On the ninth day of Christmas, LJMU Library gave to me…a quiz to test my knowledge!

Some of you may remember the Christmas quiz from last year, once again we have an Amazon voucher up for grabs!

For many years the monthly issues of The Strand magazine contained a puzzle page known as Perplexities written by Henry Dudeney. The December 1914 edition was called Puzzles at a Village Inn and is set in the village of Little Wurzelfold, where residents have been ‘…roused out of their lethargy by the great war’, and those not eligible to enlist have gathered together at the Red Lion Inn. The puzzles reflect the fact that the nation was in the first year of the war which had been hoped to be ‘over by Christmas’.

We have reproduced four of the puzzles here and if you’d like to join in the fun over Christmas, we have one prize of an Amazon voucher to give away to the lucky winner. Send your solutions by e-mail to archives@ljmu.ac.uk by Monday 5th January to enter the prize draw. In the best Strand tradition, we will publish the solutions in January 2015.

 1. The Louvain House

A gentleman says he knows Louvain in Belgium well and used to visit a friend there, before its destruction by the German army in August. His friend’s house was in a long street, numbered on his side 1, 2, 3, and so on, and that all the numbers on one side of his house added up exactly the same as all the numbers on the other side of him. There are more than fifty houses on that side of the street, but not as many as five hundred. Can you work out the number of the house where he lived?

2. The Red Cross Puzzle

Miss Wilkinson promised to make a lot of red crosses to stitch onto white bands for hospital nurses at the war. She bought the material and cut out the crosses, but realised that she had made them twice as big as they should be. How can she cut each cross to make two smaller crosses of the same shape? (hint: in five pieces)

Strand_Vol48_p778 IMAGE 1 (2)


3. Sinking the Fishing Boats

Nat Roakes says his son Tom is in the Navy. Tom sent him a diagram showing 49 British fishing boats in the North Sea, and told how a German man ‘o war rammed and sank the lot in twelve straight courses, starting from the place shown and ending in the same place. How did they do it?

Strand_Vol48_p779 IMAGE 2


4. Marching on City

The diagram shows a sketch plan of one of the ‘seats of war’. It shows all the roads, and the numbers are the lengths in miles of each road. Ten divisions of an army are supposed to be at A, B, C, D E, F, G, H, I and K. They all have to march on the city in the centre of the map, and should all arrive at the same time. They should all travel exactly the same number of miles. No division can go along the same part of road twice, and they must all enter the city by a different road. What is the shortest distance each division must travel?

Strand_Vol48_p779 IMAGE 3


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