Saturday, December 7, 2002
M I N D  G A M E S

Sleep poor, wake up rich

Aditya Rishi

KISMET faints in front of the house she has been trying to locate for the past two days in the big city. She regains consciousness in hospital, where a nurse serves her tea and biscuits. The food would taste good, but only if she could find her grandfather first. "I don't have the money to pay you for all that you are doing," says Kismet to the nurse. "Relax, even if we charge you double, we won't be taking even a fraction of your Rs 9,000 crore wealth," says the nurse. Kismet: "I am serious. I am a poor village girl, searching for my grandfather..." Nurse (interrupting): "The entire city knows this story by now; here, read it for yourself." She passes on the morning newspaper to the girl, who is surprised to find her picture in it.

The headline in bold print reads: : "HEIR FAINTS AT FORTUNE'S DOOR" Unable to understand it, she, then, reads the copy: "The search for the heir of Rich Solomon ended at his door here today, where the lucky girl who inherits the Rs 9,000 crore fortune of the Solomon family was found unconscious. The note in her hand contained the address, with the word "grandfather" written above it. Though the old manager of the estate, who had, till now, been coordinating the nationwide search for the heir said he had no doubt that she was the rightful inheritor, the family lawyer says that he has some questions to ask before the fortune can be passed on to her. Her grandfather, Rich Solomon, died a week ago, leaving her the entire family fortune..."


Outside her room, stand the manager and the lawyer, waiting. Manager: "It's a great story. Somewhere in this country, a 10-year-old girl is walking into 9,000 crore bucks." Lawyer: "Yes, I know. Soon, I shall make her give me the power of attorney and we can continue to eat into the fortune like before." "You may see her now," the nurse calls out.

Lawyer (to Kismet): "I'd like to ask you a few questions." Kismet (crying): "I can't tell if I'll hire you; I can't tell if I am rich. It puzzles me why these people all want to work for me for nothing. It isn't natural. Newspapers say that my grandfather has died; it can't be true." Lawyer (ignoring): "Ms Kismet, are you the daughter of Prof Solomon and Sheeba Solomon?" Kismet: "Yes." Lawyer: "Are your parents living?" Kismet: "Why, no." Does the name of Rich Solomon mean anything to you?" "He's my grandfather, though he came to see me only once when I was young." The lawyer: "Well, he passed on in an accident. I have good news for you. He left a large fortune all to you. Deducting the taxes, it amounts to about Rs 9,000 crore."

Kismet: "Did he also leave the answer?" Lawyer: "Which answer?" "Numbers are written in all 16 squares of a 4 by 4 table, so that, the sum of the neighbours of each number is 1. Neighbouring squares are those with a common side. Find the sum of all the numbers in the table. He left me this puzzle when he went away the first time." Lawyer: "Why, Rich Solomon had never been fond of mathematics; I used to handle his accounts. If ever he knew a puzzle guy, it was his butler, who is from his village. I am forgetting his name...hmm..." Butler: "Rich Solomon, Sir." Lawyer (surprised): "Are you her grandfather?" "Yes; and father of the other Prof Solomon and Sheeba, too." Kismet (overjoyed): "Grandfather!" They hug. She sleeps in his lap and wakes up in a large mansion, her grandfather by her side.

Kismet: What happened, how did we arrive here?" "Just before his death, the rich Rich Solomon learnt that he had been left with no heir, so, he willed his fortune to the only man he liked in this world: his butler, that's I." Give the answer to the butler's puzzle at The Tribune or