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A Leather Purse!

Situation puzzles (sometimes called lateral thinking puzzles) are ones where you need to ask lots of yes or no questions to figure out what happened in the situation. These are good puzzles for groups where one person knows the puzzle and answers the questions.


Fun:*** (3.07)
Difficulty:** (1.92)
Submitted By:OldChinaHand


A beggar found a leather purse that someone had dropped in the marketplace. Opening it, he discovered that it contained 100 pieces of gold. Then he heard a merchant shout, "A reward! A reward to the one who finds my leather purse!"

Being an honest man, the beggar came forward and handed the purse to the merchant saying, "Here is your purse. May I have the reward now?"

"Reward?" scoffed the merchant, greedily counting his gold. "Why the purse I dropped had 200 pieces of gold in it. You've already stolen more than the reward! Go away or I'll tell the police."

"I'm an honest man," said the beggar defiantly. "Let us take this matter to the court."

In court, the judge patiently listened to both sides of the story of a leather bag lost and a leather bag found. He counted the coins; 100 gold coins in total. Then said, "If all was said is true then it's clear that no reward is necessary."

How did the judge rule on this case?

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Posted by GebbieRose on Jan 29, 2007

Clever indeed!

Posted by boodler on Jan 29, 2007

Justice is served!

Posted by t4mt on Jan 29, 2007

Again, Chinahand has amazed me with his teaser skills.

Posted by cassiemark on Jan 30, 2007

Easy breezy

Posted by Dishhead5 on Jan 31, 2007

again, nice one from chinahand

Posted by stormtrooper on Jan 31, 2007

he showed him!

Posted by vlerma on Feb 02, 2007

Can I play the beggar? Good one OCH. More please?

Posted by lukeschett on Feb 05, 2007

Oh. So that's where my leather purse went. I lost that last week. Anyway, awesome teaser. OldChinaHand, you have some of the greatest teasers I have ever seen.

Posted by SPUTNIK2 on Feb 08, 2007

nice one, and nicely written

Posted by LeafFan4life on Feb 28, 2007

is this guy a man? why does he have a purse with him that is disgraceful only women carry purses (no offense to any man who owns or carries a purse im just generally speaking)

Posted by Jimbo on Mar 08, 2007

Any more comments like that Leafan and I'll hit you with my handbag!

Posted by amn22492 on May 23, 2007

very good! i was way off track! i figured the judge was corupt

Posted by princess2007 on Mar 08, 2011

ooh but cudnt ya think of it this way- the merchant said he'd lost a leather bag, he said nothing about losing the money inside. So technically the begger shud be given the money and the merchant the bag!! everything settled!

Posted by Skybet on Jul 07, 2011

Superb, loved it!

Posted by tonjawithaj on Jul 20, 2011

Very nice!

Posted by Quocalimar on Jan 11, 2013

I don't know if I'm just dumb, because no one else is commenting about itt but why wouldn't they assume the beggar, honest or not, stole the other 100. According to a perfect world where the beggar doesn't lie, and the fact that we know he didn't steal it, the answer works, but the judge doesn't know that, and it couldn't be a perfect world because the merchant didn't know the beggar wasn't lying.

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