Enigma 247: Metacrisis
1 January 2015
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From New Scientist #1394, 26th January 1984 [link]
Professor Plato has been trying to assemble a complete set of the Metacritical Quarterly in the hope of unearthing some fresh dialectical insight in its footnotes. He has a heap of the issues himself and so does each of his eleven colleagues. Frustratingly, however, no single one of them has what he is short of. Indeed no pair of the twelve can muster a full set.
But he need not despair. What no two of them can muster any three can combine to produce. Indeed any and every trio of the scholarly dozen can rustle up a complete set by joining forces. These facts could not be so among a group of such a size, had there been less issues of the journal.
So many issues of the Metacritical Quarterly have there been?
It would annoy fewer pedants if the question had been phrased: “… had there been fewer issues of the journal”.