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Enigmas & puzzles

By Ian Stewart   July 2006

Five gold things

“You again?” said the owner of the old curiosity shop. “Considering what you sold me last time, I’m surprised that you dare show your face in here.”

“It wasn’t my fault that the statues corroded to dust if polished after midnight,” protested Colorado Smith. “Anyway, what I’ve brought you this time will pay for your losses and leave you a handsome profit.” He placed five gold statues on the counter.

“These look exactly the same as the last ones,” said the elderly Chinese shopkeeper.

“Ah, but these really are gold. Here’s proof from the assay…

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