The lady members of the Wilkinson family had made a simple patchwork quilt, as a small Christmas present, all composed of square pieces of the same size, as shown in the illustration. It only lacked the four corner pieces to make it complete. Somebody pointed out to them that if you unpicked the Greek cross in the middle and then cut the stitches along the dark joins, the four pieces all of the same size and shape would fit together and form a square. This the reader knows, from the solution in Fig. 39, is quite easily done. But George Wilkinson suddenly suggested to them this poser. He said, "Instead of picking out the cross entire, and forming the square from four equal pieces, can you cut out a square entire and four equal pieces that will form a perfect Greek cross?" The puzzle is, of course, now quite easy.

## Thursday, December 27, 2012

## Thursday, December 20, 2012

### THE NINE TREASURE BOXES.

The following puzzle will illustrate the importance on occasions of being able to fix the minimum and maximum limits of a required number. This can very frequently be done. For example, it has not yet been ascertained in how many different ways the knight's tour can be performed on the chess board; but we know that it is fewer than the number of combinations of 168 things taken 63 at a time and is greater than 31,054,144—for the latter is the number of routes of a particular type. Or, to take a more familiar case, if you ask a man how many coins he has in his pocket, he may tell you that he has not the slightest idea. But on further questioning you will get out of him some such statement as the following: "Yes, I am positive that I have more than three coins, and equally certain that there are not so many as twenty-five." Now, the knowledge that a certain number lies between 2 and 12 in my puzzle will enable the solver to find the exact answer; without that information there would be an infinite number of answers, from which it would be impossible to select the correct one.

This is another puzzle received from my friend Don Manuel Rodriguez, the cranky miser of New Castile. On New Year's Eve in 1879 he showed me nine treasure boxes, and after informing me that every box contained a square number of golden doubloons, and that the difference between the contents of A and B was the same as between B and C, D and E, E and F, G and H, or H and I, he requested me to tell him the number of coins in every one of the boxes. At first I thought this was impossible, as there would be an infinite number of different answers, but on consideration I found that this was not the case. I discovered that while every box contained coins, the contents of A, B, C increased in weight in alphabetical order; so did D, E, F; and so did G, H, I; but D or E need not be heavier than C, nor G or H heavier than F. It was also perfectly certain that box A could not contain more than a dozen coins at the outside; there might not be half that number, but I was positive that there were not more than twelve. With this knowledge I was able to arrive at the correct answer.

In short, we have to discover nine square numbers such that A, B, C; and D, E, F; and G, H, I are three groups in arithmetical progression, the common difference being the same in each group, and A being less than 12. How many doubloons were there in every one of the nine boxes?

Solution

## Monday, December 17, 2012

### THE SEE-SAW PUZZLE.

Necessity is, indeed, the mother of invention. I was amused the other day in watching a boy who wanted to play see-saw and, in his failure to find another child to share the sport with him, had been driven back upon the ingenious resort of tying a number of bricks to one end of the plank to balance his weight at the other.

As a matter of fact, he just balanced against sixteen bricks, when these were fixed to the short end of plank, but if he fixed them to the long end of plank he only needed eleven as balance.

Now, what was that boy's weight, if a brick weighs equal to a three-quarter brick and three-quarters of a pound?

Solution

## Thursday, December 13, 2012

### A PUZZLING LEGACY.

A man left a hundred acres of land to be divided among his three sons—Alfred, Benjamin, and Charles—in the proportion of one-third, one-fourth, and one-fifth respectively. But Charles died. How was the land to be divided fairly between Alfred and Benjamin?

Solution

Solution

### A PUZZLING LEGACY.

Solution

### A PUZZLING LEGACY.

Solution

## Wednesday, December 5, 2012

### MR. GUBBINS IN A FOG.

Mr. Gubbins, a diligent man of business, was much inconvenienced by a London fog. The electric light happened to be out of order and he had to manage as best he could with two candles. His clerk assured him that though both were of the same length one candle would burn for four hours and the other for five hours. After he had been working some time he put the candles out as the fog had lifted, and he then noticed that what remained of one candle was exactly four times the length of what was left of the other.

When he got home that night Mr. Gubbins, who liked a good puzzle, said to himself, "Of course it is possible to work out just how long those two candles were burning to-day. I'll have a shot at it." But he soon found himself in a worse fog than the atmospheric one. Could you have assisted him in his dilemma? How long were the candles burning?

Solution

## Sunday, December 2, 2012

### DIGITAL SQUARE NUMBERS.

Here are the nine digits so arranged that they form four square numbers: 9, 81, 324, 576. Now, can you put them all together so as to form a single square number—(I) the smallest possible, and (II) the largest possible?

