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The Canterbury Puzzles

And Other Curious Problems

Cover image for


Published: 1907
Language: English
Wordcount: 58,413 / 176 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 65.7
LoC Category: GV
Downloads: 5,236
Added to site: 2008.12.28 23001
Genre: Games

can see through it."

Puzzles have such an infinite variety that it is sometimes very difficult to divide them into distinct classes. They often so merge in character that the best we can do is to sort them into a few broad types. Let us take three or four examples in illustration of what I mean.

First there is the ancient Riddle, that draws upon the imagination and play of fancy. Readers will remember the riddle of the Sphinx, the monster of Boeotia who propounded enigmas to the inhabitants and devoured them if they failed to solve them. It was said that the Sphinx would destroy herself if one of her riddles was ever correctly answered. It was this: "What animal walks on four legs in the morning, two at noon, and three in the evening?" It was explained by Oedipus, who pointed out that man walked on his hands and feet in the morning of life, at the noon of life he walked erect, and in the evening of his days he supported his infirmities with a stick. When the Sphinx heard this explanation, she d

Reader Reviews

Average Rating of 2.5 from 2 reviews: ***

I've not read this yet, but thought I would add a note in reply to the earlier 1 star review.

As stated, this does not include the illustrations, but there is a link in the text to a .zip file that contains all the illustrations. ( Once you have downloaded this, they are named according to number of the pager they are on. Unfortunately, the standard text files available here are not correctly paginated. I have discovered, with some playing around, that the following settings produce a .pdf the with the correct number of pages. Start by selecting "PDF-custom" in the download box. When the next screen loads, select the "iLiad" Preset, and then amend the dimensions to 116x149, leaving the other options as they are. I haven't checked yet that all the illustration tags are exactly on the correct pages, abut hopefully they're not too far off, now I have a file with the right number of pages.

Anyway, I hope this helps someone else. I'll post a proper review when I've had a read.


Henry Dudeney was one of the most important puzzlists of the last several centuries, and 'The Canterbury Puzzles' is a classic in the field, worth the attention of anyone interested in this topic.

Unfortunately, the posted pdf version (at least) of this book does not include the all-important accompanying puzzle diagrams, and is not worth downloading.



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