUSAGES.
"A neighbour of mine," said Aunt Jane, "bought a certain quantity of beef at two shillings a pound, and the same quantity of sausages at eighteenpence a pound. I pointed out to her that if she had divided the same money equally between beef and sausages she would have gained two pounds in the total weight. Can you tell me exactly how much she spent?"
"Of course, it is no business of mine," said Mrs. Sunniborne; "but a lady who could pay such prices must be somewhat inexperienced in domestic economy."
"I quite agree, my dear," Aunt Jane replied, "but you see that is not the precise point under discussion, any more than the name and morals of the tradesman."
21.—A DEAL IN APPLES.
I paid a man a shilling for some apples, but they were so small that I made him throw in two extra apples. I find that made them cost just a penny a dozen less than the first price he asked. How many apples did I get for my shilling?
22.—A DEAL IN EGGS.
A man went recently into a dairyman's shop to buy eggs. He wanted them of various qualities. The salesman had new-laid eggs at the high price of fivepence each, fresh eggs at one penny each, eggs at a halfpenny each, and eggs for electioneering purposes at a greatly reduced figure, but as there was no election on at the time the buyer had no use for the last. However, he bought some of each of the three other kinds and obtained exactly one hundred eggs for eight and fourpence. Now, as he brought away exactly the same number of eggs of two of the three qualities, it is an interesting puzzle to determine just how many he bought at each price.
Some years ago a man told me he had spent one hundred English silver coins in Christmas-boxes, giving every person the same amount, and it cost him exactly L1, 10s. 1d. Can you tell just how many persons received the present, and how he could have managed the distribution? That odd penny looks queer, but it is all right.
24.—A SHOPPING PERPLEXITY.
Two ladies went into a shop where, through some curious eccentricity, no change was given, and made purchases amounting together to less than five shillings. "Do you know," said one lady, "I find I shall require no fewer than six current coins of the realm to pay for what I have bought." The other lady considered a moment, and then exclaimed: "By a peculiar coincidence, I am exactly in the same dilemma." "Then we will pay the two bills together." But, to their astonishment, they still required six coins. What is the smallest possible amount of their purchases—both different?
The Chinese are a curious people, and have strange inverted ways of doing things. It is said that they use a saw with an upward pressure instead of a downward one, that they plane a deal board by pulling the tool toward them instead of pushing it, and that in building a house they first construct the roof and, having raised that into position, proceed to work downwards. In money the currency of the country consists of taels of fluctuating value. The tael became thinner and thinner until 2,000 of them piled together made less than three inches in height. The common cash consists of brass coins of varying thicknesses, with a round, square, or triangular hole in the centre, as in our illustration.
These are strung on wires like buttons. Supposing that eleven coins with round holes are worth fifteen ching-changs, that eleven with square holes are worth sixteen ching-changs, and that eleven with triangular holes are worth seventeen ching-changs, how can a Chinaman give me change for half a crown, using no coins other than the three mentioned? A ching-chang is worth exactly twopence and four-fifteenths of a ching-chang.
26.—THE JUNIOR CLERK'S PUZZLE.
Two youths, bearing the pleasant names of Moggs and Snoggs, were employed as junior clerks by a merchant in Mincing Lane. They were both engaged at the same salary—that is, commencing at the rate of L50 a year, payable half-yearly. Moggs had a yearly rise of L10, and Snoggs was offered the same, only he asked, for reasons that do not concern our puzzle, that he might take his rise at L2, 10s. half-yearly, to which his employer (not, perhaps, unnaturally!) had no objection.
Now we come to the real point of the puzzle. Moggs put regularly into the Post Office Savings Bank a certain proportion of his salary, while Snoggs saved twice as great a proportion of his, and at the end of five years they had together saved L268, 15s. How much had each saved? The question of interest can be ignored.
Every one is familiar with the difficulties that frequently arise over the giving of change, and how the assistance of a third person with a few coins in his pocket will sometimes help us to set the matter right. Here is an example. An Englishman went into a shop in New York and bought goods at a cost of thirty-four cents. The only money he had was a dollar, a three-cent piece, and a two-cent piece. The tradesman had only a half-dollar and a quarter-dollar. But another customer happened to be present, and when asked to help produced two dimes, a five-cent piece, a two-cent piece, and a one-cent piece. How did the tradesman manage to give change? For the benefit of those readers who are not familiar with the American coinage, it is only necessary to say that a dollar is a hundred cents and a dime ten cents. A puzzle of this kind should rarely cause any difficulty if attacked in a proper manner.
Our observation of little things is frequently defective, and our memories very liable to lapse. A certain judge recently remarked in a case that he had no recollection whatever of putting the wedding-ring on his wife's finger. Can you correctly answer these questions without having the coins in sight? On which side of a penny is the date given? Some people are so unobservant that, although they are handling the coin nearly every day of their lives, they are at a loss to answer this simple question. If I lay a penny flat on the table, how many other pennies can I place around it, every one also lying flat on the table, so that they all touch the first one? The geometrician will, of course, give the answer at once, and not need to make any experiment. He will also know that, since all circles are similar, the same answer will necessarily apply to any coin. The next question is a most interesting one to ask a company, each person writing down his answer on a slip of paper, so that no one shall be helped by the answers of others. What is the greatest number of three-penny-pieces that may be laid flat on the surface of a half-crown, so that no piece lies on another or overlaps the surface of the half-crown? It is amazing what a variety of different answers one gets to this question. Very few people will be found to give the correct number. Of course the answer must be given without looking at the coins.
29.—THE BROKEN COINS.
A man had three coins—a sovereign, a shilling, and a penny—and he found that exactly the same fraction of each coin had been broken away. Now, assuming that the original intrinsic value of these coins was the same as their nominal value—that is, that the sovereign was worth a pound, the shilling worth a shilling, and the penny worth a penny—what proportion of each coin has been lost if the value of the three remaining fragments is exactly one pound?
30.—TWO QUESTIONS IN PROBABILITIES.
There is perhaps no class of puzzle over which people so frequently blunder as that which involves what is called the theory of probabilities. I will give two simple examples of the sort of puzzle I mean. They are really quite easy, and yet many persons are tripped up by them. A friend recently produced five pennies and said to me: "In throwing these five pennies at the same time, what are the chances that at least four of the coins will turn up either all heads or all tails?" His own solution was quite wrong, but the correct answer ought not to be hard to discover. Another person got a wrong answer to the following little puzzle which I heard him propound: "A man placed three sovereigns and one shilling in a bag. How much should be paid for permission to draw one coin from it?" It is, of course, understood that you are as likely to draw any one of the four coins as another.
Young Mrs. Perkins, of Putney, writes to me as follows: "I should be very glad if you could give me the answer to a little sum that has been worrying me a good deal lately. Here it is: We have only been married a short time, and now, at the end of two years from the time when we set up housekeeping, my husband tells me that he finds we have spent a third of his yearly income in rent, rates, and taxes, one-half in domestic expenses, and one-ninth in other ways. He has a balance of L190 remaining in the bank. I know this last, because he accidentally left out his pass-book the other day, and I peeped into it. Don't you think that a husband ought to give his wife his entire confidence in his money matters? Well, I do; and—will you believe it?—he has never told me what his income really is, and I want, very naturally, to find out. Can you tell me what it is from the figures I have given you?"
