After being snookered by Pholus’ puzzle for longer than he had hoped, Hercules finally reached the bistro owned by his uncle – Eugene’s Tables – with just five minutes to spare before it opened for lunch.
“Where have you been?” cried Eugene. “I need you to help tidy this place up before the customers begin arriving!”
Hercules looked around. The restaurant was most definitely a MESS. The counter was filthy, none of the tables were set, and in one corner of the room a whole miscellany of objects were piled up against the wall.
“Why do you have this stuff just lying around?!” Hercules asked, incredulous. “Some of these look like they REALLY shouldn’t be in a restaurant, and oh I’ve just realised that this is going to be another puzzle, isn’t it...?”
Eugene clapped his hands together. “Yes it is! Thirty-two objects – remove all but two of them and you’ll be able to work out what item I promised to buy your mother for her office.”
“Right,” said Hercules, “so how do I work out which ones to take away?”
“Well,” replied his uncle, “let’s just say you’ve got two hands and very little time before we open, so you should remove items two at a time, as a pair.”
Hercules nodded and snatched up the trombone and a spear. Eugene shook his head. “That’s not a valid pair.”
“Oh, so there’s a rule to follow?”
“Indeed,” said Eugene, “and you’ve got four minutes to work it out...”
TASK: Work out how Hercules can remove thirty of the items two at a time. Pair the remaining two to deduce the item Eugene has promised to Hercules’ mother.
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