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Digital Subscriptions > Prospect Magazine > Apr-18 > Enigmas & puzzles

Enigmas & puzzles

Balance of payment

Mr Colin Detts, a financial adviser who manages Toulouse Capital, keeps bags of gold coins in his safe. When business is quiet, he passes the time by weighing them against each other on the three balances in his office (shown above). There are five different types of bag: blue, green grey, red, and yellow. They each have a whole number weight from 1–5 inclusive, although not necessarily in that order. Although bags of the same colour have an identical weight, no two bags with different colours weigh the same. One arrangement of the bags on the three balances is shown above. The scales tip to reveal that a yellow and grey together are heavier than a single green, the grey is heavier than two of the red bags, and the green is heavier than the red and grey together.

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About Prospect Magazine

In Prospect's April issue: Four writers explain how our relationship with death has changed in as technological and medical advances have been made in recent years. Joanna Bourke explores how modern life is now able to live on through social media sites, Cathy Rentzenbrink explains how (referring to the case of her own brother) a “twilight zone,” in which someone is neither alive nor dead, has been created through medical advances. Michael Marmot argues that we are experiencing a change in regards to our life expectancy—over the course of a series of decades we have seen life expectancy increase, but what do recent decreases actually mean. Meanwhile, Philip Ball writes about his participation in an experiment to create a second brain from his own flesh. Elsewhere in the issues: Jane Kinninmont questions whether the Saudi Crown Price, Mohammed bin Salman, really knows what he’s doing, Daniel Howden charts how European attitudes to migrants might be changing and Jay Elwes asks: Does a Cornish mine hold the answer to questions about the UK’s green future?