Topical Guide 379
Games and Puzzles
Lorna began concocting her own mathematics problems and logical puzzles. … Here’s an example. I think that Lorna based this one on a similar puzzle devised by Lewis Carroll.
Two homely sisters were on their way to school one day and suddenly realized that they had forgotten what day of the week it was.
“We’ll be laughingstocks,” wailed the younger of the homely sisters.
“Oh, be quiet,” said the older of the homely sisters. “We can decide what day this is if we just stop and think.” She sat down on a stone wall and thought. “Let’s see,” she said, thinking aloud. “What day was yesterday? What day will tomorrow be?”
Just then, the homely sisters’ quick-witted and pretty younger sister came skipping along, whistling a happy tune.
“Oh, help us, sister,” wailed the younger of the homely sisters. “We’ve forgotten what day of the week this is, and when we get to school we’re sure to be laughingstocks for having forgotten.”
“Well,” said the quick-witted and pretty sister with a twinkle in her eye, “when you can call the day after tomorrow ‘yesterday,’ then the day that you call ‘today’ will be as many days away from Wednesday as was the day that you called ‘today’ on the day when you called the day before yesterday ‘tomorrow.’ ”
Off she skipped, trying very hard not to giggle, leaving her sisters with their mouths agape.
Herb ’n’ Lorna, Chapter 17
Try as I might (and, believe me, I have tried) I cannot find a similar puzzle in Lewis Carroll’s works. Can you? MD
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