Everybody, as I
suppose, knows well that the
Christmas plum puddings that you taste will bring you the same number of
lucky days in the new year.
One of the guests (and his name has escaped
my memory) brought with him a sheet of paper on which were drawn
sixty-four puddings, and he said the puzzle was an allegory of a sort,
and he intended to show how we might manage our pudding-tasting with as
much dispatch as possible.
I fail to fully
understand this fanciful
rather overstrained view of the puzzle.
But it would appear that the
puddings were arranged regularly, as I have shown them in the
illustration, and that to strike out a pudding was to indicate that it
had been duly tasted.
You have simply
to put the point of your pencil
the pudding in the top corner, bearing a sprig of holly, and strike out
all the sixty-four puddings through their centres in twenty-one
You can go up or down or horizontally, but not diagonally or
obliquely; and you must never strike out a pudding twice, as that would
imply a second and unnecessary tasting of those indigestible
But the peculiar part of the thing is that you are required to taste
pudding that is seen steaming hot at the end of your tenth stroke, and
taste the one decked with holly in the bottom row the very last of all.