Yes; the answer can certainly be given from the figures contained in Mrs. Perkins's letter. And my readers, if not warned, will be practically unanimous in declaring the income to be—something absurdly in excess of the correct answer!
32.—THE EXCURSION TICKET PUZZLE.
When the big flaming placards were exhibited at the little provincial railway station, announcing that the Great —— Company would run cheap excursion trains to London for the Christmas holidays, the inhabitants of Mudley-cum-Turmits were in quite a flutter of excitement. Half an hour before the train came in the little booking office was crowded with country passengers, all bent on visiting their friends in the great Metropolis. The booking clerk was unaccustomed to dealing with crowds of such a dimension, and he told me afterwards, while wiping his manly brow, that what caused him so much trouble was the fact that these rustics paid their fares in such a lot of small money.
He said that he had enough farthings to supply a West End draper with change for a week, and a sufficient number of threepenny pieces for the congregations of three parish churches. "That excursion fare," said he, "is nineteen shillings and ninepence, and I should like to know in just how many different ways it is possible for such an amount to be paid in the current coin of this realm."
Here, then, is a puzzle: In how many different ways may nineteen shillings and ninepence be paid in our current coin? Remember that the fourpenny-piece is not now current.
33.—PUZZLE IN REVERSALS.
Most people know that if you take any sum of money in pounds, shillings, and pence, in which the number of pounds (less than L12) exceeds that of the pence, reverse it (calling the pounds pence and the pence pounds), find the difference, then reverse and add this difference, the result is always L12, 18s. 11d. But if we omit the condition, "less than L12," and allow nought to represent shillings or pence—(1) What is the lowest amount to which the rule will not apply? (2) What is the highest amount to which it will apply? Of course, when reversing such a sum as L14, 15s. 3d. it may be written L3, 16s. 2d., which is the same as L3, 15s. 14d.
34.—THE GROCER AND DRAPER.
A country "grocer and draper" had two rival assistants, who prided themselves on their rapidity in serving customers. The young man on the grocery side could weigh up two one-pound parcels of sugar per minute, while the drapery assistant could cut three one-yard lengths of cloth in the same time. Their employer, one slack day, set them a race, giving the grocer a barrel of sugar and telling him to weigh up forty-eight one-pound parcels of sugar While the draper divided a roll of forty-eight yards of cloth into yard pieces. The two men were interrupted together by customers for nine minutes, but the draper was disturbed seventeen times as long as the grocer. What was the result of the race?
Hiram B. Judkins, a cattle-dealer of Texas, had five droves of animals, consisting of oxen, pigs, and sheep, with the same number of animals in each drove. One morning he sold all that he had to eight dealers. Each dealer bought the same number of animals, paying seventeen dollars for each ox, four dollars for each pig, and two dollars for each sheep; and Hiram received in all three hundred and one dollars. What is the greatest number of animals he could have had? And how many would there be of each kind?
As the purchase of apples in small quantities has always presented considerable difficulties, I think it well to offer a few remarks on this subject. We all know the story of the smart boy who, on being told by the old woman that she was selling her apples at four for threepence, said: "Let me see! Four for threepence; that's three for twopence, two for a penny, one for nothing—I'll take one!"
There are similar cases of perplexity. For example, a boy once picked up a penny apple from a stall, but when he learnt that the woman's pears were the same price he exchanged it, and was about to walk off. "Stop!" said the woman. "You haven't paid me for the pear!" "No," said the boy, "of course not. I gave you the apple for it." "But you didn't pay for the apple!" "Bless the woman! You don't expect me to pay for the apple and the pear too!" And before the poor creature could get out of the tangle the boy had disappeared.
Then, again, we have the case of the man who gave a boy sixpence and promised to repeat the gift as soon as the youngster had made it into ninepence. Five minutes later the boy returned. "I have made it into ninepence," he said, at the same time handing his benefactor threepence. "How do you make that out?" he was asked. "I bought threepennyworth of apples." "But that does not make it into ninepence!" "I should rather think it did," was the boy's reply. "The apple woman has threepence, hasn't she? Very well, I have threepennyworth of apples, and I have just given you the other threepence. What's that but ninepence?"
I cite these cases just to show that the small boy really stands in need of a little instruction in the art of buying apples. So I will give a simple poser dealing with this branch of commerce.
An old woman had apples of three sizes for sale—one a penny, two a penny, and three a penny. Of course two of the second size and three of the third size were respectively equal to one apple of the largest size. Now, a gentleman who had an equal number of boys and girls gave his children sevenpence to be spent amongst them all on these apples. The puzzle is to give each child an equal distribution of apples. How was the sevenpence spent, and how many children were there?
Though the following little puzzle deals with the purchase of chestnuts, it is not itself of the "chestnut" type. It is quite new. At first sight it has certainly the appearance of being of the "nonsense puzzle" character, but it is all right when properly considered.
A man went to a shop to buy chestnuts. He said he wanted a pennyworth, and was given five chestnuts. "It is not enough; I ought to have a sixth," he remarked! "But if I give you one chestnut more." the shopman replied, "you will have five too many." Now, strange to say, they were both right. How many chestnuts should the buyer receive for half a crown?
38.—THE BICYCLE THIEF.
Here is a little tangle that is perpetually cropping up in various guises. A cyclist bought a bicycle for L15 and gave in payment a cheque for L25. The seller went to a neighbouring shopkeeper and got him to change the cheque for him, and the cyclist, having received his L10 change, mounted the machine and disappeared. The cheque proved to be valueless, and the salesman was requested by his neighbour to refund the amount he had received. To do this, he was compelled to borrow the L25 from a friend, as the cyclist forgot to leave his address, and could not be found. Now, as the bicycle cost the salesman L11, how much money did he lose altogether?
39.—THE COSTERMONGER'S PUZZLE.
"How much did yer pay for them oranges, Bill?"
"I ain't a-goin' to tell yer, Jim. But I beat the old cove down fourpence a hundred."
"What good did that do yer?"
"Well, it meant five more oranges on every ten shillin's-worth."
Now, what price did Bill actually pay for the oranges? There is only one rate that will fit in with his statements.
AGE AND KINSHIP PUZZLES.
"The days of our years are threescore years and ten."
—Psalm xc. 10.
For centuries it has been a favourite method of propounding arithmetical puzzles to pose them in the form of questions as to the age of an individual. They generally lend themselves to very easy solution by the use of algebra, though often the difficulty lies in stating them correctly. They may be made very complex and may demand considerable ingenuity, but no general laws can well be laid down for their solution. The solver must use his own sagacity. As for puzzles in relationship or kinship, it is quite curious how bewildering many people find these things. Even in ordinary conversation, some statement as to relationship, which is quite clear in the mind of the speaker, will immediately tie the brains of other people into knots. Such expressions as "He is my uncle's son-in-law's sister" convey absolutely nothing to some people without a detailed and laboured explanation. In such cases the best course is to sketch a brief genealogical table, when the eye comes immediately to the assistance of the brain. In these days, when we have a growing lack of respect for pedigrees, most people have got out of the habit of rapidly drawing such tables, which is to be regretted, as they would save a lot of time and brain racking on occasions.
