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Enigmas & puzzles

By Ian Stewart   April 2005

The monastery garden

The Number Monks of Wuntumenni live their lives according to strict principles of numerology. The abbot and the deacon were engaged in building the new prayer patio in the Garden of Peerless Squares.

“It shall be just like the old patio,” said the abbot. “But with more tiles.”

“The traditional form requires 25 tiles, arranged in a 5×5 square,” said the deacon. “A square patio composed of a square number of square tiles.”

“Since each tile measured one metre by one metre, the perimeter of the old patio was 20 metres,” said the abbot.

“I must…

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