Question Sam Loyd's Cyclopedia of Puzzles Answer
W3N Home Introduction Puzzles by Page Puzzles by Title Puzzles by Type Feedback

Elementary Lessons in Algebra.

Seeing that four cats and three kittens weigh thirty-seven pounds, while three cats and four kittens weigh but thirty-three pounds, we are asked to tell the respective weight of cats and kittens.

By inspection we see that the upper scale contains one more cat and one less kitten than the lower scale, and the difference is four pounds. One of the kittens in the lower scale suddenly grows into a cat and gains four pounds, so the difference between a cat and a kitten being four pounds, let us change all of the cats on the upper scales into kittens, It would then have seven kittens and sixteen pounds balancing with thirty-seven pounds. Now cancel off the sixteen pounds from both arms of the scales and we have seven kittens balancing with twenty-one pounds, which proves that a kitten weighs three pounds and a cat seven pounds.

2. A Rebus

So vast my amount fills the mind with dismay!
Behead me and thus take a thousand away;
Reverse what remains, and I’ll daily dispense
To thousands the gift of a kind Providence.


3. A Charade

In fruitful field my first they grew,
My busy next there labored, too;
A hardy race my whole you'll find,
To husbandry and peace inclined.

Cipher Answer. — 16, 5, 1, 19, 1, 14, 20, 19.


4. A Rebus

Behead a nail of stubborn steel,
A useful lesson to reveal,
In sacred records found;
Behead again, then at your will,
With art and perseverance till
Your grain producing ground.

Cipher Answer. — 19, 16, 1, 18, 1, 2, 12, 5. (See Webster’s. )


5. The Clock Puzzle


The above picture of a clock dial illustrated the important point of evidence in a detective story where a stray bullet from the assassin’s pistol struck the face of the clock. It struck the exact center, driving the post through the works and stopping the clock. The two hands became united, as it were, in one line, pointing in opposite directions, although not in the position shown, for it is evident that the hand could not point at three and nine at the same time.

Can you tell what time of day it must have been, thereby proving an alibi for the hero who wishes to show that he was eating a plate of pig’s knuckles In Hoboken at the time the pistol was fired in Sir Reginald’s flat in Harlem?

The clock dial was struck by the bullet at 10 o'clock, 21 minutes and 1/11 seconds as proven by the position of the second hand.

6. A Rebus

To a liquid reversed add what measures each day,
And you’ll have what delights both the grave and the gay.

Cipher Answer. — 16, 1, 19, 20, 9, 13, 5.




Here is a picture of Rip Van Winkle and his dog Schneider. The puzzle is to find the dog, but it is chiefly interesting to me as showing a specimen of my early engraving more than half a century ago!

A half turn of Rip Van Winkle’s picture shows that the features represent a little dog curled up:


[Page 55]