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The Carpenter's Puzzle

Answer :

The carpenter said that he made a box whose internal dimensions were exactly the same as the original block of wood—that is, 3 feet by 1 foot by 1 foot.

He then placed the carved pillar in this box and filled up all the vacant space with a fine, dry sand, which he carefully shook down until he could get no more into the box.

Then he removed the pillar, taking great care not to lose any of the sand, which, on being shaken down alone in the box, filled a space equal to one cubic foot.

This was, therefore, the quantity of wood that had been cut away.

Medieval Brain Teasers