A Question of Breeding

Ref: Professor Ian Stewart’s Cabinet of Mathematical Curiosities

Farmer Hogswill went to the village tete, where he met five of his friends: Percy Catr, Dougal Dogge, Benjamin Hamster, Porky Pigge and Zoe Zebra. By a remarkable coincidence — which was a constant source of amusement — each of them was an expert breeder of type of animal: cat, dog, hamster, pig and zebra. Between them, they bred all five types. None bred an animal that sounded like their surname.

“Congratulations, Percy!” said Hogswill. I hear you have just won third prize in the pig-breeding competition!”

“That’s right,” said Zoe.

“And, Benjamin got second for dogs!”

“No,” said Benjamin. “You knows fine well I never touches no dogs. Not zebras, neither.”

Hogswill turned to the person whose surname sounded like the animals that Zoe bred. “And, did you win anything?”

“Yes, a gold medal for my prize hamster.”

Assuming  that all statements except the alleged second for dogs are true, who breeds what?”

More fun from Ian Stewart’s books is coming. Meanwhile, start sending your solutions!

Nalin Pithwa

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