Solution

Solution

## Wednesday, November 28, 2012

### THE TEN COUNTERS.

In this case we use the nought in addition to the 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9. The puzzle is, as in the last case, so to arrange the ten counters that the products of the two multiplications shall be the same, and you may here have one or more figures in the multiplier, as you choose. The above is a very easy feat; but it is also required to find the two arrangements giving pairs of the highest and lowest products possible. Of course every counter must be used, and the cipher may not be placed to the left of a row of figures where it would have no effect. Vulgar fractions or decimals are not allowed.

Solution

Solution

## Monday, November 19, 2012

### THE HYDROPLANE QUESTION.

The inhabitants of Slocomb-on-Sea were greatly excited over the visit of a certain flying man. All the town turned out to see the flight of the wonderful hydroplane, and, of course, Dobson and his family were there. Master Tommy was in good form, and informed his father that Englishmen made better airmen than Scotsmen and Irishmen because they are not so heavy. "How do you make that out?" asked Mr. Dobson. "Well, you see," Tommy replied, "it is true that in Ireland there are men of Cork and in Scotland men of Ayr, which is better still, but in England there are lightermen." Unfortunately it had to be explained to Mrs. Dobson, and this took the edge off the thing. The hydroplane flight was from Slocomb to the neighbouring watering-place Poodleville—five miles distant. But there was a strong wind, which so helped the airman that he made the outward journey in the short time of ten minutes, though it took him an hour to get back to the starting point at Slocomb, with the wind dead against him. Now, how long would the ten miles have taken him if there had been a perfect calm? Of course, the hydroplane's engine worked uniformly throughout.

Solution

Solution

## Friday, November 16, 2012

### THE CLUB CLOCK.

One of the big clocks in the Cogitators' Club was found the other night to have stopped just when, as will be seen in the illustration, the second hand was exactly midway between the other two hands. One of the members proposed to some of his friends that they should tell him the exact time when (if the clock had not stopped) the second hand would next again have been midway between the minute hand and the hour hand. Can you find the correct time that it would happen?

Solution

Solution

## Monday, November 12, 2012

### QUEER RELATIONSHIPS.

"Speaking of relationships," said the Parson at a certain dinner-party, "our legislators are getting the marriage law into a frightful tangle, Here, for example, is a puzzling case that has come under my notice. Two brothers married two sisters. One man died and the other man's wife also died. Then the survivors married."

"The man married his deceased wife's sister under the recent Act?" put in the Lawyer.

"Exactly. And therefore, under the civil law, he is legally married and his child is legitimate. But, you see, the man is the woman's deceased husband's brother, and therefore, also under the civil law, she is not married to him and her child is illegitimate."

"He is married to her and she is not married to him!" said the Doctor.

"Quite so. And the child is the legitimate son of his father, but the illegitimate son of his mother."

"Undoubtedly 'the law is a hass,'" the Artist exclaimed, "if I may be permitted to say so," he added, with a bow to the Lawyer.

"Certainly," was the reply. "We lawyers try our best to break in the beast to the service of man. Our legislators are responsible for the breed."

"And this reminds me," went on the Parson, "of a man in my parish who married the sister of his widow. This man——"

"Stop a moment, sir," said the Professor. "Married the sister of his widow? Do you marry dead men in your parish?"

"No; but I will explain that later. Well, this man has a sister of his own. Their names are Stephen Brown and Jane Brown. Last week a young fellow turned up whom Stephen introduced to me as his nephew. Naturally, I spoke of Jane as his aunt, but, to my astonishment, the youth corrected me, assuring me that, though he was the nephew of Stephen, he was not the nephew of Jane, the sister of Stephen. This perplexed me a good deal, but it is quite correct."

The Lawyer was the first to get at the heart of the mystery. What was his solution?

Solution

## Friday, November 2, 2012

### THE EXCURSION TICKET PUZZLE.

When the big flaming placards were exhibited at the little provincial railway station, announcing that the Great —— Company would run cheap excursion trains to London for the Christmas holidays, the inhabitants of Mudley-cum-Turmits were in quite a flutter of excitement. Half an hour before the train came in the little booking office was crowded with country passengers, all bent on visiting their friends in the great Metropolis. The booking clerk was unaccustomed to dealing with crowds of such a dimension, and he told me afterwards, while wiping his manly brow, that what caused him so much trouble was the fact that these rustics paid their fares in such a lot of small money.

He said that he had enough farthings to supply a West End draper with change for a week, and a sufficient number of threepenny pieces for the congregations of three parish churches. "That excursion fare," said he, "is nineteen shillings and ninepence, and I should like to know in just how many different ways it is possible for such an amount to be paid in the current coin of this realm."

Here, then, is a puzzle: In how many different ways may nineteen shillings and ninepence be paid in our current coin? Remember that the fourpenny-piece is not now current.

