Problem: The Excursion Ticket Puzzle

When the big flaming placards were exhibited at the little provincial railway station, announcing that the Great —— Company would run cheap excursion trains to London for the Christmas holidays, the inhabitants of Mudley-cum-Turmits were in quite a flutter of excitement. Half an hour before the train came in the little booking office was crowded with country passengers, all bent on visiting their friends in the great Metropolis. The booking clerk was unaccustomed to dealing with crowds of such a dimension, and he told me afterwards, while wiping his manly brow, that what caused him so much trouble was the fact that these rustics paid their fares in such a lot of small money.

He said that he had enough farthings to supply a West End draper with change for a week, and a sufficient number of threepenny pieces for the congregations of three parish churches. "That excursion fare," said he, "is nineteen shillings and ninepence, and I should like to know in just how many different ways it is possible for such an amount to be paid in the current coin of this realm."

Here, then, is a puzzle: In how many different ways may nineteen shillings and ninepence be paid in our current coin? Remember that the fourpenny-piece is not now current.

Solutions: 1

Thank you to the contributors under CC BY-SA 4.0!



Project Gutenberg

  1. Dudeney, H. E.: "Amusements in Mathematics", The Authors' Club, 1917

This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere in the United States and most other parts of the world at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this edition or online at If you are not located in the United States, you'll have to check the laws of the country where you are located before using this ebook.