THE CHRISTMAS PUDDING.
(Various Dissection Puzzles
"Speaking of Christmas puddings," said the host, as he glanced at the
imposing delicacy at the other end of the table. "I am reminded of the
fact that a friend gave me a new puzzle the other day respecting one.
Here it is," he added, diving into his breast pocket.
"'Problem: To find the contents,' I suppose," said the Eton boy.
"No; the proof of that is in the eating. I will read you the
"'Cut the pudding into two parts, each of exactly the same size and
shape, without touching any of the plums. The pudding is to be regarded
as a flat disc, not as a sphere.'"
"Why should you regard a Christmas pudding as a disc? And why should any
reasonable person ever wish to make such an accurate division?" asked
"It is just a puzzle--a problem in dissection." All in turn had a look
at the puzzle, but nobody succeeded in solving it. It is a little
difficult unless you are acquainted with the principle involved in the
making of such puddings, but easy enough when you know how it is done.
The illustration shows how the pudding may be cut into two parts of
exactly the same size and shape. The lines must necessarily pass through
the points A, B, C, D, and E. But, subject to this condition, they may
be varied in an infinite number of ways. For example, at a point midway
between A and the edge, the line may be completed in an unlimited number
of ways (straight or crooked), provided it be exactly reflected from E
to the opposite edge. And similar variations may be introduced at other