Enigma 222: Hard astern
15 September 2014
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From New Scientist #1368, 28th July 1983 [link]
Admirals Drake, Jellicoe, Nelson and Raleigh were lately piped aboard HMS Beefeater for purposes of splicing the mainbrace. Each arrived immaculate in his well-cut uniform, did his share of the work to the full and departed with dignity barely askew. But (sh!) Drake presently realised that he had somehow come to be wearing a pair of trousers too small for him and a similarly tight feeling presently crept over Jellico. Nelson and Raleigh too found themselves clad in the wrong breeches.
Each promptly dispatched the trousers in his possession to one of the others. Each received one pair, not sent by the admiral to whom he had sent one and, alas, not his own. Nelson received a pair too tight for him.
Well, shiver my timbers, they then did the same again. Each sent off the pair in question. Each received a pair, not from the Admiral he had fired one at, not one which he had had already and still not his own. Drake received a pair too large for him, his own being now lodged with either Jellicoe or Nelson.
Who now had whose breeches?
Note: I am waiting for a phone line to be connected at my new house, so I only have sporadic access to the internet at the moment. The current estimate is that the line will be connected at the end of September 2014.