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Enigmas & puzzles

By Ian Stewart   June 2006

The old curiosity shop

“Extraordinary,” said the wizened little shopkeeper. “Such a strange design. What are they?”

“I’m not sure,” said Colorado Smith. “They appear to be mythical beasts, of a kind I have never seen before. Five identical golden statues… You will appreciate my inability to say where they originated.”

The shopkeeper nodded. The statues were certainly striking, with their forked tongues, double tails and six sets of wings. Not to mention the clawed teeth. His shop was stocked with a great variety of curiosities, and very few of them were of known provenance. He picked up…

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