Latest Issue

Enigmas and puzzles

By Ian Stewart   May 2008

“Since it’s your birthday today,” Ambrose said to his wife in a fit of generosity, “let’s visit the secondhand bookshop and buy some books.”

“My wife and I will join you,” said his friend Benedict. “It’s not her birthday, but what the heck, we can always use a few more books. What do you think, ladies?”

“Good idea,” said Raquel.

“I agree,” said Saffron.

They had a great time choosing books—so much so that each couple, husband and wife, spent a total of £221.

“That’s strange—all my books cost the same,” said Raquel. “In fact, the price of each…

Register today to continue reading

You’ve hit your limit of three articles in the last 30 days. To get seven more, simply enter your email address below.

You’ll also receive our free e-book Prospect’s Top Thinkers 2020 and our newsletter with the best new writing on politics, economics, literature and the arts.

Prospect may process your personal information for our legitimate business purposes, to provide you with newsletters, subscription offers and other relevant information.

Click here to learn more about these purposes and how we use your data. You will be able to opt-out of further contact on the next page and in all our communications.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to

More From Prospect