Solution

## Monday, October 29, 2012

### A DEAL IN EGGS.

A man went recently into a dairyman's shop to buy eggs. He wanted them of various qualities. The salesman had new-laid eggs at the high price of fivepence each, fresh eggs at one penny each, eggs at a halfpenny each, and eggs for electioneering purposes at a greatly reduced figure, but as there was no election on at the time the buyer had no use for the last. However, he bought some of each of the three other kinds and obtained exactly one hundred eggs for eight and fourpence. Now, as he brought away exactly the same number of eggs of two of the three qualities, it is an interesting puzzle to determine just how many he bought at each price

Solution

Solution

## Tuesday, October 23, 2012

### A QUEER THING IN MONEY.

It will be found that £66, 6s. 6d. equals 15,918 pence. Now, the four 6's added together make 24, and the figures in 15,918 also add to 24. It is a curious fact that there is only one other sum of money, in pounds, shillings, and pence (all similarly repetitions of one figure), of which the digits shall add up the same as the digits of the amount in pence. What is the other sum of money?

Solution

Solution

## Friday, October 19, 2012

### YOUTHFUL PRECOCITY.

The precocity of some youths is surprising. One is disposed to say on occasion, "That boy of yours is a genius, and he is certain to do great things when he grows up;" but past experience has taught us that he invariably becomes quite an ordinary citizen. It is so often the case, on the contrary, that the dull boy becomes a great man. You never can tell. Nature loves to present to us these queer paradoxes. It is well known that those wonderful "lightning calculators," who now and again surprise the world by their feats, lose all their mysterious powers directly they are taught the elementary rules of arithmetic.

A boy who was demolishing a choice banana was approached by a young friend, who, regarding him with envious eyes, asked, "How much did you pay for that banana, Fred?" The prompt answer was quite remarkable in its way: "The man what I bought it of receives just half as many sixpences for sixteen dozen dozen bananas as he gives bananas for a fiver."

Now, how long will it take the reader to say correctly just how much Fred paid for his rare and refreshing fruit?

## Sunday, October 14, 2012

### PHEASANT-SHOOTING.

A Cockney friend, who is very apt to draw the long bow, and is evidently less of a sportsman than he pretends to be, relates to me the following not very credible yarn:—

"I've just been pheasant-shooting with my friend the duke. We had splendid sport, and I made some wonderful shots. What do you think of this, for instance? Perhaps you can twist it into a puzzle. The duke and I were crossing a field when suddenly twenty-four pheasants rose on the wing right in front of us. I fired, and two-thirds of them dropped dead at my feet. Then the duke had a shot at what were left, and brought down three-twenty-fourths of them, wounded in the wing. Now, out of those twenty-four birds, how many still remained?"

It seems a simple enough question, but can the reader give a correct answer?

Solution

## Wednesday, October 10, 2012

### THE TIRING IRONS.

The illustration represents one of the most ancient of all mechanical puzzles. Its origin is unknown. Cardan, the mathematician, wrote about it in 1550, and Wallis in 1693; while it is said still to be found in obscure English villages (sometimes deposited in strange places, such as a church belfry), made of iron, and appropriately called "tiring-irons," and to be used by the Norwegians to-day as a lock for boxes and bags. In the toyshops it is sometimes called the "Chinese rings," though there seems to be no authority for the description, and it more frequently goes by the unsatisfactory name of "the puzzling rings." The French call it "Baguenaudier."

The puzzle will be seen to consist of a simple loop of wire fixed in a handle to be held in the left hand, and a certain number of rings secured by wires which pass through holes in the bar and are kept there by their blunted ends. The wires work freely in the bar, but cannot come apart from it, nor can the wires be removed from the rings. The general puzzle is to detach the loop completely from all the rings, and then to put them all on again.

Now, it will be seen at a glance that the first ring (to the right) can be taken off at any time by sliding it over the end and dropping it through the loop; or it may be put on by reversing the operation. With this exception, the only ring that can ever be removed is the one that happens to be a contiguous second on the loop at the right-hand end. Thus, with all the rings on, the second can be dropped at once; with the first ring down, you cannot drop the second, but may remove the third; with the first three rings down, you cannot drop the fourth, but may remove the fifth; and so on. It will be found that the first and second rings can be dropped together or put on together; but to prevent confusion we will throughout disallow this exceptional double move, and say that only one ring may be put on or removed at a time.

We can thus take off one ring in 1 move; two rings in 2 moves; three rings in 5 moves; four rings in 10 moves; five rings in 21 moves; and if we keep on doubling (and adding one where the number of rings is odd) we may easily ascertain the number of moves for completely removing any number of rings. To get off all the seven rings requires 85 moves. Let us look at the five moves made in removing the first three rings, the circles above the line standing for rings on the loop and those under for rings off the loop.

Drop the first ring; drop the third; put up the first; drop the second; and drop the first—5 moves, as shown clearly in the diagrams. The dark circles show at each stage, from the starting position to the finish, which rings it is possible to drop. After move 2 it will be noticed that no ring can be dropped until one has been put on, because the first and second rings from the right now on the loop are not together. After the fifth move, if we wish to remove all seven rings we must now drop the fifth. But before we can then remove the fourth it is necessary to put on the first three and remove the first two. We shall then have 7, 6, 4, 3 on the loop, and may therefore drop the fourth. When we have put on 2 and 1 and removed 3, 2, 1, we may drop the seventh ring. The next operation then will be to get 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 on the loop and remove 4, 3, 2, 1, when 6 will come off; then get 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 on the loop, and remove 3, 2, 1, when 5 will come off; then get 4, 3, 2, 1 on the loop and remove 2, 1, when 4 will come off; then get 3, 2, 1 on the loop and remove 1, when 3 will come off; then get 2, 1 on the loop, when 2 will come off; and 1 will fall through on the 85th move, leaving the loop quite free. The reader should now be able to understand the puzzle, whether or not he has it in his hand in a practical form.

The particular problem I propose is simply this. Suppose there are altogether fourteen rings on the tiring-irons, and we proceed to take them all off in the correct way so as not to waste any moves. What will be the position of the rings after the 9,999th move has been made?

Solution

## Tuesday, September 25, 2012

### TWO NEW MAGIC SQUARES.

Construct a subtracting magic square with the first sixteen whole numbers that shall be "associated" by subtraction. The constant is, of course, obtained by subtracting the first number from the second in line, the result from the third, and the result again from the fourth. Also construct a dividing magic square of the same order that shall be "associated" by division. The constant is obtained by dividing the second number in a line by the first, the third by the quotient, and the fourth by the next quotient.

Solution

Solution

## Friday, September 21, 2012

### THE MONTENEGRIN DICE GAME.

It is said that the inhabitants of Montenegro have a little dice game that is both ingenious and well worth investigation. The two players first select two different pairs of odd numbers (always higher than 3) and then alternately toss three dice. Whichever first throws the dice so that they add up to one of his selected numbers wins. If they are both successful in two successive throws it is a draw and they try again. For example, one player may select 7 and 15 and the other 5 and 13. Then if the first player throws so that the three dice add up 7 or 15 he wins, unless the second man gets either 5 or 13 on his throw.

The puzzle is to discover which two pairs of numbers should be selected in order to give both players an exactly even chance.

Solution

## Saturday, September 15, 2012

### THE VILLAGE CRICKET MATCH.

In a cricket match, Dingley Dell v. All Muggleton, the latter had the first innings. Mr. Dumkins and Mr. Podder were at the wickets, when the wary Dumkins made a splendid late cut, and Mr. Podder called on him to run. Four runs were apparently completed, but the vigilant umpires at each end called, "three short," making six short runs in all. What number did Mr. Dumkins score? When Dingley Dell took their turn at the wickets their champions were Mr. Luffey and Mr. Struggles. The latter made a magnificent off-drive, and invited his colleague to "come along," with the result that the observant spectators applauded them for what was supposed to have been three sharp runs. But the umpires declared that there had been two short runs at each end—four in all. To what extent, if any, did this manÅ“uvre increase Mr. Struggles's total?

Solution

Solution

## Monday, September 10, 2012

### STEALING THE CASTLE TREASURE.

The ingenious manner in which a box of treasure, consisting principally of jewels and precious stones, was stolen from Gloomhurst Castle has been handed down as a tradition in the De Gourney family. The thieves consisted of a man, a youth, and a small boy, whose only mode of escape with the box of treasure was by means of a high window. Outside the window was fixed a pulley, over which ran a rope with a basket at each end. When one basket was on the ground the other was at the window. The rope was so disposed that the persons in the basket could neither help themselves by means of it nor receive help from others. In short, the only way the baskets could be used was by placing a heavier weight in one than in the other.

Now, the man weighed 195 lbs., the youth 105 lbs., the boy 90 lbs., and the box of treasure 75 lbs. The weight in the descending basket could not exceed that in the other by more than 15 lbs. without causing a descent so rapid as to be most dangerous to a human being, though it would not injure the stolen property. Only two persons, or one person and the treasure, could be placed in the same basket at one time. How did they all manage to escape and take the box of treasure with them?

The puzzle is to find the shortest way of performing the feat, which in itself is not difficult. Remember, a person cannot help himself by hanging on to the rope, the only way being to go down "with a bump," with the weight in the other basket as a counterpoise.

Solution

## Tuesday, September 4, 2012

### WINE AND WATER.

Mr. Goodfellow has adopted a capital idea of late. When he gives a little dinner party and the time arrives to smoke, after the departure of the ladies, he sometimes finds that the conversation is apt to become too political, too personal, too slow, or too scandalous. Then he always manages to introduce to the company some new poser that he has secreted up his sleeve for the occasion. This invariably results in no end of interesting discussion and debate, and puts everybody in a good humour.

Here is a little puzzle that he propounded the other night, and it is extraordinary how the company differed in their answers. He filled a wine-glass half full of wine, and another glass twice the size one-third full of wine. Then he filled up each glass with water and emptied the contents of both into a tumbler. "Now," he said, "what part of the mixture is wine and what part water?" Can you give the correct answer?

Solution

## Wednesday, August 29, 2012

### ANCIENT CHINESE PUZZLE.

My next puzzle is supposed to be Chinese, many hundreds of years old, and never fails to interest. White to play and mate, moving each of the three pieces once, and once only.

Solution

### COUNTING THE RECTANGLES.

Can you say correctly just how many squares and other rectangles the chessboard contains? In other words, in how great a number of different ways is it possible to indicate a square or other rectangle enclosed by lines that separate the squares of the board?

Solution

## Thursday, August 23, 2012

### THE FOUR KANGAROOS.

In introducing a little Commonwealth problem, I must first explain that the diagram represents the sixty-four fields, all properly fenced off from one another, of an Australian settlement, though I need hardly say that our kith and kin "down under" always do set out their land in this methodical and exact manner. It will be seen that in every one of the four corners is a kangaroo. Why kangaroos have a marked preference for corner plots has never been satisfactorily explained, and it would be out of place to discuss the point here. I should also add that kangaroos, as is well known, always leap in what we call "knight's moves." In fact, chess players would probably have adopted the better term "kangaroo's move" had not chess been invented before kangaroos.

The puzzle is simply this. One morning each kangaroo went for his morning hop, and in sixteen consecutive knight's leaps visited just fifteen different fields and jumped back to his corner. No field was visited by more than one of the kangaroos. The diagram shows how they arranged matters. What you are asked to do is to show how they might have performed the feat without any kangaroo ever crossing the horizontal line in the middle of the square that divides the board into two equal parts.

Solution

## Sunday, August 19, 2012

### A NEW BISHOP'S PUZZLE.

This is quite a fascinating little puzzle. Place eight bishops (four black and four white) on the reduced chessboard, as shown in the illustration. The problem is to make the black bishops change places with the white ones, no bishop ever attacking another of the opposite colour. They must move alternately—first a white, then a black, then a white, and so on. When you have succeeded in doing it at all, try to find the fewest possible moves.

If you leave out the bishops standing on black squares, and only play on the white squares, you will discover my last puzzle turned on its side.

Solution

## Tuesday, August 14, 2012

### THE FAMILY AGES.

When the Smileys recently received a visit from the favourite uncle, the fond parents had all the five children brought into his presence. First came Billie and little Gertrude, and the uncle was informed that the boy was exactly twice as old as the girl. Then Henrietta arrived, and it was pointed out that the combined ages of herself and Gertrude equalled twice the age of Billie. Then Charlie came running in, and somebody remarked that now the combined ages of the two boys were exactly twice the combined ages of the two girls. The uncle was expressing his astonishment at these coincidences when Janet came in. "Ah! uncle," she exclaimed, "you have actually arrived on my twenty-first birthday!" To this Mr. Smiley added the final staggerer: "Yes, and now the combined ages of the three girls are exactly equal to twice the combined ages of the two boys." Can you give the age of each child?

Solution

Solution

## Tuesday, August 7, 2012

### A PUZZLE WITH PAWNS.

Place two pawns in the middle of the chessboard, one at Q 4 and the other at K 5. Now, place the remaining fourteen pawns (sixteen in all) so that no three shall be in a straight line in any possible direction.

Note that I purposely do not say queens, because by the words "any possible direction" I go beyond attacks on diagonals. The pawns must be regarded as mere points in space—at the centres of the squares.

**(Exp:- in the figure below the two sets of three queens placed are treated as being in straight line)**

Solution

## Friday, August 3, 2012

### THE COLOURED COUNTERS.

The diagram represents twenty-five coloured counters, Red, Blue, Yellow, Orange, and Green (indicated by their initials), and there are five of each colour, numbered 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5. The problem is so to place them in a square that neither colour nor number shall be found repeated in any one of the five rows, five columns, and two diagonals. Can you so rearrange them?

Solution

## Sunday, July 29, 2012

### BISHOPS—GUARDED.

Now, how many bishops are necessary in order that every square shall be either occupied or attacked, and every bishop guarded by another bishop? And how may they be placed?

