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Enigmas & puzzles

By Ian Stewart   October 2005

Triangles and tetrahedra

The eccentric privateer Sir Francis Duck disliked being interrupted while playing bowls, but the situation was urgent.

“Cap’n Duck?” said the ship’s mate nervously, tapping him on the shoulder.

“What is it?” asked Duck, irritably.

“The King of Spain’s fleet is approaching the coast of Plymouth, bent on invasion!”

“Then we shall defend the realm,” Duck replied calmly.

“With what? We’re out of cannonballs.”

“We will use bowls instead,” said the ever-inventive Duck, pointing to a regular-looking pile of perfectly round bowls.

“How many are there in that pile, Cap’n?”

“At this club,” said Duck, “each…

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