Akbar the Emperor draws a line across the floor and challenges his jester Birbal to make it shorter without erasing anything. Ordered never to set foot on Ethiopian soil again, Abunuwas finds a way to obey without leaving his home. A blind singer contrives to regain the treasure a thief saw him bury. Shannon continues to challenge our ingenuity with 14 lucidly retold puzzle tales, gathered from many traditions, all solvable by clear thinking and careful reading -- Birbal makes the line ""shorter"" by drawing a longer one next to it, and Abunuwas wears bags of Egyptian soil on his feet. Solutions are provided on the page following each story. As in this collection's two predecessors, Sis's stippled, freely drawn figures enhance the lighthearted tone, and Shannon carefully notes at least two sources for each tale. Accessible, wise, and richly humorous.