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Claim:   A Thief student stops by the office of one of his instructors to ask a question and finds that the professor has stepped out for a moment, leaving an unguarded stack of the next day's final examinations on his desk. The student quickly steals one of the exams and disappears. Before issuing the exam, however, the professor counts them and notices that one is missing. He cuts a half-inch off the bottom of every exam prior to distributing them to the class, then fails the student who turns in a test paper longer than the rest.

LEGEND

Origins:   Many collegiate legends deal with students who devise clever ways of cheating by fooling teachers with switched examination papers and booklets (such as Book of Daze, Paginal Exam, and Mother Knows Test). This example presents a reverse twist on those legends: the cheater is outsmarted, caught, and punished by a quick-thinking instructor.

Last updated:   16 June 2011

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Sources:

    Brunvand, Jan Harold.   Curses! Broiled Again!
    New York: W. W. Norton, 1989.   ISBN 0-393-30711-5   (pp. 285-286).