Tommy: "How old are you, mamma?"
Mamma: "Let me think, Tommy. Well, our three ages add up to exactly seventy years."
Tommy: "That's a lot, isn't it? And how old are you, papa?"
Papa: "Just six times as old as you, my son."
Tommy: "Shall I ever be half as old as you, papa?"
Papa: "Yes, Tommy; and when that happens our three ages will add up to exactly twice as much as to-day."
Tommy: "And supposing I was born before you, papa; and supposing mamma had forgot all about it, and hadn't been at home when I came; and supposing—"
Mamma: "Supposing, Tommy, we talk about bed. Come along, darling. You'll have a headache."
Now, if Tommy had been some years older he might have calculated the exact ages of his parents from the information they had given him. Can you find out the exact age of mamma?
"My husband's age," remarked a lady the other day, "is represented by the figures of my own age reversed. He is my senior, and the difference between our ages is one-eleventh of their sum."
42.—THE FAMILY AGES.
When the Smileys recently received a visit from the favourite uncle, the fond parents had all the five children brought into his presence. First came Billie and little Gertrude, and the uncle was informed that the boy was exactly twice as old as the girl. Then Henrietta arrived, and it was pointed out that the combined ages of herself and Gertrude equalled twice the age of Billie. Then Charlie came running in, and somebody remarked that now the combined ages of the two boys were exactly twice the combined ages of the two girls. The uncle was expressing his astonishment at these coincidences when Janet came in. "Ah! uncle," she exclaimed, "you have actually arrived on my twenty-first birthday!" To this Mr. Smiley added the final staggerer: "Yes, and now the combined ages of the three girls are exactly equal to twice the combined ages of the two boys." Can you give the age of each child?
43.—MRS. TIMPKINS'S AGE.
Edwin: "Do you know, when the Timpkinses married eighteen years ago Timpkins was three times as old as his wife, and to-day he is just twice as old as she?"
Angelina: "Then how old was Mrs. Timpkins on the wedding day?"
Can you answer Angelina's question?
44—A CENSUS PUZZLE.
Mr. and Mrs. Jorkins have fifteen children, all born at intervals of one year and a half. Miss Ada Jorkins, the eldest, had an objection to state her age to the census man, but she admitted that she was just seven times older than little Johnnie, the youngest of all. What was Ada's age? Do not too hastily assume that you have solved this little poser. You may find that you have made a bad blunder!
45.—MOTHER AND DAUGHTER.
"Mother, I wish you would give me a bicycle," said a girl of twelve the other day.
"I do not think you are old enough yet, my dear," was the reply. "When I am only three times as old as you are you shall have one."
Now, the mother's age is forty-five years. When may the young lady expect to receive her present?
46.—MARY AND MARMADUKE.
Marmaduke: "Do you know, dear, that in seven years' time our combined ages will be sixty-three years?"
Mary: "Is that really so? And yet it is a fact that when you were my present age you were twice as old as I was then. I worked it out last night."
Now, what are the ages of Mary and Marmaduke?
"Now, then, Tommy, how old is Rover?" Mildred's young man asked her brother.
"Well, five years ago," was the youngster's reply, "sister was four times older than the dog, but now she is only three times as old."
Can you tell Rover's age?
48.—CONCERNING TOMMY'S AGE.
Tommy Smart was recently sent to a new school. On the first day of his arrival the teacher asked him his age, and this was his curious reply: "Well, you see, it is like this. At the time I was born—I forget the year—my only sister, Ann, happened to be just one-quarter the age of mother, and she is now one-third the age of father." "That's all very well," said the teacher, "but what I want is not the age of your sister Ann, but your own age." "I was just coming to that," Tommy answered; "I am just a quarter of mother's present age, and in four years' time I shall be a quarter the age of father. Isn't that funny?"
This was all the information that the teacher could get out of Tommy Smart. Could you have told, from these facts, what was his precise age? It is certainly a little puzzling.
There were two families living next door to one another at Tooting Bec—the Jupps and the Simkins. The united ages of the four Jupps amounted to one hundred years, and the united ages of the Simkins also amounted to the same. It was found in the case of each family that the sum obtained by adding the squares of each of the children's ages to the square of the mother's age equalled the square of the father's age. In the case of the Jupps, however, Julia was one year older than her brother Joe, whereas Sophy Simkin was two years older than her brother Sammy. What was the age of each of the eight individuals?
50.—THE BAG OF NUTS.
Three boys were given a bag of nuts as a Christmas present, and it was agreed that they should be divided in proportion to their ages, which together amounted to 171/2 years. Now the bag contained 770 nuts, and as often as Herbert took four Robert took three, and as often as Herbert took six Christopher took seven. The puzzle is to find out how many nuts each had, and what were the boys' respective ages.
51.—HOW OLD WAS MARY?
Here is a funny little age problem, by the late Sam Loyd, which has been very popular in the United States. Can you unravel the mystery?
The combined ages of Mary and Ann are forty-four years, and Mary is twice as old as Ann was when Mary was half as old as Ann will be when Ann is three times as old as Mary was when Mary was three times as old as Ann. How old is Mary? That is all, but can you work it out? If not, ask your friends to help you, and watch the shadow of bewilderment creep over their faces as they attempt to grip the intricacies of the question.
"Speaking of relationships," said the Parson at a certain dinner-party, "our legislators are getting the marriage law into a frightful tangle, Here, for example, is a puzzling case that has come under my notice. Two brothers married two sisters. One man died and the other man's wife also died. Then the survivors married."
"The man married his deceased wife's sister under the recent Act?" put in the Lawyer.
"Exactly. And therefore, under the civil law, he is legally married and his child is legitimate. But, you see, the man is the woman's deceased husband's brother, and therefore, also under the civil law, she is not married to him and her child is illegitimate."
"He is married to her and she is not married to him!" said the Doctor.
"Quite so. And the child is the legitimate son of his father, but the illegitimate son of his mother."
"Undoubtedly 'the law is a hass,'" the Artist exclaimed, "if I may be permitted to say so," he added, with a bow to the Lawyer.
"Certainly," was the reply. "We lawyers try our best to break in the beast to the service of man. Our legislators are responsible for the breed."
"And this reminds me," went on the Parson, "of a man in my parish who married the sister of his widow. This man—"
"Stop a moment, sir," said the Professor. "Married the sister of his widow? Do you marry dead men in your parish?"
"No; but I will explain that later. Well, this man has a sister of his own. Their names are Stephen Brown and Jane Brown. Last week a young fellow turned up whom Stephen introduced to me as his nephew. Naturally, I spoke of Jane as his aunt, but, to my astonishment, the youth corrected me, assuring me that, though he was the nephew of Stephen, he was not the nephew of Jane, the sister of Stephen. This perplexed me a good deal, but it is quite correct."
The Lawyer was the first to get at the heart of the mystery. What was his solution?
53.—HEARD ON THE TUBE RAILWAY.
First Lady: "And was he related to you, dear?"
Second Lady: "Oh, yes. You see, that gentleman's mother was my mother's mother-in-law, but he is not on speaking terms with my papa."
First Lady: "Oh, indeed!" (But you could see that she was not much wiser.)
How was the gentleman related to the Second Lady?
54.—A FAMILY PARTY.
A certain family party consisted of 1 grandfather, 1 grandmother, 2 fathers, 2 mothers, 4 children, 3 grandchildren, 1 brother, 2 sisters, 2 sons, 2 daughters, 1 father-in-law, 1 mother-in-law, and 1 daughter-in-law. Twenty-three people, you will say. No; there were only seven persons present. Can you show how this might be?
55.—A MIXED PEDIGREE.
Joseph Bloggs: "I can't follow it, my dear boy. It makes me dizzy!"
John Snoggs: "It's very simple. Listen again! You happen to be my father's brother-in-law, my brother's father-in-law, and also my father-in-law's brother. You see, my father was—"
But Mr. Bloggs refused to hear any more. Can the reader show how this extraordinary triple relationship might have come about?
"Speaking of perplexities—" said Mr. Wilson, throwing down a magazine on the table in the commercial room of the Railway Hotel.
"Who was speaking of perplexities?" inquired Mr. Stubbs.
"Well, then, reading about them, if you want to be exact—it just occurred to me that perhaps you three men may be interested in a little matter connected with myself."
It was Christmas Eve, and the four commercial travellers were spending the holiday at Grassminster. Probably each suspected that the others had no homes, and perhaps each was conscious of the fact that he was in that predicament himself. In any case they seemed to be perfectly comfortable, and as they drew round the cheerful fire the conversation became general.
"What is the difficulty?" asked Mr. Packhurst.
"There's no difficulty in the matter, when you rightly understand it. It is like this. A man named Parker had a flying-machine that would carry two. He was a venturesome sort of chap—reckless, I should call him—and he had some bother in finding a man willing to risk his life in making an ascent with him. However, an uncle of mine thought he would chance it, and one fine morning he took his seat in the machine and she started off well. When they were up about a thousand feet, my nephew suddenly—"
"Here, stop, Wilson! What was your nephew doing there? You said your uncle," interrupted Mr. Stubbs.
"Did I? Well, it does not matter. My nephew suddenly turned to Parker and said that the engine wasn't running well, so Parker called out to my uncle—"
"Look here," broke in Mr. Waterson, "we are getting mixed. Was it your uncle or your nephew? Let's have it one way or the other."
"What I said is quite right. Parker called out to my uncle to do something or other, when my nephew—"
"There you are again, Wilson," cried Mr. Stubbs; "once for all, are we to understand that both your uncle and your nephew were on the machine?"
"Certainly. I thought I made that clear. Where was I? Well, my nephew shouted back to Parker—"
"Phew! I'm sorry to interrupt you again, Wilson, but we can't get on like this. Is it true that the machine would only carry two?"
"Of course. I said at the start that it only carried two."
"Then what in the name of aerostation do you mean by saying that there were three persons on board?" shouted Mr. Stubbs.
"Who said there were three?"
"You have told us that Parker, your uncle, and your nephew went up on this blessed flying-machine."
"And the thing would only carry two!"
"Wilson, I have known you for some time as a truthful man and a temperate man," said Mr. Stubbs, solemnly. "But I am afraid since you took up that new line of goods you have overworked yourself."
"Half a minute, Stubbs," interposed Mr. Waterson. "I see clearly where we all slipped a cog. Of course, Wilson, you meant us to understand that Parker is either your uncle or your nephew. Now we shall be all right if you will just tell us whether Parker is your uncle or nephew."
"He is no relation to me whatever."
The three men sighed and looked anxiously at one another. Mr. Stubbs got up from his chair to reach the matches, Mr. Packhurst proceeded to wind up his watch, and Mr. Waterson took up the poker to attend to the fire. It was an awkward moment, for at the season of goodwill nobody wished to tell Mr. Wilson exactly what was in his mind.
"It's curious," said Mr. Wilson, very deliberately, "and it's rather sad, how thick-headed some people are. You don't seem to grip the facts. It never seems to have occurred to either of you that my uncle and my nephew are one and the same man."
"What!" exclaimed all three together.
"Yes; David George Linklater is my uncle, and he is also my nephew. Consequently, I am both his uncle and nephew. Queer, isn't it? I'll explain how it comes about."
Mr. Wilson put the case so very simply that the three men saw how it might happen without any marriage within the prohibited degrees. Perhaps the reader can work it out for himself.
"Look at the clock!"
In considering a few puzzles concerning clocks and watches, and the times recorded by their hands under given conditions, it is well that a particular convention should always be kept in mind. It is frequently the case that a solution requires the assumption that the hands can actually record a time involving a minute fraction of a second. Such a time, of course, cannot be really indicated. Is the puzzle, therefore, impossible of solution? The conclusion deduced from a logical syllogism depends for its truth on the two premises assumed, and it is the same in mathematics. Certain things are antecedently assumed, and the answer depends entirely on the truth of those assumptions.
"If two horses," says Lagrange, "can pull a load of a certain weight, it is natural to suppose that four horses could pull a load of double that weight, six horses a load of three times that weight. Yet, strictly speaking, such is not the case. For the inference is based on the assumption that the four horses pull alike in amount and direction, which in practice can scarcely ever be the case. It so happens that we are frequently led in our reckonings to results which diverge widely from reality. But the fault is not the fault of mathematics; for mathematics always gives back to us exactly what we have put into it. The ratio was constant according to that supposition. The result is founded upon that supposition. If the supposition is false the result is necessarily false."
If one man can reap a field in six days, we say two men will reap it in three days, and three men will do the work in two days. We here assume, as in the case of Lagrange's horses, that all the men are exactly equally capable of work. But we assume even more than this. For when three men get together they may waste time in gossip or play; or, on the other hand, a spirit of rivalry may spur them on to greater diligence. We may assume any conditions we like in a problem, provided they be clearly expressed and understood, and the answer will be in accordance with those conditions.
57.—WHAT WAS THE TIME?
"I say, Rackbrane, what is the time?" an acquaintance asked our friend the professor the other day. The answer was certainly curious.
"If you add one quarter of the time from noon till now to half the time from now till noon to-morrow, you will get the time exactly."
What was the time of day when the professor spoke?
58.—A TIME PUZZLE.
How many minutes is it until six o'clock if fifty minutes ago it was four times as many minutes past three o'clock?
59.—A PUZZLING WATCH.
A friend pulled out his watch and said, "This watch of mine does not keep perfect time; I must have it seen to. I have noticed that the minute hand and the hour hand are exactly together every sixty-five minutes." Does that watch gain or lose, and how much per hour?
60.—THE WAPSHAW'S WHARF MYSTERY.
