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Enigmas & puzzles


By Ian Stewart   April 2003

Yo-ho-ho and a democratic vote

“Shiver me gudgeons and caulk the dogwatch, but here’s plunder to cringle any man’s futtock-plate!” Short Jim Pewter poured gold coins from hand to hook in glee. He was captain of the pirate ship Pretty Polly, and the nine other crewmembers knew that he was the fiercest pirate on board. In fact, they all knew exactly who was fiercer than whom, and no two pirates were equally fierce, so there was a precise pecking-order. The Pretty Polly had just completed a successful attack on a schooner bound from C?diz, and their haul was 100 gold…

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