This article is from the Puzzles FAQ, by Chris Cole chris@questrel.questrel.com and Matthew Daly mwdaly@pobox.com with numerous contributions by others.

A very bright and sunny Day

The Priest did to the Verger say:

"Last Monday met I strangers three

None of which were known to Thee.

I ask'd Them of Their Age combin'd

which amounted twice to Thine!

A Riddle now will I give Thee:

Tell Me what Their Ages be!"

So the Verger ask'd the Priest:

"Give to Me a Clue at least!"

"Keep Thy Mind and Ears awake,

And see what Thou of this can make.

Their Ages multiplied make plenty,

Fifty and Ten Dozens Twenty."

The Verger had a sleepless Night

To try to get Their Ages right.

"I almost found the Answer right.

Please shed on it a little Light."

"A little Clue I give to Thee,

I'm older than all Strangers three."

After but a little While

The Verger answered with a Smile:

"Inside my Head has rung a Bell.

Now I know the answer well!"

Now, the question is:

How old is the PRIEST??

======

logic/verger.s

The puzzler tried to take the test;

Intriguing rhymes he wished to best.

But "Fifty and ten dozens twenty"

made his headache pound aplenty.

When he finally found some leisure,

He took to task this witty treasure.

"The product of the age must be

Twenty-Four Hundred Fifty!"

Knowing that, he took its primes,

permuted them as many times

as needed, til he found amounts

equal to, by all accounts,

twice the Verger's age, so that

He would have that next day's spat.

The reason for the lad's confusion

was due to multiple solution!

Hence he needed one more clue

to give the answer back to you!

Since only one could fit the bill,

and then confirm the priest's age still,

the eldest age of each solution

by one could differ, with no coercion. <=(Sorry)

Else, that last clue's revelation

would not have brought information!

With two, two, five, seven, and seven,

construct three ages, another set of seven.

Two sets of three yield sixty-four,

Examine them, yet one time more.

The eldest age of each would be

forty-nine, and then, fifty!

With lack of proper rhyme and meter,

I've tried to be the first completor

of this poem and a puzzle;

my poetry, you'd try to muzzle!

And lest you think my wit is thrifty,

The answer, of course, must be fifty!

If dispute, you wish to tender,

note my addresss, as the sender!

--

Kevin Nechodom <knechod@stacc.med.utah.edu>

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