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Proposition”What was the size of the foot ball?

OF COURSE, FOOTBALL is now a seasonable topic, for, as one of the poets has well said:

When the baseball season's waning

     And the heroes of the bat

Are preparing for their exit.

     While the rooters sadly chat.

It is then the football kickers,

     Who from public view had slid,

Reappear and start their drilling

     For their battles on the “grid.”

But, as I am not protected with a patent cast-iron nose, I shall not jeopardize that organ by sticking it into a game with which I am not familiar. Armored ribs and padded shins were not in vogue in my student days. We used to play football with our feet, as the name implies. And never tried to kill or maim the opposing players, so I am not up in any of the modern tactics, and am only induced to attempt a foot ball problem at the suggestion of a surgeon of one of the college teams who thought it would be timely topic.

My puzzle, however, will have nothing to do with “rushes,” “punts “, “touchdowns,” or even high kicking. It is simply a little reminiscence of the days when we country boys loved to kick the old-fashioned soft rubber bull about the green. The problem will turn upon the amount of rubber and wind that the old black ball contained.

We lived way back in the country, and used to order our ball by mail, according to sizes, as advertised in a sporting house catalogue, which advised patrons to “give the exact number of inches required.” and that is where the problem comes in.

We were told to give the required size in inches, but as we did not know whether it meant the number of inches of rubber on the surface, or the number of cubic inches of wind contained in the ball so we combined the two principles and ordered a ball which should contain just as many cubic inches of air as it had superficial inches of surface!

How many of our puzzlists can guess the diameter of the ball which was ordered?

The cubical area of the ball may be considered as made up of a great number of small pyramids, with apexes meeting at the center of the ball, and their bases representing the surface. We know that the volume of a pyramid is equal to its base multiplied by one-third of its height. Therefore, the volume of the sphere is equal to the sum of the bases multiplied by one-third of the constant height, viz: The surface of the sphere multiplied by one-third of the radius. If this volume is to be equal in number to the surface, it follows that one-third of the radius is unity; therefore, the radius is 3 and the diameter of the ball 6 inches.


The earth, or sky, my first will show,

     And 'tis described by men of science;

My next a home for thousands, though

     Plundered of its stores in defiance.

To find my whole, research must be

     Through records of antiquity.

Cypher Ans 1, 18, 3, 8. 9, 22, 5.



Why docs a sick person lose his sense of touch? Because he don’t feel well.


When the tempest roars the loudest.

     Oft ray first a shelter proves;

Say what fair one, though the proudest,

     Spurns my next from one she loves?

When the storms of lives are past,

     Few but find my whole at last.

Cypher Ans. 3, 15. 22, 5, 18, 9, 14, 7.



Why is a man hesitating to sign the pledge like a skeptical Hindu? Because he does not know whether to give up the jug or not (Jugernaut).


Behead my poor first, and it gives you my second;

     My whole is a nourishing beverage reckoned.

Cypher Ans 16, 1, 12, 5, 1, 12. 5.



Why is a patch of sweet com like a dunce? Because it is liable to get its ears pulled.

When is a man near selling his boots? When he has them half-soled.

Why is an attorney like a minister? Because he studies the law and profits.

Why is a chicken running like a man beating his wife? Because it is a fowl proceeding.

Why are widowers like dilapidated houses? They want repairing.

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