There was a great commotion in Lower Thames Street on the morning of January 12, 1887. When the early members of the staff arrived at Wapshaw's Wharf they found that the safe had been broken open, a considerable sum of money removed, and the offices left in great disorder. The night watchman was nowhere to be found, but nobody who had been acquainted with him for one moment suspected him to be guilty of the robbery. In this belief the proprietors were confirmed when, later in the day, they were informed that the poor fellow's body had been picked up by the River Police. Certain marks of violence pointed to the fact that he had been brutally attacked and thrown into the river. A watch found in his pocket had stopped, as is invariably the case in such circumstances, and this was a valuable clue to the time of the outrage. But a very stupid officer (and we invariably find one or two stupid individuals in the most intelligent bodies of men) had actually amused himself by turning the hands round and round, trying to set the watch going again. After he had been severely reprimanded for this serious indiscretion, he was asked whether he could remember the time that was indicated by the watch when found. He replied that he could not, but he recollected that the hour hand and minute hand were exactly together, one above the other, and the second hand had just passed the forty-ninth second. More than this he could not remember.
What was the exact time at which the watchman's watch stopped? The watch is, of course, assumed to have been an accurate one.
The above clock face indicates a little before 42 minutes past 4. The hands will again point at exactly the same spots a little after 23 minutes past 8. In fact, the hands will have changed places. How many times do the hands of a clock change places between three o'clock p.m. and midnight? And out of all the pairs of times indicated by these changes, what is the exact time when the minute hand will be nearest to the point IX?
62.—THE CLUB CLOCK.
One of the big clocks in the Cogitators' Club was found the other night to have stopped just when, as will be seen in the illustration, the second hand was exactly midway between the other two hands. One of the members proposed to some of his friends that they should tell him the exact time when (if the clock had not stopped) the second hand would next again have been midway between the minute hand and the hour hand. Can you find the correct time that it would happen?
We have here a stop-watch with three hands. The second hand, which travels once round the face in a minute, is the one with the little ring at its end near the centre. Our dial indicates the exact time when its owner stopped the watch. You will notice that the three hands are nearly equidistant. The hour and minute hands point to spots that are exactly a third of the circumference apart, but the second hand is a little too advanced. An exact equidistance for the three hands is not possible. Now, we want to know what the time will be when the three hands are next at exactly the same distances as shown from one another. Can you state the time?
64.—THE THREE CLOCKS.
On Friday, April 1, 1898, three new clocks were all set going precisely at the same time—twelve noon. At noon on the following day it was found that clock A had kept perfect time, that clock B had gained exactly one minute, and that clock C had lost exactly one minute. Now, supposing that the clocks B and C had not been regulated, but all three allowed to go on as they had begun, and that they maintained the same rates of progress without stopping, on what date and at what time of day would all three pairs of hands again point at the same moment at twelve o'clock?
65.—THE RAILWAY STATION CLOCK.
A clock hangs on the wall of a railway station, 71 ft. 9 in. long and 10 ft. 4 in. high. Those are the dimensions of the wall, not of the clock! While waiting for a train we noticed that the hands of the clock were pointing in opposite directions, and were parallel to one of the diagonals of the wall. What was the exact time?
66.—THE VILLAGE SIMPLETON.
A facetious individual who was taking a long walk in the country came upon a yokel sitting on a stile. As the gentleman was not quite sure of his road, he thought he would make inquiries of the local inhabitant; but at the first glance he jumped too hastily to the conclusion that he had dropped on the village idiot. He therefore decided to test the fellow's intelligence by first putting to him the simplest question he could think of, which was, "What day of the week is this, my good man?" The following is the smart answer that he received:—
"When the day after to-morrow is yesterday, to-day will be as far from Sunday as to-day was from Sunday when the day before yesterday was to-morrow."
Can the reader say what day of the week it was? It is pretty evident that the countryman was not such a fool as he looked. The gentleman went on his road a puzzled but a wiser man.
LOCOMOTION AND SPEED PUZZLES.
"The race is not to the swift."—Ecclesiastes ix. II.
In a recent motor ride it was found that we had gone at the rate of ten miles an hour, but we did the return journey over the same route, owing to the roads being more clear of traffic, at fifteen miles an hour. What was our average speed? Do not be too hasty in your answer to this simple little question, or it is pretty certain that you will be wrong.
68.—THE TWO TRAINS.
I put this little question to a stationmaster, and his correct answer was so prompt that I am convinced there is no necessity to seek talented railway officials in America or elsewhere.
Two trains start at the same time, one from London to Liverpool, the other from Liverpool to London. If they arrive at their destinations one hour and four hours respectively after passing one another, how much faster is one train running than the other?
69.—THE THREE VILLAGES.
I set out the other day to ride in a motor-car from Acrefield to Butterford, but by mistake I took the road going via Cheesebury, which is nearer Acrefield than Butterford, and is twelve miles to the left of the direct road I should have travelled. After arriving at Butterford I found that I had gone thirty-five miles. What are the three distances between these villages, each being a whole number of miles? I may mention that the three roads are quite straight.
70.—DRAWING HER PENSION.
"Speaking of odd figures," said a gentleman who occupies some post in a Government office, "one of the queerest characters I know is an old lame widow who climbs up a hill every week to draw her pension at the village post office. She crawls up at the rate of a mile and a half an hour and comes down at the rate of four and a half miles an hour, so that it takes her just six hours to make the double journey. Can any of you tell me how far it is from the bottom of the hill to the top?"
71.—SIR EDWYN DE TUDOR.
In the illustration we have a sketch of Sir Edwyn de Tudor going to rescue his lady-love, the fair Isabella, who was held a captive by a neighbouring wicked baron. Sir Edwyn calculated that if he rode fifteen miles an hour he would arrive at the castle an hour too soon, while if he rode ten miles an hour he would get there just an hour too late. Now, it was of the first importance that he should arrive at the exact time appointed, in order that the rescue that he had planned should be a success, and the time of the tryst was five o'clock, when the captive lady would be taking her afternoon tea. The puzzle is to discover exactly how far Sir Edwyn de Tudor had to ride.
72.—THE HYDROPLANE QUESTION.
The inhabitants of Slocomb-on-Sea were greatly excited over the visit of a certain flying man. All the town turned out to see the flight of the wonderful hydroplane, and, of course, Dobson and his family were there. Master Tommy was in good form, and informed his father that Englishmen made better airmen than Scotsmen and Irishmen because they are not so heavy. "How do you make that out?" asked Mr. Dobson. "Well, you see," Tommy replied, "it is true that in Ireland there are men of Cork and in Scotland men of Ayr, which is better still, but in England there are lightermen." Unfortunately it had to be explained to Mrs. Dobson, and this took the edge off the thing. The hydroplane flight was from Slocomb to the neighbouring watering-place Poodleville—five miles distant. But there was a strong wind, which so helped the airman that he made the outward journey in the short time of ten minutes, though it took him an hour to get back to the starting point at Slocomb, with the wind dead against him. Now, how long would the ten miles have taken him if there had been a perfect calm? Of course, the hydroplane's engine worked uniformly throughout.
