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The Caliph's Bride

| The Caliph's Bride Part 2 | Quiz Page |

The Caliph's Bride

This is really three puzzles put together but I like the story they created when joined. 

In the land of Blue Moon there was an extremely rich Caliph who was both disliked and feared by his subjects. He liked to take what he wanted but had grown to know that people were becoming a little restless and so he was having to cover some of his worst excesses in devious ways.

The land was situated in a fertile plain and had rice fields as far as the eye could see in  every direction. The Caliph taxed half of all production and his storage barns were full to overflowing. He traded his surplus rice with traders from the four corners of the world for gold and jewels and slaves.

One day while travelling through his countryside he espied the prettiest woman he had ever seen. He immediately wanted her for his wife (to join the twelve he already had). 

"You must ask my father for my hand," the young woman said and so the Caliph rode to her father's home which turned out to be a hovel. The woman, by means of signs and gestures indicated to her father that she did not want to be the thirteenth bride of such a brute and her father, who loved her deeply winked at her to say he understood. He also knew that to say "No," to the Caliph would unleash his wrath and he would need to play very carefully.

"You are a fair and wealthy man," he said to the Caliph and your barns creak under the weight of the rice stored there. Would you be willing to pay a bride price in rice?"

It was the custom in that land for the family of the bride to receive gifts from the groom if there were to be a wedding.

"How much rice?" Asked the Caliph beaming with the thought that the man had not asked for gold or jewels.

The old man pulled out a chessboard and placed it on the table. He took a handful of rice from the little he had and placed a single grain on the first square. He then placed two grains on the second and four grains on the third square.

I will let you have my daughter if you can double the grains on each square as you go along until you have covered every last square on the chessboard. The Caliph laughed out loud and blew a big kiss at the beautiful young woman.

"I will go immediately to my grain store and bring the rice you require."

Did the Caliph claim the bride?







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