Farthingbottom School is an elite establishment catering for the educational needs of an international group of students from noteworthy families. They have had complaints from some parents that the school dinners are not very healthy, more specifically that there is not enough fish on offer. As a result, the Headmaster has brought in a menu consultant to determine some suitable options.

The consultant sent out a questionnaire asking the pupils to indicate their preference for the following four options: 'Anchovies', 'mackerel', 'kedgeree', and 'salmon' on the following rating scale:

+4 Worship
+3 Adore
+2 Love
+1 Like
-1 Dislike
-2 Hate
-3 Detest
-4 Abhorr

These are the responses he got back:

Love: Eldred-Campbell
Like: Ella-Charlotte
Dislike: Eloise-Florence; Magnus-Ford-Stephen; Marc-Frances

Love: Enrico; Portia; Eloise-Florence; Marc-Frances
Like: Felix
Dislike: Primula
Hate: Eldred-Campbell

Worship: Eldred-Campbell
Like: Ella-Charlotte
Dislike: Randolph
Hate: Felix; Primula; Enrico; Marc-Frances; Magnus-Ford-Stephen
Detest: Portia; Eloise-Florence

Like: Felix; Primula; Enrico; Portia; Eloise-Florence; Marc-Frances; Magnus-Ford-Stephen
Dislike: Eldred-Campbell

It was clear that serving kedgeree was going to suit the most children, however the headmaster anticipated that he would receive a backlash from Eldred-Campbell's parents. So he decided to write a letter to them.

Question: What was their surname?

Bonus: What were all the children's surnames?

Hint 1

The name of the school is completely irrelevant.

Hint 2

The rating system is powerful

Hint 3

What would this puzzle be about if there was a lack of fish?

  • $\begingroup$ Um.... Campbell? $\endgroup$
    – Rohcana
    Commented Aug 21, 2015 at 14:50
  • $\begingroup$ @Anachor No he had a hyphenated first name. $\endgroup$
    – Gordon K
    Commented Aug 21, 2015 at 14:53
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ Is it intentional that Marc-Frances both likes and hates Salmon? $\endgroup$ Commented Aug 21, 2015 at 16:29
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Is there significance in the fact that Anchovies is capitalized but the other fish are not? $\endgroup$ Commented Aug 21, 2015 at 17:38
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @VictorHenry Yes $\endgroup$
    – Gordon K
    Commented Aug 21, 2015 at 18:06

1 Answer 1


I think that:

the names of the fish are references to SI units:
Anchovies => Amp
mackerel => meter
salmon => second
kedgeree => kilogram

So Eldred-Campbell's surname is:

an SI derived unit made up of Amps^2, meters^-2, seconds^4, kilograms^-1... that would be Farad and his initials E-C hint towards Electrical Capacitance.

For the bonus question:

Ella-Charlotte: A^1 s^1 Coulomb (Electrical Charge)
Eloise-Florence: A^-1 m^2 s^-3 k^1 Volt (Electromotive Force)
Magnus-Ford-Stephen: A^-1 s^-2 k^1 Tesla (Magnetic Field Strength)
Marc-Frances: A^-2 m^2 s^-2 k^1 Weber (Magnetic Flux) (Wikipedia says this is kg⋅m2⋅s−2⋅A−1 so I think Marc Frances should merely dislike, rather than hate, Anchovies)
Enrico: m^2 s^-2 k^1 Joule (Energy)
Portia: m^2 s^-3 k^1 Watt (Power)
Felix: m^1 s^-2 k^1 Newton (Force)
Primula: m^-1 s^-2 k^1 Pascal (Pressure)
Randolph: s-1 Becquerel (Radioactivity)

This was a great puzzle. Thank goodness for

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SI_derived_unit :-)
P.S. The school should have been called the Seafood Institute!

  • $\begingroup$ Congratulations. 99% of the way there. I was after the family name, rather than the name used for the derived unit - it's the same thing in most cases, but a couple are slightly longer. Apologies for the error on magnetic flux, I'll edit the question to correct this. $\endgroup$
    – Gordon K
    Commented Aug 24, 2015 at 11:19
  • $\begingroup$ Oh, you mean like Volta instead of Volt? That makes sense. $\endgroup$
    – Vicky
    Commented Aug 24, 2015 at 11:33
  • $\begingroup$ That's wonderful :-) I just don't get Hint 3 at all. $\endgroup$
    – The Vee
    Commented Aug 24, 2015 at 13:08
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @VašekPotoček What does it say if you leave "of Fish" out of the title? $\endgroup$
    – Gordon K
    Commented Aug 24, 2015 at 13:48
  • $\begingroup$ @Vicky: and Farad would be Faraday. $\endgroup$
    – user88
    Commented Aug 25, 2015 at 1:32

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