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PROBLEMS


I.

Question. A man wanted to cross a river. He had with him a fox, a goose, and half a bushel of corn. His boat was such that he could only take one of these across at a time. Now, if he left the fox and goose together on either shore, the latter would be eaten. If he left the goose and corn together, the corn would be eaten. How did the man get across and not sacrifice any of his property?

Answer. He carried across the goose first. Then he came back and got the corn. He carried that over, and took the goose back with him. He left the goose, and carried across the fox. Finally he went back and got his goose, and there he was.


II.

Question. A man with an eight-quart pail full of milk and empty five-and-three-quart pails was requested by a friend to sell four quarts. How did he give exact measure with only the help of his three pails.

Answer. He filled the three-quart pail and emptied it into the five. Then he poured out another three-quart pail full and filled the five-quart pail from it. That left one quart in the small pail. Then he emptied the five-quart pail into the big pail and the one-quart into the five-quart pail. Next he filled the three-quart pail, and that left four quarts in the large pail.


III.

Question. Three Indians and three white men were travelling together. They came to a river, and found a canoe, but the boat would only carry two at a time. Now, if more Indians were left on a bank, while a crossing was made, than white men, the latter ran the risk of being treacherously killed. If more white men than Indians were left on a bank while the canoe was crossing, the savages were likely to be foully dealt with. How did the whole party get across, and always have white men and Indians on either bank evenly matched?

Answer. An Indian and a white man cross first. The Indian is left on the farther shore, and the white man takes the canoe back. He gets out, and the remaining two Indians cross. One of the Indians brings back the canoe, gets out, and two white men go over. One of them gets out, an Indian gets in, and the two in the canoe go to the other shore. The white man gets out, and the two Indians cross. Now all the Indians are over, and the single white man on the farther shore gets in, takes the canoe over, and brings back a comrade. They both get out, and one of the Indians takes the canoe over and brings over the last of the white men. The party can then go on.


IV.

Question.

A goose between two geese, And a goose ahead of two geese, And a goose behind two geese How many geese were there?

Answer. Three.


How many feet have forty sheep, a shepherd, and a dog?

Two. Only the shepherd has feet. The sheep have hoofs, and the dog paws.

Read the following: bed.

If you do it correctly you will say, "A little dark e in bed."


A man had twenty sick sheep. One died. How many had he left?

Answer. Nineteen.


Ask this question:

Which is right, six and five is thirteen, or six and five are thirteen?

Of course the answer is neither, but the one questioned will puzzle over the use of "is" and "are,"


Another puzzler is this:

Forty sheep went through a gap;
Forty men went after that;
Six, seven, twice eleven,
Three and two, how much is that?

This makes an extended problem if one attempts to figure from the first line.


What is it has four legs and only one foot?

A bedstead.


Mississippi went to town,
Mississippi tore her gown;
All the women in the town
Couldn't mend Mississippi's gown.

What's that?

Answer. A butterfly.

The spelling of the butterfly in the conundrum is as it appears in the minds of those who do not know the answer.

After the answer is given, the proper spelling seems to have been Mrs. Sippi.


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