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Enigmas & puzzles

By Ian Stewart   December 2005

Monumental calculation

Klephtnose III’s propitiously proportioned pyramid was almost complete, with just a few casing stones missing, and the pharaoh was contemplating a new addition to the project. Once more he summoned his master of monuments, Amunaleg.

“It is said that your skill in numbers is unsurpassed in my kingdom.”

“My skills, such as they are, are always at your command, O mighty king.”

“A pyramid has eight edges, does it not?”

“That is so. Four around its base and four slanting to its tip, my lord.”

“It has amused me to imagine that a sacred number might be…

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