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Enigmas and puzzles

By Ian Stewart   March 2008

Four members of parliament—the right honourable gentlemen Addlepate, Bonehead, Crackpott and Dumbcluck—have collectively hired their wives as secretaries.

Although it is of course perfectly legal and respectable to hire members of one’s own family, none of the MPs does that, in the interests of transparency, public accountability, and avoiding the unwelcome attentions of the press.

Each wife uses the same surname as her husband. Each MP has only one secretary, and each wife works for only one MP.

Each wife works for the husband of the wife who works for her husband. (That is, X’s wife works…

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