During a visit to the seaside Tommy and Evangeline insisted on having a donkey race over the mile course on the sands. Mr. Dobson and some of his friends whom he had met on the beach acted as judges, but, as the donkeys were familiar acquaintances and declined to part company the whole way, a dead heat was unavoidable. However, the judges, being stationed at different points on the course, which was marked off in quarter-miles, noted the following results:—The first three-quarters were run in six and three-quarter minutes, the first half-mile took the same time as the second half, and the third quarter was run in exactly the same time as the last quarter. From these results Mr. Dobson amused himself in discovering just how long it took those two donkeys to run the whole mile. Can you give the answer?
74.—THE BASKET OF POTATOES.
A man had a basket containing fifty potatoes. He proposed to his son, as a little recreation, that he should place these potatoes on the ground in a straight line. The distance between the first and second potatoes was to be one yard, between the second and third three yards, between the third and fourth five yards, between the fourth and fifth seven yards, and so on—an increase of two yards for every successive potato laid down. Then the boy was to pick them up and put them in the basket one at a time, the basket being placed beside the first potato. How far would the boy have to travel to accomplish the feat of picking them all up? We will not consider the journey involved in placing the potatoes, so that he starts from the basket with them all laid out.
75.—THE PASSENGER'S FARE.
At first sight you would hardly think there was matter for dispute in the question involved in the following little incident, yet it took the two persons concerned some little time to come to an agreement. Mr. Smithers hired a motor-car to take him from Addleford to Clinkerville and back again for L3. At Bakenham, just midway, he picked up an acquaintance, Mr. Tompkins, and agreed to take him on to Clinkerville and bring him back to Bakenham on the return journey. How much should he have charged the passenger? That is the question. What was a reasonable fare for Mr. Tompkins?
"Nine worthies were they called." DRYDEN: The Flower and the Leaf.
I give these puzzles, dealing with the nine digits, a class to themselves, because I have always thought that they deserve more consideration than they usually receive. Beyond the mere trick of "casting out nines," very little seems to be generally known of the laws involved in these problems, and yet an acquaintance with the properties of the digits often supplies, among other uses, a certain number of arithmetical checks that are of real value in the saving of labour. Let me give just one example—the first that occurs to me.
If the reader were required to determine whether or not 15,763,530,163,289 is a square number, how would he proceed? If the number had ended with a 2, 3, 7, or 8 in the digits place, of course he would know that it could not be a square, but there is nothing in its apparent form to prevent its being one. I suspect that in such a case he would set to work, with a sigh or a groan, at the laborious task of extracting the square root. Yet if he had given a little attention to the study of the digital properties of numbers, he would settle the question in this simple way. The sum of the digits is 59, the sum of which is 14, the sum of which is 5 (which I call the "digital root"), and therefore I know that the number cannot be a square, and for this reason. The digital root of successive square numbers from 1 upwards is always 1, 4, 7, or 9, and can never be anything else. In fact, the series, 1, 4, 9, 7, 7, 9, 4, 1, 9, is repeated into infinity. The analogous series for triangular numbers is 1, 3, 6, 1, 6, 3, 1, 9, 9. So here we have a similar negative check, for a number cannot be triangular (that is, (n squared + n)/2) if its digital root be 2, 4, 5, 7, or 8.
76.—THE BARREL OF BEER.
A man bought an odd lot of wine in barrels and one barrel containing beer. These are shown in the illustration, marked with the number of gallons that each barrel contained. He sold a quantity of the wine to one man and twice the quantity to another, but kept the beer to himself. The puzzle is to point out which barrel contains beer. Can you say which one it is? Of course, the man sold the barrels just as he bought them, without manipulating in any way the contents.
77.—DIGITS AND SQUARES.
It will be seen in the diagram that we have so arranged the nine digits in a square that the number in the second row is twice that in the first row, and the number in the bottom row three times that in the top row. There are three other ways of arranging the digits so as to produce the same result. Can you find them?
78.—ODD AND EVEN DIGITS.
The odd digits, 1, 3, 5, 7, and 9, add up 25, while the even figures, 2, 4, 6, and 8, only add up 20. Arrange these figures so that the odd ones and the even ones add up alike. Complex and improper fractions and recurring decimals are not allowed.
79.—THE LOCKERS PUZZLE.
A B C ================== ================== ================== ================== ================== ==================
A man had in his office three cupboards, each containing nine lockers, as shown in the diagram. He told his clerk to place a different one-figure number on each locker of cupboard A, and to do the same in the case of B, and of C. As we are here allowed to call nought a digit, and he was not prohibited from using nought as a number, he clearly had the option of omitting any one of ten digits from each cupboard.
Now, the employer did not say the lockers were to be numbered in any numerical order, and he was surprised to find, when the work was done, that the figures had apparently been mixed up indiscriminately. Calling upon his clerk for an explanation, the eccentric lad stated that the notion had occurred to him so to arrange the figures that in each case they formed a simple addition sum, the two upper rows of figures producing the sum in the lowest row. But the most surprising point was this: that he had so arranged them that the addition in A gave the smallest possible sum, that the addition in C gave the largest possible sum, and that all the nine digits in the three totals were different. The puzzle is to show how this could be done. No decimals are allowed and the nought may not appear in the hundreds place.
80.—THE THREE GROUPS.
There appeared in "Nouvelles Annales de Mathematiques" the following puzzle as a modification of one of my "Canterbury Puzzles." Arrange the nine digits in three groups of two, three, and four digits, so that the first two numbers when multiplied together make the third. Thus, 12 x 483 = 5,796. I now also propose to include the cases where there are one, four, and four digits, such as 4 x 1,738 = 6,952. Can you find all the possible solutions in both cases?
81.—THE NINE COUNTERS.
I have nine counters, each bearing one of the nine digits, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9. I arranged them on the table in two groups, as shown in the illustration, so as to form two multiplication sums, and found that both sums gave the same product. You will find that 158 multiplied by 23 is 3,634, and that 79 multiplied by 46 is also 3,634. Now, the puzzle I propose is to rearrange the counters so as to get as large a product as possible. What is the best way of placing them? Remember both groups must multiply to the same amount, and there must be three counters multiplied by two in one case, and two multiplied by two counters in the other, just as at present.
82.—THE TEN COUNTERS.
In this case we use the nought in addition to the 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9. The puzzle is, as in the last case, so to arrange the ten counters that the products of the two multiplications shall be the same, and you may here have one or more figures in the multiplier, as you choose. The above is a very easy feat; but it is also required to find the two arrangements giving pairs of the highest and lowest products possible. Of course every counter must be used, and the cipher may not be placed to the left of a row of figures where it would have no effect. Vulgar fractions or decimals are not allowed.
Here is another entertaining problem with the nine digits, the nought being excluded. Using each figure once, and only once, we can form two multiplication sums that have the same product, and this may be done in many ways. For example, 7 x 658 and 14 x 329 contain all the digits once, and the product in each case is the same—4,606. Now, it will be seen that the sum of the digits in the product is 16, which is neither the highest nor the lowest sum so obtainable. Can you find the solution of the problem that gives the lowest possible sum of digits in the common product? Also that which gives the highest possible sum?
84.—THE PIERROT'S PUZZLE.
