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If from six you take nine, and from nine you take ten,
(You youths, now the mystery explain;)
And if fifty from forty be taken, there then
Shall just half a dozen remain.

The above puzzle appeared in the book, “Rational amusement for winter evenings” (1821) by John Jackson.

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1 Answer 1

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Yes the answer of course would be

SIX (Half a dozen)

If from six you take nine, and

SIX - IX (Roman numerals for 9) = S

from nine you take ten,

IX - X = I (All Roman numerals)

And if fifty from forty be taken

XL - L = X (Again all Roman numerals)

Shall just half a dozen remain

SIX

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