Question Sam Loyd's Cyclopedia of Puzzles Answer
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Proposition: How large will their flocks become?

THE IMPLICIT FAITH which the ancient Greeks Romans anil Egyptians placed in the oracles of their gods can best be appreciated when we realize that from the declaration of a war down to the trading of a cow. No transaction of any kind whatever was undertaken without the advice and approbations of the oracles. In the famous painting of Zeus (Jupiter) at Dodona, two peasants are shown to be consulting the oracle about some trilling affair, and are directed in a commanding way towards a mirror of polished steel.

To illustrate the overwhelming importance and dignity, or rather of mystery with which tilings of insignificance were surrounded, the puzzle sketch is given as showing two poor peasants who wish to know whether the great Jupiter will smile auspiciously upon the purchase of a little-lamb and goat!

“They shall increase.” said the oracle, “until the sheep multiplied by the goats show a product which, reflected in the sacred mirror will show the number of the entire fock!”

There is a certain ambiguity and mystery about the words of the oracle, nevertheless it seemed to be understood by the peasants that prizes would be distributed among those who mastered the problem, so we present, it. For the consideration of our puzzlists.

To that mystic reply of the oracle which told the peasants their flocks would increase “until the number of sheep multiplied by the number of goats would show a product which when reflected in a mirror would show the number of the entire flock.” it may be said that the peasants, as well as some of our puzzlists, experimented before a mirror until they hit upon the number of nine sheep and nine goats. 9x9=81, which held before a mirror, becomes 18, which would be the total of the flock.


How to swallow a door. Bolt it.

3. Juvenile Criss-Cross Puzzle

Here is another missing-word o “neck-tie puzzle” as it might be termed, for the young folks to ponder over. Find a word which when placed in the vacant space on the bow, by being read twice makes the sentence correct by going around the circle.


That neck-tie puzzle reads, “It was the season for bass, but with such heavy seas on they caught none.”

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