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When Men Were Men

If a man and a half, all of whom speak Scot’s Gaelic as well as English and have had 5 years of schooling, dig a hole and a half while the temperature is 35 degrees Fahrenheit, smoking 22 cigars, eating 4 pounds of preserved goose, reciting a Shakespeare sonnet, take a day and a half to do the job, how long will it take one man speaking only ancient Egyptian, Sumarian, and Chinook trade jargon and having 3 years of schooling, to dig a single hole while the temperature is 3 degrees Centigrade, smoking 11 cigars and eating 3 kilos of Noules Marienere while saying from memory all the poetic contents of the Egyptian edition of the Lord of the Rings?

Note: This problem is not that old (about 40 years), but it is a parody on the “olde” rate problems.


Source: C. Linderholm’s Mathematics Made Difficult, 1972