Solution

## Tuesday, July 24, 2012

### BISHOPS—UNGUARDED.

Place as few bishops as possible on an ordinary chessboard so that every square of the board shall be either occupied or attacked. It will be seen that the rook has more scope than the bishop: for wherever you place the former, it will always attack fourteen other squares; whereas the latter will attack seven, nine, eleven, or thirteen squares, according to the position of the diagonal on which it is placed. And it is well here to state that when we speak of "diagonals" in connection with the chessboard, we do not limit ourselves to the two long diagonals from corner to corner, but include all the shorter lines that are parallel to these. To prevent misunderstanding on future occasions, it will be well for the reader to note carefully this fact.

Solution

Solution

## Monday, July 23, 2012

### AN ACROSTIC PUZZLE.

In the making or solving of double acrostics, has it ever occurred to you to consider the variety and limitation of the pair of initial and final letters available for cross words? You may have to find a word beginning with A and ending with B, or A and C, or A and D, and so on. Some combinations are obviously impossible—such, for example, as those with Q at the end. But let us assume that a good English word can be found for every case. Then how many possible pairs of letters are available?

Solution

Solution

## Sunday, July 22, 2012

### THE NUMBER CHECKS PUZZLE

Where a large number of workmen are employed on a building it is customary to provide every man with a little disc bearing his number. These are hung on a board by the men as they arrive, and serve as a check on punctuality. Now, I once noticed a foreman remove a number of these checks from his board and place them on a split-ring which he carried in his pocket. This at once gave me the idea for a good puzzle. In fact, I will confide to my readers that this is just how ideas for puzzles arise. You cannot really create an idea: it happens—and you have to be on the alert to seize it when it does so happen.

It will be seen from the illustration that there are ten of these checks on a ring, numbered 1 to 9 and 0. The puzzle is to divide them into three groups without taking any off the ring, so that the first group multiplied by the second makes the third group. For example, we can divide them into the three groups, 2—8 9 7—1 5 4 6 3, by bringing the 6 and the 3 round to the 4, but unfortunately the first two when multiplied together do not make the third. Can you separate them correctly? Of course you may have as many of the checks as you like in any group. The puzzle calls for some ingenuity, unless you have the luck to hit on the answer by chance.

Solution

It will be seen from the illustration that there are ten of these checks on a ring, numbered 1 to 9 and 0. The puzzle is to divide them into three groups without taking any off the ring, so that the first group multiplied by the second makes the third group. For example, we can divide them into the three groups, 2—8 9 7—1 5 4 6 3, by bringing the 6 and the 3 round to the 4, but unfortunately the first two when multiplied together do not make the third. Can you separate them correctly? Of course you may have as many of the checks as you like in any group. The puzzle calls for some ingenuity, unless you have the luck to hit on the answer by chance.

Solution

## Wednesday, June 27, 2012

### COUNTER CROSSES.

All that we need for this puzzle is nine counters, numbered 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9. It will be seen that in the illustration A these are arranged so as to form a Greek cross, while in the case of B they form a Latin cross. In both cases the reader will find that the sum of the numbers in the upright of the cross is the same as the sum of the numbers in the horizontal arm. It is quite easy to hit on such an arrangement by trial, but the problem is to discover in exactly how many different ways it may be done in each case. Remember that reversals and reflections do not count as different. That is to say, if you turn this page round you get four arrangements of the Greek cross, and if you turn it round again in front of a mirror you will get four more. But these eight are all regarded as one and the same. Now, how many different ways are there in each case?

Solution

Solution

## Monday, June 4, 2012

### THE WRONG HATS.

"One of the most perplexing things I have come across lately," said Mr. Wilson, "is this. Eight men had been dining not wisely but too well at a certain London restaurant. They were the last to leave, but not one man was in a condition to identify his own hat. Now, considering that they took their hats at random, what are the chances that every man took a hat that did not belong to him?"

"The first thing," said Mr. Waterson, "is to see in how many different ways the eight hats could be taken."

"That is quite easy," Mr. Stubbs explained. "Multiply together the numbers, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8. Let me see—half a minute—yes; there are 40,320 different ways."

"Now all you've got to do is to see in how many of these cases no man has his own hat," said Mr. Waterson.

"Thank you, I'm not taking any," said Mr. Packhurst. "I don't envy the man who attempts the task of writing out all those forty-thousand-odd cases and then picking out the ones he wants."

They all agreed that life is not long enough for that sort of amusement; and as nobody saw any other way of getting at the answer, the matter was postponed indefinitely. Can you solve the puzzle?

## Friday, May 18, 2012

### THE VOTERS' PUZZLE.

Here we have, perhaps, the most interesting form of the puzzle. In how many different ways can you read the political injunction, "RISE TO VOTE, SIR," under the same conditions as before? In this case every reading of the palindrome requires the use of the central V as the middle letter.

