The puzzle propounded by the jovial
host of the "Tabard" Inn
had proved more popular than any other of the whole collection. "I see,
my merry masters," he cried, "that I have sorely twisted thy brains by
little piece of craft.
Yet it is but a simple matter for me
to put a
pint of fine old ale in each of these two measures, albeit one is of
pints and the other of three pints, without using any other measure
The host of the "Tabard" Inn
thereupon proceeded to explain to
pilgrims how this apparently impossible task could be done.
filled the 5-pint and 3-pint measures, and then, turning the tap,
the barrel to run to waste—a proceeding against which the company
protested; but the wily man showed that he was aware that the cask did
not contain much more than eight pints of ale.
The contents, however,
not affect the solution of the puzzle.
He then closed the tap and
the 3-pint into the barrel; filled the 3-pint from the 5-pint; emptied
the 3-pint into the barrel; transferred the two pints from the 5-pint
the 3-pint; filled the 5-pint from the barrel, leaving one pint now in
the barrel; filled 3-pint from 5-pint; allowed the company to drink the
contents of the 3-pint; filled the 3-pint from the 5-pint, leaving one
pint now in the 5-pint; drank the contents of the 3-pint; and finally
drew off one pint from the barrel into the 3-pint.
He had thus obtained
the required one pint of ale in each measure, to the great astonishment
of the admiring crowd of pilgrims.