Enigma 1263: First and last
15 January 2015
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From New Scientist #2419, 1st November 2003 [link]
Last week my two Norwegian nephews, Firs and Lars, stayed with me. To make them use their English and logic I played a little game with them. I told them that I had thought of a whole number from one up to and including their sister Randum’s age. I told them that I would whisper the first letter in the English spelling of the number to Firs and the last letter to Lars (so if my number had been 1, I would have whispered “O” to Firs and “E” to Lars).
So whispered the appropriate letter to each of them and then the conversation went as follows:
Firs: “I cannot work out the number.”
Lars: “I still cannot work out the number.”
Firs: “I still cannot work out the number.”
Lars: “Now I know what it is.”
Firs: “So do I.”
How old is Randum and what number did I choose?