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CATCHING THE MICE.





(Moving Counter Problem)
"Play fair!" said the mice. "You know the rules of the game."
"Yes, I know the rules," said the cat. "I've got to go round and round
the circle, in the direction that you are looking, and eat every
thirteenth mouse, but I must keep the white mouse for a tit-bit at the
finish. Thirteen is an unlucky number, but I will do my best to oblige
you."
"Hurry up, then!" shouted the mice.
"Give a fellow time to think," said the cat. "I don't know which of you
to start at. I must figure it out."
While the cat was working out the puzzle he fell asleep, and, the spell
being thus broken, the mice returned home in safety. At which mouse
should the cat have started the count in order that the white mouse
should be the last eaten?
When the reader has solved that little puzzle, here is a second one for
him. What is the smallest number that the cat can count round and round
the circle, if he must start at the white mouse (calling that "one" in
the count) and still eat the white mouse last of all?
And as a third puzzle try to discover what is the smallest number that
the cat can count round and round if she must start at the white mouse
(calling that "one") and make the white mouse the third eaten.


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Next: THE ECCENTRIC CHEESEMONGER.

Previous: PLATES AND COINS.



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