Question Sam Loyd's Cyclopedia of Puzzles Answer
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Little Bo-peep divided her sheep as follows:


2. The Story of the Fish


The above sketch represents the greatest fish catch of the season, as told by the champion angle, who says: “The scales weigh nine pounds, and when putting the fish on the scales we find that they weigh three pounds. Now, take the fish off the scales and the scales off the fish and we find they weigh one-fifth of the weight of the fish without their scales. In view of the fact that the weight of the fish without their scales is equal to one-fourth of the combined weight of the scales, what would he the weight of the fisherman if he is holding up just one-tenth of his own weight?” That is it! Never mind anything about the fish; what is the weight of the boy?

I don’t know what the rest of the story has to do with puzzles, but, somehow or other, whenever I hear a story which makes a fellow stop and clear the cobwebs off his brain so as to think clearly, I say to myself that it is a good one to tell the class; wonder if it will bother them to see the point?

When Sammy brought his string of fish home his father said sternly: “Sammy, I am going to punish you for disobedience. When I gave my consent to your spending a day at your grandfather's, I told you not to leave the place without his permission. And yet you ran away and went fishing all the afternoon.”

“But grandpa said I might,” answered the lad.

“Come, come, sir! Your grandfather says you did not even mention the subject to him.”

“Pa ””

The lad stood on one foot.


“There is an old saying that ‘the child is the father of the man,’ isn't there?”


“Well, then, that makes me your father, doesn’t it? And if I am your father, of course I am also your son's grandfather. Your son asked me if he might go fishing, and told him he might if he would he a good boy. He said he would be, and he kept his promise, pa.”

Here the lad stood on the other foot.

“Clarence, my son,” said the fond father, with great feeling, “take good care of your health, for if you live you'll be a lawyer yet.”

In that puzzle of the greatest catch of the season the real catch turns upon the statement that “the scales weigh nine pounds.” Carefully note that it does not give the weight of the scales as nine pounds, but informs us that the scales will weigh anything up to nine pounds! Everything now becomes plain sailing as the weight of the fisherman is 125 pounds. So the weight of the fishes must be 2 1/2 pounds, plus their scales 1/2 a pound, plus 9 1/2 pounds as the weight of the scales. Total 12 1/2 pounds, which equals one-tenth of the weight of the fisherman.

3. A Compound Rebus


The students have tied one of their comrades in the tent; how do you know that he is not a young man?

How do you know that he is a scholar?

How do you know that he is smarter than his fellow students?

In that compound puzzle we know that he is not a young man as he is over forty.

He is a scholar as he is intent on his letters.

He is smart because he is bound to excel.

4. A Rebus

A pendant charm, bereft of tail and head,
A quadruped will give you in its stead.

Cipher Answer.” 1, 13, 21, 12, 5, 20.


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