This clever short story that captures the feeling of a math problem that "gets under your skin" was printed in
The Mathematical Magpie
and was said to have been "collected" by A.J. Lohwater. Well, I finally did a little bit of looking around to see who this Lohwater was and was surprised to find that he was not a writer, but a mathematician and editor of the Mathematical Reviews at about the same time that this story was first printed.
Can anyone out there fill me in on how this came to be? Did he *write* the story? Did he just put down on paper a joke that had been going around in mathematical circles? How does it relate to the story The Devil and Simon Flagg which was published much earlier and has basically the same plot? |