Good Question

George Selwyn once declared in company that a lady could not write a letter without adding a postscript. A lady present replied, ‘The next letter that you receive from me, Mr. Selwyn, will prove that you are wrong.’ Accordingly he received one from her the next day, in which, after her signature was the following:–

‘P.S. Who is right, now, you or I?’

— Charles Carroll Bombaugh, Gleanings for the Curious from the Harvest-Fields of Literature, 1890

The English Officer

Here’s a poser adapted from a 1923 intelligence test:

“I was so sorry to hear of Harold’s death, Mary.”

“Thank you, Mildred.”

“May I ask the circumstances?”

“Of course. He had fallen asleep in church during the sermon and was dreaming that an executioner was approaching to cut off his head. He had witnessed some rather gruesome things during the Boxer Rebellion in China some years ago, you know. Just as the sword was falling, I happened to touch him on the back of his neck with my fan, to awaken him. The shock was too great, and he fell forward dead.”

What’s wrong with this story?

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Slow But Sure

In August 1820, an avalanche swept three mountaineers into a crevasse on Mont Blanc. Thirty-eight years later, a physicist who had studied the glacier’s rate of flow predicted that the bodies would soon be given up. He was right. William Herbert Hobbs writes in Earth Features and Their Meaning:

In the year 1861, or forty-one years after the disaster, the heads of the three guides, separated from their bodies, with some hands and fragments of clothing, appeared at the foot of the Glacier des Bossons, and in such a state of preservation that they were easily recognized by a guide who had known them in life.

The bodies had traveled 3,000 meters in 41 years. “To-day,” wrote Hobbs in 1912, “the time of reappearance of portions of the bodies of persons lost upon Mont Blanc is rather accurately predicted, so that friends repair to Chamonix to await the giving up of its victims by the Glacier des Bossons.”

Flash Photo

Near the village of Combe-Hay, in England, there was a wood composed largely of oaks and nut trees. In the middle of it was a field, about fifty yards long, in which six sheep were struck dead by lightning. When skinned there was discovered on them, on the inside of the skin, a facsimile of part of the adjacent landscape.

— William Walsh, A Handy Book of Curious Information, 1913

King Walk,M1

By J. Kling. White to mate in 64 moves, forcing the black king to occupy every square on the board:

1. Rb8+ Ka7 2. Qc7+ Ka6 3. Qb7+ Ka5 4. Qb6+ Ka4 5. Rc4+ Ka3 6. Qe3+ Ka2 7. Rc2+ Ka1 8. Ra8+ Kb1 9. Rcc8 Kb2 10. Qc1+ Kb3 11. Ra3+ Kb4 12. Qc3+ Kb5 13. Rc5+ Kb6 14. Qa5+ Kb7 15. Rd3 Kb8 16. Rb5+ Kc8 17. Qa8+ Kc7 18. Qb8+ Kc6 19. Rb6+ Kc5 20. Qd6+ Kc4 21. Rd4+ Kc3 22. Qb4+ Kc2 23. Re6 Kc1 24. Rc4+ Kd1 25. Qb1+ Kd2 26. Qc1+ Kd3 27. Rc3+ Kd4 28. Qe3+ Kd5 29. Re5+ Kd6 30. Qc5+ Kd7 31. Rf3 Kd8 32. Rd5+ Ke8 33. Qc8+ Ke7 34. Qd8+ Ke6 35. Rd6+ Ke5 36. Rf7 Ke4 37. Qf6 Ke3 38. Qd4+ Ke2 39. Rh6 Ke1 40. Re7+ Kf1 41. Qg7 Kf2 42. Rh1 Kf3 43. Qg1 Kf4 44. Qg2 Kf5 45. Qg3 Kf6 46. Qe5+ Kg6 47. Qe6+ Kg5 48. Qf7 Kg4 49. Rh5 Kg3 50. Qf5 Kg2 51. Qf4 Kg1 52. Rg5+ Kh1 53. Qe4+ Kh2 54. Kf7 Kh3 55. Qg2+ Kh4 56. Rg4+ Kh5 57. Re5+ Kh6 58. Qc6+ Kh7 59. Ke8 Kh8 60. Rh4+ Kg7 61. Kd8 Kg8 62. Rg5+ Kf7 63. Rh7+ Kf8 64. Qf6#

king walk solution