St Ives (sp?)

We all know the tune…As I was going to St Ives I met a man with seven wives…Kits Cats, sacks wives how many were going to St. Ives.

Of course the answer is one. The rest were going the other way. How do we know this? Couldn’t we assume we met while BOTH going to St Ives…

Sure you can, but then you don’t get to watch the pained expression of the victim who has just tried to multiply all those cats and kits (while remembering to leave out the sacks that you need for the multiplication but can’t count as part of “how many”).

The point is to tie someone in the knots of multiplication, then spring them out with apparently utterly simple logic.

Point out your logic the next time you hear someone playing that prank. It should guarantee you at least 25 minutes of wrangling.


It’s easy to figure out how many aren’t going to St Ives anyway.

7x7x7x7 + 1 - 49 = 2353

That’s a hell of a lot of felines.

(I have a feeling somebody’s gonna point out I did this wrong)

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The Legend Of PigeonMan - updates every Wed & Sat. If I can be bothered.

“ONE! How kin you say one?”
“Easy, afore I gets to two, I pops off with one.”

“Kits, cats, sacks and wives, how many was goin’ to ALTOONA? Come on, how many would you say?”

You beat me to it, eden.

“East is east and west is west and if you take cranberries and stew them like applesauce they taste much more like prunes than rhubarb does.” – Marx

Read “Sundials” in the new issue of Aboriginal Science Fiction.

I think it dates back to when almost everyone travelled on foot. You didn’t meet many people, and they usually were coming the other way.

Also St. Ives is a bit remote (it’s in the extreme SW of England.

There’s more than one way to “come”, glee?