The Pierrot in the illustration is standing in a posture that represents the sign of multiplication. He is indicating the peculiar fact that 15 multiplied by 93 produces exactly the same figures (1,395), differently arranged. The puzzle is to take any four digits you like (all different) and similarly arrange them so that the number formed on one side of the Pierrot when multiplied by the number on the other side shall produce the same figures. There are very few ways of doing it, and I shall give all the cases possible. Can you find them all? You are allowed to put two figures on each side of the Pierrot as in the example shown, or to place a single figure on one side and three figures on the other. If we only used three digits instead of four, the only possible ways are these: 3 multiplied by 51 equals 153, and 6 multiplied by 21 equals 126.
85.—THE CAB NUMBERS.
A London policeman one night saw two cabs drive off in opposite directions under suspicious circumstances. This officer was a particularly careful and wide-awake man, and he took out his pocket-book to make an entry of the numbers of the cabs, but discovered that he had lost his pencil. Luckily, however, he found a small piece of chalk, with which he marked the two numbers on the gateway of a wharf close by. When he returned to the same spot on his beat he stood and looked again at the numbers, and noticed this peculiarity, that all the nine digits (no nought) were used and that no figure was repeated, but that if he multiplied the two numbers together they again produced the nine digits, all once, and once only. When one of the clerks arrived at the wharf in the early morning, he observed the chalk marks and carefully rubbed them out. As the policeman could not remember them, certain mathematicians were then consulted as to whether there was any known method for discovering all the pairs of numbers that have the peculiarity that the officer had noticed; but they knew of none. The investigation, however, was interesting, and the following question out of many was proposed: What two numbers, containing together all the nine digits, will, when multiplied together, produce another number (the highest possible) containing also all the nine digits? The nought is not allowed anywhere.
If I multiply 51,249,876 by 3 (thus using all the nine digits once, and once only), I get 153,749,628 (which again contains all the nine digits once). Similarly, if I multiply 16,583,742 by 9 the result is 149,253,678, where in each case all the nine digits are used. Now, take 6 as your multiplier and try to arrange the remaining eight digits so as to produce by multiplication a number containing all nine once, and once only. You will find it far from easy, but it can be done.
87.—THE NUMBER-CHECKS PUZZLE.
Where a large number of workmen are employed on a building it is customary to provide every man with a little disc bearing his number. These are hung on a board by the men as they arrive, and serve as a check on punctuality. Now, I once noticed a foreman remove a number of these checks from his board and place them on a split-ring which he carried in his pocket. This at once gave me the idea for a good puzzle. In fact, I will confide to my readers that this is just how ideas for puzzles arise. You cannot really create an idea: it happens—and you have to be on the alert to seize it when it does so happen.
It will be seen from the illustration that there are ten of these checks on a ring, numbered 1 to 9 and 0. The puzzle is to divide them into three groups without taking any off the ring, so that the first group multiplied by the second makes the third group. For example, we can divide them into the three groups, 2—8 9 0 7—1 5 4 6 3, by bringing the 6 and the 3 round to the 4, but unfortunately the first two when multiplied together do not make the third. Can you separate them correctly? Of course you may have as many of the checks as you like in any group. The puzzle calls for some ingenuity, unless you have the luck to hit on the answer by chance.
It is another good puzzle so to arrange the nine digits (the nought excluded) into two groups so that one group when divided by the other produces a given number without remainder. For example, 1 3 4 5 8 divided by 6 7 2 9 gives 2. Can the reader find similar arrangements producing 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9 respectively? Also, can he find the pairs of smallest possible numbers in each case? Thus, 1 4 6 5 8 divided by 7 3 2 9 is just as correct for 2 as the other example we have given, but the numbers are higher.
89.—ADDING THE DIGITS.
If I write the sum of money, L987, 5s. 41/2d., and add up the digits, they sum to 36. No digit has thus been used a second time in the amount or addition. This is the largest amount possible under the conditions. Now find the smallest possible amount, pounds, shillings, pence, and farthings being all represented. You need not use more of the nine digits than you choose, but no digit may be repeated throughout. The nought is not allowed.
90.—THE CENTURY PUZZLE.
Can you write 100 in the form of a mixed number, using all the nine digits once, and only once? The late distinguished French mathematician, Edouard Lucas, found seven different ways of doing it, and expressed his doubts as to there being any other ways. As a matter of fact there are just eleven ways and no more. Here is one of them, 91+5742/638. Nine of the other ways have similarly two figures in the integral part of the number, but the eleventh expression has only one figure there. Can the reader find this last form?
91.—MORE MIXED FRACTIONS.
When I first published my solution to the last puzzle, I was led to attempt the expression of all numbers in turn up to 100 by a mixed fraction containing all the nine digits. Here are twelve numbers for the reader to try his hand at: 13, 14, 15, 16, 18, 20, 27, 36, 40, 69, 72, 94. Use every one of the nine digits once, and only once, in every case.
92.—DIGITAL SQUARE NUMBERS.
Here are the nine digits so arranged that they form four square numbers: 9, 81, 324, 576. Now, can you put them all together so as to form a single square number—(I) the smallest possible, and (II) the largest possible?
93.—THE MYSTIC ELEVEN.
Can you find the largest possible number containing any nine of the ten digits (calling nought a digit) that can be divided by 11 without a remainder? Can you also find the smallest possible number produced in the same way that is divisible by 11? Here is an example, where the digit 5 has been omitted: 896743012. This number contains nine of the digits and is divisible by 11, but it is neither the largest nor the smallest number that will work.
94.—THE DIGITAL CENTURY.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 = 100.
It is required to place arithmetical signs between the nine figures so that they shall equal 100. Of course, you must not alter the present numerical arrangement of the figures. Can you give a correct solution that employs (1) the fewest possible signs, and (2) the fewest possible separate strokes or dots of the pen? That is, it is necessary to use as few signs as possible, and those signs should be of the simplest form. The signs of addition and multiplication (+ and x) will thus count as two strokes, the sign of subtraction (-) as one stroke, the sign of division (/) as three, and so on.
95.—THE FOUR SEVENS.
In the illustration Professor Rackbrane is seen demonstrating one of the little posers with which he is accustomed to entertain his class. He believes that by taking his pupils off the beaten tracks he is the better able to secure their attention, and to induce original and ingenious methods of thought. He has, it will be seen, just shown how four 5's may be written with simple arithmetical signs so as to represent 100. Every juvenile reader will see at a glance that his example is quite correct. Now, what he wants you to do is this: Arrange four 7's (neither more nor less) with arithmetical signs so that they shall represent 100. If he had said we were to use four 9's we might at once have written 99+9/9, but the four 7's call for rather more ingenuity. Can you discover the little trick?
96.—THE DICE NUMBERS.
I have a set of four dice, not marked with spots in the ordinary way, but with Arabic figures, as shown in the illustration. Each die, of course, bears the numbers 1 to 6. When put together they will form a good many, different numbers. As represented they make the number 1246. Now, if I make all the different four-figure numbers that are possible with these dice (never putting the same figure more than once in any number), what will they all add up to? You are allowed to turn the 6 upside down, so as to represent a 9. I do not ask, or expect, the reader to go to all the labour of writing out the full list of numbers and then adding them up. Life is not long enough for such wasted energy. Can you get at the answer in any other way?
