Tantalizer 429: Merry Christmas
From New Scientist #980, 18th December 1975 [link]
Gloom or no gloom, the call for toys rises and Santa has taken on three extra reindeer this year, Starlight, Snowflake and Rudolf. He has been planning a monster sleigh, pulled by them and his old friends Comet, Cupid, Donner and Blitzen, Dasher and Dancer, Prancer and Vixen.
But then a horrid thought struck him. What if this pantechnikon and all eleven reindeer were hijacked? So dreadful is the prospect that he has changed tack entirely. Instead he will make a series of deliveries, each in a modest sleigh pulled by a different pair of reindeer. It has not been easy to arrange, since the reindeer think he is being feeble and have offered very varying degrees of cooperation. Indeed only Rudolph and Cupid will be making the same number of deliveries. But it will work as proposed and you can go ahead and hang your sock up.
Rudolf is boasting that he will be doing exactly twice as many deliveries as Blitzen. Blitzen maintains that this is not true. Santa asks you to work out which is right. Meanwhile he wishes you a Merry Christmas.