I would appreciate some help in solving this riddle.

There is a sign that says "どくぞごじゆうにおとりくだちい" in front of candy samples at the candy shop. It means "Please feel free to take (one)." However, you saw one passer-by taking as many as fifty-two of them. Why do you think that this person did so?


  • Aside of a possible typo on どくぞ→どうぞ, another typo is くだちい→ください
    – Andrew T.
    Jan 29 '20 at 13:11

Assuming the beginning is 「どうぞ」 and not 「どくぞ」, then it is quite simple.

The sign says ごじゆうに おとりください. The store owner's intended meaning is ご[自由]{じ・ゆう}に, which means "freely" or "feel free to". However, if the sign was written only in hiragana, the person might have mistook it for ごじうに (notice the small-sized ゅ instead of the larger ゆ). In this case, as we know, ごじゅうに means "52".

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