[thechat] puzzles

Luther, Ron Ron.Luther at hp.com
Mon Jul 15 12:50:01 CDT 2002

Hi Rudy,

That's a fun one.  I remember working it out a few different times.
Last time was a couple years ago.

As I recall I believe it was one of Einstein's favorite puzzles.

On a related note ----

Does anybody know the *exact* wording for the 'Holmes/Moriarity' puzzle?

I've been looking for it for a while now ... No luck  ;-(

It goes *something* like this:

A neutral third party gives the sum of two integers (each less than 40)
to one of them (Moriarity I think) and the product of the two numbers to
the other.

They meet later in a bar.

Moriarity says "I don't know what the numbers are."

Holmes says "Well I don't know either."

Moriarity says "Well I still don't know what the numbers are."

Holmes says "Well I don't know what they are either."

Moriarity smiles smugly and says "Well!  I do know what the numbers

Holmes turns beat red, grimaces angrily, then says "Well I do too!" and
quickly finished his pint.

The question is, of course, what were the numbers.

The first time I saw the puzzle I thought it was an April fool joke
because it's sooooo obviously impossible to solve.

The second time I saw it was in an MAA [1] publication, so I knew there
_had_ to be a solution.

... so I solved it.

But I'd really like to find the correct wording of the puzzle.



[1] Mathematics Association of America

More information about the thechat mailing list