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The Puzzle Of The Canon's Yeoman





(CANTERBURY PUZZLES)

This person joined the party on the road. "'God save,' quoth he, 'this jolly company! Fast have I ridden,' saith he, 'for your sake, Because I would I might you overtake, To ride among this merry company.'" Of course, he was asked to entertain the pilgrims with a puzzle, and the one he propounded was the following. He showed them the diamond-shaped arrangement of letters presented in the accompanying illustration, and said, "I do call it the rat-catcher's riddle. In how many different ways canst thou read the words, 'Was it a rat I saw?'" You may go in any direction backwards and forwards, upwards or downwards, only the successive letters in any reading must always adjoin one another.










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