Problem: The Dutchmen's Wives

I wonder how many of my readers are acquainted with the puzzle of the "Dutchmen's Wives"—in which you have to determine the names of three men's wives, or, rather, which wife belongs to each husband.

Some thirty years ago it was "going the rounds," as something quite new, but I recently discovered it in the Ladies' Diary for 1739-40, so it was clearly familiar to the fair sex over one hundred and seventy years ago. How many of our mothers, wives, sisters, daughters, and aunts could solve the puzzle to-date? A far greater proportion than then, let us hope.


Three Dutchmen, named Hendrick, Elas, and Cornelius, and their wives, Gurtrün, Katrün, and Anna, purchase hogs. Each buys as many as he (or she) gives shillings for one. Each husband pays altogether three guineas more than his wife. Hendrick buys twenty-three more hogs than Katrün, and Elas eleven more than Gurtrün. Now, what was the name of each man's wife?

Solutions: 1

Problems: 1

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Project Gutenberg

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

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