Enigma 232: The judgement of Paris
25 October 2014
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From New Scientist #1378, 6th October 1983 [link]
One day, a handsome shepherd named Paris was minding his own business, when three goddesses hove on sight. They produced a golden apple and demanded that he award it to the fairest of them. The ancient legend then says that each offered him a thumping bribe on the quiet. But that is a libel and the true story is as follows.
Reflecting that beauty is only skin deep, he decided that there must be other criteria as well. He would rank the goddesses by each criterion, awarding x points for 1st place, y for 2nd, and z for 3rd (x, y and z were descending positive whole numbers and no ties occurred). He then totalled the points and found that, helped no doubt by coming top for Beauty, although not for Conversation, Aphrodite had won. Hera totalled 20 points and Athena, despite being top for Wisdom, only 9.
The long term results are reported in the Iliad. The question for now is who scored precisely how many points in the Interesting Hobbies section of the contest?
The original problem said: “beauty is only sin deep”.
Note: I am still waiting for a phone line to be connected at my new house, so I only have sporadic access to the internet at the moment. I’ve no idea when I will get connected.