Puzzling poem

One of my students Anubhav C Singh shared the following puzzling poem he had found from the internet:

Ten weary, footsore travellers,
All in a woeful plight,
Sought shelter at a wayside inn
One dark and stormy night.

‘Nine rooms, no more,’ the landlord said
‘Have I to offer you.
To each of eight a single bed,
But the ninth must serve for two.’

A din arose. The troubled host
Could only scratch his head,
For of those tired men not two
Would occupy one bed.

The puzzled host was soon at ease –
He was a clever man –
And so to please his guests devised
This most ingeneous plan.

In a room marked A two men were placed,
The third was lodged in B,
The fourth to C was then assigned,
The fifth retired to D.

In E the sixth he tucked away,
In F the seventh man.
The eighth and ninth in G and H,
And then to A he ran,

Wherein the host, as I have said,
Had laid two travellers by;
Then taking one – the tenth and last –
He logged him safe in I.

Nine singe rooms – a room for each –
Were made to serve for ten;
And this it is that puzzles me
And many wiser men.

What is wrong in this logic?
More later,
Nalin Pithwa


  1. Pradeep Selva
    Posted October 9, 2015 at 10:24 am | Permalink | Reply

    He gave accommodation only to nine people but he tricked them into believing that all 10 of them have got lodging.

    • Posted October 10, 2015 at 1:34 pm | Permalink | Reply

      He didn’t trick them; but the poet of the poem tried to trick us !! Good solution Pradeep!

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