Question Sam Loyd's Cyclopedia of Puzzles Answer
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I WILL TAKE occasion to remark that the fact of some of my puzzles being well known does not imply that every one is familiar with the answers to them, for the correct answers to some of the most popular ones have never been published, and, so far as I am aware, have never really been guessed. I will illustrate this point by presenting as a seasonable problem the “Necklace Puzzle,” which I showed several years ago, and which every one who sees it flatters himself that he solves it at once, and yet I do not remember any one who really found the correct answer.

It is based on an everyday business transaction, intended to show how the average mortal goes the wrong way about doing anything which calls for the slightest mechanical knowledge or ability. It is devoid of all semblance of catch or subterfuge, and there is no “missing: link” mystery about it, and it is intended to be governed by the ordinary business methods, and yet it was given to all of the leading jewelers and chain makers of New York, who said they would have no use for a salesman or employee who could not see through such a simple transaction, and yet not one of them gave the correct answer.

A lady bought twelve pieces of chain, as shown in the border of the picture, and wished to have them made into an endless necklace of 100 links, as held in her hands.

The jeweler said it would cost 15 cents each to cut and join a small link and 20 cents to joint and cut a large link, and the question is to tell just how much the lady should pay to have the necklace made? That is all there is to it, and it is a pretty problem for the young folks.

In giving the answers to the necklace puzzle it may be said that any jeweler, as well as ninety-nine out of a hundred mathematicians, would say that to solve the necklace puzzle would be to open the smaller links at the ends of the twelve pieces, which, it may readily be seen, would reduce the cost to $1.80. The correct answer, however, is arrived at by opening the ten links on those two small five-link pieces, on the right and left sides, which have three small and two large links each. To open and mend those ten links so as to bring the chain into an endless necklace would cost just $1.70, which is the cheapest possible answer.

2. A Charade

Two personal pronouns, if you take

     And join them in due order.

An herb will name without mistake,

     That scents the garden border.

Cipher Answer. ”20, 8, 25, 13, 5.


3. A Rebus

Entire I am capital; curtain me and I am capital still; but behead and transpose me and I am looking for capital.


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