Tantalizer 436: Rhyme and reason
6 February 2019
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From New Scientist #987, 12th February 1976 [link]
The poems of Prudence Meek are for all estates and conditions of men. They can be bought bound in velvet or in rags, printed in silver or in grey, scented with myrrh or with soap.
“Selling like hot cakes?” she was asked recently on a radio chat show.
“Verily”, she replied, “27 bound in velvet, 29 printed in silver, 34 scented with myrrh in less than a week. Half those scented with myrrh were printed in silver”.
“How about those scented with soap?”
“Three were not only printed in silver but also bound in velvet.”
“And total sales?”
“57”, the poetess confessed coyly, “but I’ll have you know that I had sold more luxury editions (the sort with velvet, silver and myrrh) than the total sales of Beverley Bunion’s disgusting odes”.
Knowing Bunion’s sales figure, the interviewer could then announce Miss Meek’s score in luxury editions.
What is it?
I’ve marked this puzzle as “flawed”, as, although it is possible to solve it and get a unique answer, the answer I found was different from the published solution. So it seems the setter had a different puzzle in mind.