Todays puzzles are all penned by Lewis Carroll, the author of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, and appear in a delightful miscellany of his non-Alice scribblings, Lewis Carroll’s Guide for Insomniacs, curated by LC superfan Gyles Brandreth. They may be oldies, but they are goodies!

1. The Chelsea Pensioners

If 70 per cent have lost an eye, 75 per cent an ear, 80 per cent an arm, 85 per cent a leg: what percentage, at least, must have lost all four.

2. Apples appear

Dreaming of apples on a wall,
And dreaming often, dear,
I dreamed that, if I counted all
– How many would appear?

3. Russian sons

A Russian had three sons. The first was named Rab and became a lawyer. The second was named Ymra and became a soldier. The third son became a sailor. What was his name?

4. Word ways

a) Find a bird with the latters ‘gp’ as its nucleus.

b) Find a fruit with the letters ‘emo’ as its nucleus.

5. Doublets

Also known as a “word ladder”, the doublet is a now familiar puzzle that Carroll invented. You are given two words, and you must get from one to the other in a sequence of words that differ in only one letter. Thus to get from HEAD to TAIL, you could proceed HEAD, HEAL, TEAL, TELL, TALL, TAIL

a) Prove RAVEN to be MISER (3 links)

b) Change OAT to RYE (3)

c) Evolve MAN from APE (5)

d) Place BEANS on SHELF (7)

I’ll be back with the solutions at 5pm UK.

PLEASE NO SPOILERS. Instead please indulge us with your favourite characters, puzzles and lines from the Carrollian oeuvre.

Lewis Carroll – the pen name of Oxford maths don Charles Lutwidge Dodgson – was a famous insomniac and once wrote a book, Pillow Problems, consisting of puzzles he liked to think about as he tried to fall asleep.

In 1979, Gyles Brandreth gathered some of Carroll’s puzzles, rhymes and musings in the book, Lewis Caroll’s Guide for Insomniacs, which has just been reissued by boutique publisher Notting Hill Editions, with a new introduction. It’s a beautifully packaged pot-pourri, and I recommend it!

You can buy the book at the Guardian bookstore, or at other online sellers.

I’ve been setting a puzzle here on alternate Mondays since 2015. I’m always on the look-out for great puzzles. If you would like to suggest one, email me.

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