Enigma 243B: Dolly catch
11 December 2014
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From New Scientist #1389, 22nd December 1983 [link]
Uncle Henry has bought his five nieces one of those Russian dolls each for Christmas. You know the things I mean — each doll unscrews and inside are four further dolls nested inside each other. Each set is a different colour but Henry has thought of a way to beat such dull uniformity. He has redistributed the dolls and now there is one of each colour in each set. As it happens, no red doll contains a doll with a green doll inside it. No doll contains a blue doll with a yellow doll inside it. No green doll contains an orange doll with a blue doll inside it.
So that is fine and he has just wrapped them up in jolly holly paper with lots of ribbon. But what has he done with his little gold pencil for writing the names on the cards? Oh dear, he remembers putting it in the smallest red doll for some reason. To save his undoing all his good work, could you please tell him the colour of the largest doll he must open to get at it?
This is the second Enigma of three that were published in the Christmas 1983 issue of New Scientist.