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Enigmas and puzzles

By Ian Stewart   October 2008

Alex Soupadoupalos had been in the restaurant business a long time. So when his accountant dropped by to discuss his VAT return, Alex had all the figures ready—almost.

“This entry may be a problem,” said his accountant. “You’ve put down £1,000 as your takings for a group of 25 people. HM Revenue may be suspicious of such a round number. Especially since you haven’t noted what they each paid.”

“I have standard rates,” said Alex indignantly. “I charge single women £15, single men £25, and couples £105 for the pair.”

“But this was a group. Don’t you do a…

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