The great emperor Akbar once ruled India. He was well known for his intelligence. But along with that, he was known for the Nine Gems in his court. One of the nine gems was Birbal, a quick witted and extremely intelligent man. The stories of his wit were widely popular.
Once a king ruling in a distant land heard of Birbal. To check his wit, he sent an invitation and called him to visit his land. Akbar allowed Birbal to go and he took off on the journey.
Upon reaching that kings kingdom, he was welcomed with flowers. He was then escorted to the palace of the king. Upon entering the palace, Birbal found that there were six people sitting in front of him adorning the same robe. They were also lookalike and it was hard to judge who the real king was.
After a couple of minutes, Birbal approached one of them and bowed in front of him greeting him.
That was the real king. How did Birbal know who was the real king ?
Birbal was jester, counsellor, and fool to the great Moghul emperor, Akbar.
The villagers loved to talk of Birbal's wisdom and cleverness,
and the emperor loved to try to outsmart him.
One day Akbar (emperor) drew a line across the floor.
"Birbal," he ordered, "you must make this line shorter, but you cannot erase any bit of it."
Everyone present thought the emperor had finally outsmarted Birbal.
It was clearly an impossible task.
Yet within moments the emperor and everyone else present had to agree that Birbal had made the line shorter without erasing any of it.
How could this be?
While preparing the table for dinner, wife came up with an idea to tease his mathematician husband. She asked her husband to pick nine toothpicks and make ten without breaking any toothpick.
The husband was also smart and did it within seconds. How ?
In the 1920s, people feared that crossword puzzles would contribute to illiteracy.