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Enigmas & puzzles

By Ian Stewart   134

Two centipedes were walking along a country footpath when they met a ladybird.

“I’ve never met anyone with a hundred legs before,” said the Ladybird.

“I’m not sure I have either,” said the first centipede, called Centi.

“Nor me,” added the other, called Pede. “It’s actually a common misconception, ma’am.”

“So is that. I’m a male ladybird.”

“Sorry, sir. But some centipedes have only 30 legs,” said Centi.

“Some have 346,” said Pede.

“So how many have you guys got?” asked the Ladybird.

Centi and Pede looked at each other.

“Er—we prefer not to count them,” said Pede.

“Why…

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