Solution

## Tuesday, May 15, 2012

### THE DEIFIED PUZZLE.

In how many different ways may the word DEIFIED be read in this arrangement under the same conditions as in the last puzzle, with the addition that you can use any letters twice in the same reading?

Solution

Solution

## Sunday, May 13, 2012

### THE DIAMOND PUZZLE.

IN how many different ways may the word DIAMOND be read in the arrangement shown? You may start wherever you like at a D and go up or down, backwards or forwards, in and out, in any direction you like, so long as you always pass from one letter to another that adjoins it. How many ways are there?

## Tuesday, May 1, 2012

### BOYS AND GIRLS.

If you mark off ten divisions on a sheet of paper to represent the chairs, and use eight numbered counters for the children, you will have a fascinating pastime. Let the odd numbers represent boys and even numbers girls, or you can use counters of two colours, or coins.

The puzzle is to remove two children who are occupying adjoining chairs and place them in two empty chairs, making them first change sides; then remove a second pair of children from adjoining chairs and place them in the two now vacant, making them change sides; and so on, until all the boys are together and all the girls together, with the two vacant chairs at one end as at present. To solve the puzzle you must do this in five moves. The two children must always be taken from chairs that are next to one another; and remember the important point of making the two children change sides, as this latter is the distinctive feature of the puzzle. By "change sides" I simply mean that if, for example, you first move 1 and 2 to the vacant chairs, then the first (the outside) chair will be occupied by 2 and the second one by 1.

Solution

## Monday, April 9, 2012

### CENTRAL SOLITAIRE.

This ancient puzzle was a great favourite with our grandmothers, and most of us, I imagine, have on occasions come across a "Solitaire" board—a round polished board with holes cut in it in a geometrical pattern, and a glass marble in every hole. Sometimes I have noticed one on a side table in a suburban front parlour, or found one on a shelf in a country cottage, or had one brought under my notice at a wayside inn. Sometimes they are of the form shown above, but it is equally common for the board to have four more holes, at the points indicated by dots. I select the simpler form.

Though "Solitaire" boards are still sold at the toy shops, it will be sufficient if the reader will make an enlarged copy of the above on a sheet of cardboard or paper, number the "holes," and provide himself with 33 counters, buttons, or beans. Now place a counter in every hole except the central one, No. 17, and the puzzle is to take off all the counters in a series of jumps, except the last counter, which must be left in that central hole. You are allowed to jump one counter over the next one to a vacant hole beyond, just as in the game of draughts, and the counter jumped over is immediately taken off the board. Only remember every move must be a jump; consequently you will take off a counter at each move, and thirty-one single jumps will of course remove all the thirty-one counters. But compound moves are allowed (as in draughts, again), for so long as one counter continues to jump, the jumps all count as one move.

Here is the beginning of an imaginary solution which will serve to make the manner of moving perfectly plain, and show how the solver should write out his attempts: 5-17, 12-10, 26-12, 24-26 (13-11, 11-25), 9-11 (26-24, 24-10, 10-12), etc., etc. The jumps contained within brackets count as one move, because they are made with the same counter. Find the fewest possible moves. Of course, no diagonal jumps are permitted; you can only jump in the direction of the lines.

## Wednesday, March 21, 2012

### THE TWICKENHAM PUZZLE.

In the illustration we have eleven discs in a circle. On five of the discs we place white counters with black letters—as shown—and on five other discs the black counters with white letters. The bottom disc is left vacant. Starting thus, it is required to get the counters into order so that they spell the word "Twickenham" in a clockwise direction, leaving the vacant disc in the original position. The black counters move in the direction that a clock-hand revolves, and the white counters go the opposite way. A counter may jump over one of the opposite colour if the vacant disc is next beyond. Thus, if your first move is with K, then C can jump over K. If then K moves towards E, you may next jump W over C, and so on. The puzzle may be solved in twenty-six moves. Remember a counter cannot jump over one of its own colour.

Solution

## Sunday, March 11, 2012

### CHERRIES AND PLUMS.

The illustration is a plan of a cottage as it stands surrounded by an orchard of fifty-five trees. Ten of these trees are cherries, ten are plums, and the remainder apples. The cherries are so planted as to form five straight lines, with four cherry trees in every line. The plum trees are also planted so as to form five straight lines with four plum trees in every line. The puzzle is to show which are the ten cherry trees and which are the ten plums. In order that the cherries and plums should have the most favourable aspect, as few as possible (under the conditions) are planted on the north and east sides of the orchard. Of course in picking out a group of ten trees (cherry or plum, as the case may be) you ignore all intervening trees. That is to say, four trees may be in a straight line irrespective of other trees (or the house) being in between. After the last puzzle this will be quite easy.

