Enigma 289: All for one
22 June 2015
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From New Scientist #1437, 3rd January 1985 [link]
If the records in the 1926 mark book of class IVB of Henrietta High School are to be believed — and there are those who doubt their authenticity — then that year saw a set of examination results which must be unique for their sheer perversity. The performance of three of the 20 pupils (bearing the suspiciously coincidental names of Athos, Porthos and Aramis) are shown below.
As you can see, the end-of-the-year exams consisted of three papers. The overall form positions were determined merely by adding the marks achieved in the three papers. On the face of it, Athos appears to have done better than average. Yet you will begin to see what is so odd about the results when I tell you that Athos actually came bottom of the class overall. Porthos, with results which would normally merit the comment “room for improvement”, was in fact top. Meanwhile, Aramis’s steady performance was reflected in his coming 12th overall. To add to the intrigue, I can tell you that Athos got 50 out of 100 in all three papers.
Information about the fourth member of the class “d’Artagnan”, is scant. However, I can tell you that his mark in Paper 2 was 2 higher (or was it 2 lower?) than Porthos’s, and that he came next to bottom in the class. Given that there were no ties at any stage from places in any list, how many marks did d’Artagnan get in Paper 1?