A Mystery

One day in May of 1894, a crate of peaches appeared on a sidewalk in East London, England. It looked to be a sturdy crate.

The size was 18 inches long by 18 inches wide by 18 inches high – a cube. The wood was Elm slats 2 ¾ inches wide; they were fastened vertically rather than horizontally and were held in place by 2 ¾ inch x ½ inch slats at the top and bottom, inside and out. These horizontal slats were attached to the frame. The bottom was made entirely of the ½ inch thick slats, all fastened to the frame.

The frame was made from 3-sided lengths, as an equilateral triangle. Interestingly, the nails were made of copper with a ¼ inch head by ¾ inch long shaft. Each slat had two nails at each end.

The entire crate had a thin finish of polyurethane.

The peaches were all of similar size, 3 inches in diameter. There were 6 rows of peaches and 6 columns. Each row had 6×6 peaches making a total count of 36 peaches per row and 216 peaches in all.

The unanswered mystery that remains to this day is that, at the 2nd row, 4th column was one brown, freestone peach in the midst of a crateful of a yellow variety. What is it doing there?

Mariner created this mystery. He calls it ‘Mariner’s Conundrum’.

Ancient Mariner


3 thoughts on “A Mystery

  1. You have exposed the conundrum. Peaches aren’t ripe in May, either. The puzzle reflects why I have had 38 jobs in my life. I am top down to my roots while the world is run by bottom up people. Whole corporations are infected by discombobulated premises for existence and labor away at what they’re doing, not why or how.

  2. In a similar vein–I was the secretary for our church women’s group for the past three years. I kept the minutes diligently for all of our meetings and stored them in the historical file that goes back to the early 1900’s when the group started. We disbanded in December. What was the point of all those minutes? What would be the point of keeping them now? What is the point of any work in the end???

    I’m not sure if this is relevant to your peach conundrum or not–but it seemed like it when I started telling about it. And maybe that is the point of everything–things are relevant in their own time. The minutes were important until they weren’t, and corporate profit/loss concerns are relevant as long as the corporation exists. So you need workers (and secretaries) to do the daily work and you need top down thinkers to put it all in perspective when they are no longer in the work force!

    But nobody needs peaches that are 127 years old.

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