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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Reading Room:
**FD Party: Gandalf and the Hobbit children

Forum Admin / Moderator

Apr 26 2018, 11:30am

Post #1 of 9 (2211 views)
**FD Party: Gandalf and the Hobbit children Can't Post

TORnsib Roheryn has been a great creator of logic puzzles! Here's one of hers from the Old Boards, very appropriate for a celebration.

The day before Bilbo's and Frodo's great Birthday Party, two Hobbit-lasses (Primrose and Buttercup) and two Hobbit-lads (Merimac and Fastred) found Gandalf bustling through Hobbiton. The four children followed him in a single file line all the way to Bag End, begging him to set off some of the fireworks for which he was famous.

Each child was a different age (5, 6, 7, or 8 years), and each child's father had a different occupation (baker, gardener, tinsmith, or woodcutter). Can you figure out where in the line each child was, the age of each child, and the occupation held by each child's father?

1. As they follow Gandalf, the tinsmith's child is directly behind six-year-old Buttercup.

2. Merimac is younger than Fastred.

3. The boy who leads the line is immediately followed by the gardener's child.

4. The child aged 7 is third in line.

5. Primrose, whose father is a baker, is younger than the second child in line.

(Remember, no answers in the subject line! Wink)


"I desired dragons with a profound desire"

(This post was edited by dernwyn on Apr 26 2018, 11:39am)


Apr 26 2018, 7:04pm

Post #2 of 9 (2168 views)
Haven't a clue. [In reply to] Can't Post

Should be cinch (I hope Unsure)

First child is a boy, so Merimac or Fastred.
Third child is 7 years
Gardeners child is second in line

(Merimac or Fastred) - Age ? - Father ?
Name ? - Age ? - Father Gardener
Name ? - Age 7 - Father ?
Name ? - Age ? - Father ?

Buttercup Age 6 is not first in line (girl Tongue), and not last in line (can't be followed) and no third in line (not Age 7). There for child nr 2 i Buttercup

(Merimac or Fastred) - Age ? - Father ?
Buttercup - Age 6 - Father Gardener
Name ? - Age 7 - Father ?
Name ? - Age ? - Father ?

Primrose is younger than Age 6, therefore Age 5. Primrose is not third in line (not Age 7), and not first in line (girl Tongue) Therefore Primrose is fourth in line and her father is the Baker. (Fact)

(Merimac or Fastred) - Age ? - Father ?
Buttercup - Age 6 - Father Gardener
Name ? - Age 7 - Father ?
Primrose - Age 5 - Father Baker

First child in line is Age 8, (all other seats taken). Merimac is the younger boy therefore Merimac is number 3 in line.

Fastred - Age 8 - Father ?
Buttercup - Age 6 - Father Gardener
Merimac - Age 7 - Father ?
Primrose - Age 5 - Father Baker

Falling Domnoes:
Tinsmiths child behind buttercup, therefore Merimacs father is Tim Smith, and Fastreds is cutting wood

Fastred - Age 8 - Father Woodcutter
Buttercup - Age 6 - Father Gardener
Merimac - Age 7 - Father Tinsmith
Primrose - Age 5 - Father Baker


I mean that reasoning only works out if you don't count Gandalf as part of the line, so really I can't say.

(This post was edited by InTheChair on Apr 26 2018, 7:06pm)


Apr 26 2018, 11:54pm

Post #3 of 9 (2155 views)
Whoa! Great Brain Twister! :D [In reply to] Can't Post

Considering how challenged my brain power has been recently, I had fun trying to figure this out! Thanks so much for sharing this, dernwyn.... and Roheryn :D

Here's my shot at it as the children stand in line following Gandalf:

boy..8yo...Fastred......woodcutter's child
girl...6yo...Buttercup...gardener's child
boy..7yo...Merimac.....tinsmith's child
girl...5yo...Primrose....baker's child

The woodcutter didn't have any separate clues... hmmmm....



We have been there and back again.

TIME Google Calendar

6th draft of TH:AUJ Geeky Observations List - November 28, 2013
4th draft of TH:DOS Geeky Observations List - May 15, 2014

5th draft of TH:BotFA Geeky Observations List - January 30, 2015

TORn's Geeky Observations Lists for LotR and The Hobbit


Apr 27 2018, 4:18am

Post #4 of 9 (2144 views)
42 // [In reply to] Can't Post


Join us every weekend in the Hobbit movie forum for this week's CHOW (Chapter of the Week) discussion!

Forum Admin / Moderator

Apr 27 2018, 8:39am

Post #5 of 9 (2146 views)
Ok, here goes... [In reply to] Can't Post

1st is Fastred, age 8, woodcutter's child
2nd is Buttercup, age 6, Gardener's child
3rd is Merimac, age 7, Tinsmith's child
4th is Primrose, age 5, Baker's child


Roads go ever ever on
Under cloud and under star
Yet feet that wandering have gone
Turn at last to home afar.
Eyes that fire and sword have seen
And horror in the halls of stone
Look at last on meadows green
And trees and hills they long have known.

(This post was edited by Silverlode on Apr 28 2018, 2:13am)


Apr 29 2018, 6:14pm

Post #6 of 9 (2007 views)
My answer with workings [In reply to] Can't Post

From the facts given I start with this direct information about the procession:

#1 - a boy
#2 - gardener's child, older than Primrose
#3 - aged 7
#4 -

1) #4 cannot be Buttercup, because the Tinsmith's child follows Buttercup and therefore Buttercup cannot be last in line
2) From (1) and the direct information given, Buttercup must be #2, because she's not a boy, isn't aged 7 and is not last. She is also the gardener's child, because we're told the gardener's child is #2
3)If Buttercup (aged 6) is second in line and Primrose is younger than the #2 child, then Primrose is 5
4) If Primrose if 5 then she can't be #3 (because #3 is 7y.o.) Nor can she be #1 (because #1 is a boy). #2 is already Buttercup So Primrose must be #4
5) If the girls are aged 6 and 5 then the boys must be aged 7 and 8. If Merimac is younger than Fastred, then Merimac is 7, which means he is #3 since we're told that the 7y.o is 3rd in the procession. We also know that he's the tinsmith's child, since the tinsmith's child follows Buttercup
6) By elimination Fastred is 8 (all other ages taken) and is #1 (all other positions taken). His father must be the woodcutter, because all other father's professions are taken.

So that gives me

#1 Fastred, aged 8, the woodcutter's child
#2 Buttercup, aged 6, the Gardener's child
#3 Merimac, aged 7, the tinsmith's child
#4 Primrose, aged 5, the baker's child

...which, with any luck, is correct, But the puzzle was fun, anyhow (usually I can't do these!)

Where's that old read-through discussion?
A wonderful list of links to previous chapters in the 2014-2016 LOTR read-through (and to previous read-throughs) is curated by our very own 'squire' here http://users.bestweb.net/...-SixthDiscussion.htm


Apr 29 2018, 7:52pm

Post #7 of 9 (1983 views)
Very cool - thank you! [In reply to] Can't Post

I got it, but it took me some time. Smile

Forum Admin / Moderator

Apr 30 2018, 12:54am

Post #8 of 9 (1978 views)
Hey, that's an answer! [In reply to] Can't Post


But, fortunately, not for my questions! Laugh


"I desired dragons with a profound desire"

Forum Admin / Moderator

Apr 30 2018, 12:59am

Post #9 of 9 (1981 views)
You all solved it! [In reply to] Can't Post

Well, except for cats16, who gets honorable mention for coming up with an all-purpose answer. Laugh

Thank you all for having some fun with this! Smile


"I desired dragons with a profound desire"


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