The Weekly Warlock Wind-Up: Office space (answer)

This week, I provided you with what I think is one of my hardest puzzles yet – how much should the photocopier cost?

COMPUTER – £1100

FILING CABINET – £153

DISPLAY SHELVING – £607

PHOTOCOPIER – ?

Stuck? Oh go on then, I’ll tell you after the break.

I would be interested to hear about the various techniques that people might have used to attack this problem, although from the lack of comments I assume that nobody managed to crack it.

Actually, you just needed to look at the words and see that some of the letters are in fact Roman numerals! M, D, C, L, V, and I to be precise. Removing everything but these from each word should give you something like this:

• CM
• ILICI
• DILLVI
• CI

Now all you had to do was add up the individual values. Here are the values of each numeral:

• M = 1000
• D = 500
• C = 100
• L = 50
• V = 5
• I = 1

So you should get the following:

• 100 + 1000 = 1100
• 1 + 50 + 1 + 100 + 1 = 153
• 500 + 1 + 50 + 50 + 5 + 1 = 607
• 100 + 1 = 101

NB: This is not how Roman numerals are normally calculated. Usually the placement of the letters indicates addition or subtraction, but in this case we are just considering all the individual values and adding them up, just like with normal algebra.

So, the answer is £101! Was anyone close at all?

Vel.