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The Riddle Of The Pilgrims


One day, when the monks were seated at their repast, the Abbot announced that a messenger had that morning brought news that a number of pilgrims were on the road and would require their hospitality.

"You will put them," he said, "in the square dormitory that has two floors with eight rooms on each floor. There must be eleven persons sleeping on each side of the building, and twice as many on the upper floor as on the lower floor. Of course every room must be occupied, and you know my rule that not more than three persons may occupy the same room."

I give a plan of the two floors, from which it will be seen that the sixteen rooms are approached by a well staircase in the centre. After the monks had solved this little problem and arranged for the accommodation, the pilgrims arrived, when it was found that they were three more in number than was at first stated. This necessitated a reconsideration of the question, but the wily monks succeeded in getting over the new difficulty without breaking the Abbot's rules. The curious point of this puzzle is to discover the total number of pilgrims.

Plan of Dormitory.

Eight Rooms on Upper Floor.

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