During a Nelson celebration I was standing in
friend of puzzling proclivities.
He had for some time been gazing at
column in an abstracted way, and seemed quite unconscious of the casual
remarks that I addressed to him.
"What are you dreaming about?" I said at last.
"Two feet——" he murmured.
"Somebody's Trilbys?" I inquired.
"Five times round"
"Two feet, five times round!
What on earth are you
"Wait a minute," he said, beginning to figure
something out on
of an envelope.
I now detected that he was in the throes of producing a
new problem of some sort, for I well knew his methods of working at
"Here you are!" he suddenly exclaimed.
The height of the shaft of the Nelson column being 200
feet and its circumference 16 feet 8 inches, it is wreathed in a spiral
garland which passes round it exactly five times.
What is the length of
It looks rather difficult, but is really remarkably easy."
He was right.
The puzzle is quite easy if properly
the height and circumference are not correct, but chosen for the
of the puzzle.
The artist has also intentionally drawn the cylindrical
shaft of the column of equal circumference throughout.
If it were
tapering, the puzzle would be less easy.