Solution

## Wednesday, February 29, 2012

### INSPECTING A MINE.

The diagram is supposed to represent the passages or galleries in a mine. We will assume that every passage, A to B, B to C, C to H, H to I, and so on, is one furlong in length. It will be seen that there are thirty-one of these passages. Now, an official has to inspect all of them, and he descends by the shaft to the point A. How far must he travel, and what route do you recommend? The reader may at first say, "As there are thirty-one passages, each a furlong in length, he will have to travel just thirty-one furlongs." But this is assuming that he need never go along a passage more than once, which is not the case. Take your pencil and try to find the shortest route. You will soon discover that there is room for considerable judgment. In fact, it is a perplexing puzzle.

Solution

Solution

## Wednesday, February 8, 2012

### THE COMPASSES PUZZLE.

It is curious how an added condition or restriction will sometimes convert an absurdly easy puzzle into an interesting and perhaps difficult one. I remember buying in the street many years ago a little mechanical puzzle that had a tremendous sale at the time. It consisted of a medal with holes in it, and the puzzle was to work a ring with a gap in it from hole to hole until it was finally detached. As I was walking along the street I very soon acquired the trick of taking off the ring with one hand while holding the puzzle in my pocket. A friend to whom I showed the little feat set about accomplishing it himself, and when I met him some days afterwards he exhibited his proficiency in the art. But he was a little taken aback when I then took the puzzle from him and, while simply holding the medal between the finger and thumb of one hand, by a series of little shakes and jerks caused the ring, without my even touching it, to fall off upon the floor. The following little poser will probably prove a rather tough nut for a great many readers, simply on account of the restricted conditions:—

Show how to find exactly the middle of any straight line by means of the compasses only. You are not allowed to use any ruler, pencil, or other article—only the compasses; and no trick or dodge, such as folding the paper, will be permitted. You must simply use the compasses in the ordinary legitimate way.

Solution

## Friday, January 27, 2012

### THE MILKMAID PUZZLE.

Here is a little pastoral puzzle that the reader may, at first sight, be led into supposing is very profound, involving deep calculations. He may even say that it is quite impossible to give any answer unless we are told something definite as to the distances. And yet it is really quite "childlike and bland."

In the corner of a field is seen a milkmaid milking a cow, and on the other side of the field is the dairy where the extract has to be deposited. But it has been noticed that the young woman always goes down to the river with her pail before returning to the dairy. Here the suspicious reader will perhaps ask why she pays these visits to the river. I can only reply that it is no business of ours. The alleged milk is entirely for local consumption.

"Where are you going to, my pretty maid?"

"Down to the river, sir," she said.

"I'll not choose your dairy, my pretty maid."

"Nobody axed you, sir," she said.

If one had any curiosity in the matter, such an independent spirit would entirely disarm one. So we will pass from the point of commercial morality to the subject of the puzzle.

Draw a line from the milking-stool down to the river and thence to the door of the dairy, which shall indicate the shortest possible route for the milkmaid. That is all. It is quite easy to indicate the exact spot on the bank of the river to which she should direct her steps if she wants as short a walk as possible. Can you find that spot?

Solution

In the corner of a field is seen a milkmaid milking a cow, and on the other side of the field is the dairy where the extract has to be deposited. But it has been noticed that the young woman always goes down to the river with her pail before returning to the dairy. Here the suspicious reader will perhaps ask why she pays these visits to the river. I can only reply that it is no business of ours. The alleged milk is entirely for local consumption.

"Where are you going to, my pretty maid?"

"Down to the river, sir," she said.

"I'll not choose your dairy, my pretty maid."

"Nobody axed you, sir," she said.

If one had any curiosity in the matter, such an independent spirit would entirely disarm one. So we will pass from the point of commercial morality to the subject of the puzzle.

Draw a line from the milking-stool down to the river and thence to the door of the dairy, which shall indicate the shortest possible route for the milkmaid. That is all. It is quite easy to indicate the exact spot on the bank of the river to which she should direct her steps if she wants as short a walk as possible. Can you find that spot?

Solution

## Tuesday, January 17, 2012

### ANOTHER LINOLEUM PUZZLE.

Can you cut this piece of linoleum into four pieces that will fit together and form a perfect square? Of course the cuts may only be made along the lines.

Solution

## Monday, January 2, 2012

### THE WIZARD'S CATS.

A wizard placed ten cats inside a magic circle as shown in our illustration, and hypnotized them so that they should remain stationary during his pleasure. He then proposed to draw three circles inside the large one, so that no cat could approach another cat without crossing a magic circle. Try to draw the three circles so that every cat has its own enclosure and cannot reach another cat without crossing a line.

Solution

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