VARIOUS ARITHMETICAL AND ALGEBRAICAL PROBLEMS.
"Variety's the very spice of life, That gives it all its flavour."
COWPER: The Task.
97.—THE SPOT ON THE TABLE.
A boy, recently home from school, wished to give his father an exhibition of his precocity. He pushed a large circular table into the corner of the room, as shown in the illustration, so that it touched both walls, and he then pointed to a spot of ink on the extreme edge.
"Here is a little puzzle for you, pater," said the youth. "That spot is exactly eight inches from one wall and nine inches from the other. Can you tell me the diameter of the table without measuring it?"
The boy was overheard to tell a friend, "It fairly beat the guv'nor;" but his father is known to have remarked to a City acquaintance that he solved the thing in his head in a minute. I often wonder which spoke the truth.
In a certain mixed school, where a special feature was made of the inculcation of good manners, they had a curious rule on assembling every morning. There were twice as many girls as boys. Every girl made a bow to every other girl, to every boy, and to the teacher. Every boy made a bow to every other boy, to every girl, and to the teacher. In all there were nine hundred bows made in that model academy every morning. Now, can you say exactly how many boys there were in the school? If you are not very careful, you are likely to get a good deal out in your calculation.
99.—THE THIRTY-THREE PEARLS.
"A man I know," said Teddy Nicholson at a certain family party, "possesses a string of thirty-three pearls. The middle pearl is the largest and best of all, and the others are so selected and arranged that, starting from one end, each successive pearl is worth L100 more than the preceding one, right up to the big pearl. From the other end the pearls increase in value by L150 up to the large pearl. The whole string is worth L65,000. What is the value of that large pearl?"
"Pearls and other articles of clothing," said Uncle Walter, when the price of the precious gem had been discovered, "remind me of Adam and Eve. Authorities, you may not know, differ as to the number of apples that were eaten by Adam and Eve. It is the opinion of some that Eve 8 (ate) and Adam 2 (too), a total of 10 only. But certain mathematicians have figured it out differently, and hold that Eve 8 and Adam a total of 16. Yet the most recent investigators think the above figures entirely wrong, for if Eve 8 and Adam 8 2, the total must be 90."
"Well," said Harry, "it seems to me that if there were giants in those days, probably Eve 8 1 and Adam 8 2, which would give a total of 163."
"I am not at all satisfied," said Maud. "It seems to me that if Eve 8 1 and Adam 8 1 2, they together consumed 893."
"I am sure you are all wrong," insisted Mr. Wilson, "for I consider that Eve 8 1 4 Adam, and Adam 8 1 2 4 Eve, so we get a total of 8,938."
"But, look here," broke in Herbert. "If Eve 8 1 4 Adam and Adam 8 1 2 4 2 oblige Eve, surely the total must have been 82,056!"
At this point Uncle Walter suggested that they might let the matter rest. He declared it to be clearly what mathematicians call an indeterminate problem.
100.—THE LABOURER'S PUZZLE.
Professor Rackbrane, during one of his rambles, chanced to come upon a man digging a deep hole.
"Good morning," he said. "How deep is that hole?"
"Guess," replied the labourer. "My height is exactly five feet ten inches."
"How much deeper are you going?" said the professor.
"I am going twice as deep," was the answer, "and then my head will be twice as far below ground as it is now above ground."
Rackbrane now asks if you could tell how deep that hole would be when finished.
101.—THE TRUSSES OF HAY.
Farmer Tompkins had five trusses of hay, which he told his man Hodge to weigh before delivering them to a customer. The stupid fellow weighed them two at a time in all possible ways, and informed his master that the weights in pounds were 110, 112, 113, 114, 115, 116, 117, 118, 120, and 121. Now, how was Farmer Tompkins to find out from these figures how much every one of the five trusses weighed singly? The reader may at first think that he ought to be told "which pair is which pair," or something of that sort, but it is quite unnecessary. Can you give the five correct weights?
102.—MR. GUBBINS IN A FOG.
Mr. Gubbins, a diligent man of business, was much inconvenienced by a London fog. The electric light happened to be out of order and he had to manage as best he could with two candles. His clerk assured him that though both were of the same length one candle would burn for four hours and the other for five hours. After he had been working some time he put the candles out as the fog had lifted, and he then noticed that what remained of one candle was exactly four times the length of what was left of the other.
When he got home that night Mr. Gubbins, who liked a good puzzle, said to himself, "Of course it is possible to work out just how long those two candles were burning to-day. I'll have a shot at it." But he soon found himself in a worse fog than the atmospheric one. Could you have assisted him in his dilemma? How long were the candles burning?
103.—PAINTING THE LAMP-POSTS.
Tim Murphy and Pat Donovan were engaged by the local authorities to paint the lamp-posts in a certain street. Tim, who was an early riser, arrived first on the job, and had painted three on the south side when Pat turned up and pointed out that Tim's contract was for the north side. So Tim started afresh on the north side and Pat continued on the south. When Pat had finished his side he went across the street and painted six posts for Tim, and then the job was finished. As there was an equal number of lamp-posts on each side of the street, the simple question is: Which man painted the more lamp-posts, and just how many more?
104.—CATCHING THE THIEF.
"Now, constable," said the defendant's counsel in cross-examination," you say that the prisoner was exactly twenty-seven steps ahead of you when you started to run after him?"
"And you swear that he takes eight steps to your five?"
"That is so."
"Then I ask you, constable, as an intelligent man, to explain how you ever caught him, if that is the case?"
"Well, you see, I have got a longer stride. In fact, two of my steps are equal in length to five of the prisoner's. If you work it out, you will find that the number of steps I required would bring me exactly to the spot where I captured him."
Here the foreman of the jury asked for a few minutes to figure out the number of steps the constable must have taken. Can you also say how many steps the officer needed to catch the thief?
105.—THE PARISH COUNCIL ELECTION.
Here is an easy problem for the novice. At the last election of the parish council of Tittlebury-in-the-Marsh there were twenty-three candidates for nine seats. Each voter was qualified to vote for nine of these candidates or for any less number. One of the electors wants to know in just how many different ways it was possible for him to vote.
106.—THE MUDDLETOWN ELECTION.
At the last Parliamentary election at Muddletown 5,473 votes were polled. The Liberal was elected by a majority of 18 over the Conservative, by 146 over the Independent, and by 575 over the Socialist. Can you give a simple rule for figuring out how many votes were polled for each candidate?
107.—THE SUFFRAGISTS' MEETING.
At a recent secret meeting of Suffragists a serious difference of opinion arose. This led to a split, and a certain number left the meeting. "I had half a mind to go myself," said the chair-woman, "and if I had done so, two-thirds of us would have retired." "True," said another member; "but if I had persuaded my friends Mrs. Wild and Christine Armstrong to remain we should only have lost half our number." Can you tell how many were present at the meeting at the start?