The last puzzle was undoubtedly a hard nut, but
not make a good puzzle any the less interesting when we are shown the
The accompanying diagram indicates exactly how the top of
Isabel de Fitzarnulph's casket was inlaid with square pieces of rare
(no two squares alike) and the strip of gold 10 inches by a quarter of
This is the only possible solution, and it is a singular fact
(though I cannot here show the subtle method of working) that the
sizes, and order of those squares are determined by the given
of the strip of gold, and the casket can have no other dimensions than
The number in a square indicates the length
in inches of
the side of that square, so the accuracy of the answer can be checked
almost at a glance.
Sir Hugh de Fortibus made some general concluding
that are not altogether uninteresting to-day.
"Friends and retainers," he
said, "if the strange
wit about which we have held pleasant counsel to-night hath mayhap had
some small interest for ye, let these matters serve to call to mind the
lesson that our fleeting life is rounded and beset with enigmas.
we came and whither we go be riddles, and albeit such as these we may
never bring within our understanding, yet there be many others with
we and they that do
us will ever strive for the answer.
Whether success do attend or do not attend our labour, it is well that
make the attempt; for 'tis truly good and honourable to train the mind,
and the wit, and the fancy of man, for out of such doth issue all
of good in ways unforeseen for them that do come after us."