"A man I know," said Teddy Nicholson at a certain family party,
"possesses a string of thirty-three pearls. The middle pearl is the
largest and best of all, and the others are so selected and arranged
that, starting from one end, each successive pearl is worth L100 more
than the preceding one, right up to the big pearl. From the other end
the pearls increase in value by L150 up to the large pearl. The whole
string is worth L65,000. What is the value of that large pearl?"
"Pearls and other articles of clothing," said Uncle Walter, when the
price of the precious gem had been discovered, "remind me of Adam and
Eve. Authorities, you may not know, differ as to the number of apples
that were eaten by Adam and Eve. It is the opinion of some that Eve 8
(ate) and Adam 2 (too), a total of 10 only. But certain mathematicians
have figured it out differently, and hold that Eve 8 and Adam a total of
16. Yet the most recent investigators think the above figures entirely
wrong, for if Eve 8 and Adam 8 2, the total must be 90."
"Well," said Harry, "it seems to me that if there were giants in those
days, probably Eve 8 1 and Adam 8 2, which would give a total of 163."
"I am not at all satisfied," said Maud. "It seems to me that if Eve 8 1
and Adam 8 1 2, they together consumed 893."
"I am sure you are all wrong," insisted Mr. Wilson, "for I consider that
Eve 8 1 4 Adam, and Adam 8 1 2 4 Eve, so we get a total of 8,938."
"But, look here," broke in Herbert. "If Eve 8 1 4 Adam and Adam 8 1 2 4
2 oblige Eve, surely the total must have been 82,056!"
At this point Uncle Walter suggested that they might let the matter
rest. He declared it to be clearly what mathematicians call an
indeterminate problem.

THE THIRTY-SIX LETTER-BLOCKS. THE THREE CLOCKS. facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail