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The Old Man's Riddle (Posted on 2007-11-01) Difficulty: 3 of 5
As a new reporter for The Sun, I was assigned to a human interest story about a man who was supposed to be the oldest person in his village and perhaps the oldest person in the world. I was intrigued to meet the gentleman, and happy to do the interview. When I was done I showed my editor my notes (which I had written on a napkin) of what the old man had said:

"How old am I? Let me add up the days."

"I Ďave spent as many years as the days that fog covered the world.
I Ďave lived as long as it took Tiberius to sail a parsec at sea.
For each of Nemoís cables, a minute I 'ave endured.
As many years as Arthur N. Fordís answer to the unknown.
I saw the long 'and pass by as often as the traveller circled the sun."

After seeing my notes my editor would not print the article until I could provide the old manís age.

How old did he claim to be?

No Solution Yet Submitted by Leming    
Rating: 4.5000 (2 votes)

Comments: ( Back to comment list | You must be logged in to post comments.)
Some Thoughts Some thoughts | Comment 9 of 10 |

I find a reference in:

http://www.indiana.edu/~g380/Shang-Discov.pdf
(Page 9)

that:

"Then a great fog covered the world for three days, so the king ordered that Yi Yin's sons, Yi Zhi and Yi Fen, should be restored with their father's lands and household to divide between them."

Accordingly, it may be possible that the answer to the first question is 3 years.

However, a closer examination reveals that, in that case the old man's claim (in years) would  be : 3  + 3 + 1  + 42 + 3 =  52

Since, 52 years is below the total lifespan of an average human being, it is highly unlikely that the old man claimed that he was merely 52 years old.

Consequently, the claim of 129 years (or, 128 years considering
the length of Fogg's voyage to be 79 days) is the only plausible
solution to the given problem.

Edited on November 4, 2007, 12:39 am
  Posted by K Sengupta on 2007-11-04 00:33:58

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