THE CANTERBURY PUZZLES
that the dole be fairly made, so that no man receive more wine than
another, nor any difference in bottles."
Poor John returned to his cellar, taking the three men with him,
and then his task began to perplex him. Of full bottles he had
seven large and seven small, and of empty bottles five large and five
small, as shown in the illustration. How was he to make the
required equitable division ?
He divided the bottles into three groups in several ways that at
first sight seemed to be quite fair, since two small bottles held just
the same quantity of wine as one large one. But the large bottles
themselves, when empty, were not worth two small ones.
Hence the abbot's order that each man must take away the same
number of bottles of each size.
Finally, the cellarman had to consult one of the monks who was
good at puzzles of this kind, and who showed him how the thing
was done. Can you find out just how the distribution was made ?
Making a Flag.
A good dissection puzzle in so few as two pieces is rather a
rarity, so perhaps the reader will be interested in the following.
The diagram represents a
piece of bunting, and it is
required to cut it into two
pieces (without any waste)
that will fit together and *
form a perfectly square
flag, with the four roses
symmetrically placed. This
would be easy enough if it
were not for the four roses,
as we should merely have
to cut from A to B, and
insert the piece at the bottom of the flag. But we are not allowed
to cut through any of the roses, and therein lies the difficulty of the
puzzle. Of course we make no allowance for " turnings."