The Puzzle Page is dedicated to bringing you the best puzzles collected from around the world along with original puzzles not seen anywhere else.

The staff at The Puzzle Page always enjoy seeing new puzzles and would love to hear from you. If you have a puzzle that's giving you problems, drop us a line -- we'd love to help.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The Mandarin's Puzzle

This puzzle comes from a collection of puzzles by the great Puzzlemaster, Henry Dudeney. This puzzle can be found as puzzle number 342 in his book, Amusements in Mathematics, published in 1917. You can still find copies of this book for sale. The puzzle is presented as it was published and any archaic or patronizing language may be atributed to Dudeney.  (Click on the picture for a larger view.)

"The following puzzle has an added interest from the circumstance that a correct solution of it secured for a certain young Chinaman the hand of his charming bride. The wealthiest mandarin within a radius of a hundred miles of Peking was Hi-Chum-Chop, and his beautiful daughter, Peeky-Bo, had innumerable admirers. One of her most ardent lovers was Winky-Hi, and when he asked the old mandarin for his consent to their marriage, Hi-Chum-Chop presented him with the following puzzle and promised his consent if the youth brought him the correct answer within a week. Winky-Hi, following ahabit which obtains among certain solvers to this day, gave it to all his friends, and when he had compared their solutions he handed in the best one as his own. Luckily it was quite right. The mandarin thereupon fulfilled his promise. The fatted pup was killed for the wedding feast, and when Hi-Chum-Chop passed Winky-Hi the liver wing all present knew that it was a token of eternal goodwill, in accordance with Chinese custom from time immemorial.
"The mandarin had a table divided into twenty-five squares, as shown in the diagram. On each of twenty-four of these squares was placed a number counter, just as I have indicated. The puzzle is to get the counters in numerical order by moving them one at a time in what we call “knight’s moves.” Counter 1 should be where 16 is, 2 where 11 is, 4 where 13 now is, and so on. It will be seen that all the counters on shaded squares are in their proper positions. Of course, two counters can never be on a square at the same time. Can you perform the feat in the fewest possible moves?
"In order to make the manner of moving perfectly clear I will point out that the first knight’s move can only be made by 1 or by 2 or by 10. Supposing 1 moves, then the next move must be by 23, 4, 8, or 21. As there is never more than on square vacant, the order in which the counters move may be written out as follows: 1—21—14—18—22, etc. A rough diagram should be made on a larger scale for practice, and numbered counters or pieces of cardboard used." - H. E. Dudeney

Monday, June 7, 2010

X = Y in a Z (Part 1)

There have been a few of these types of puzzles on The Puzzle Page in the past, including: 12 I in a F, 12 N on the F of a C, and 3 F in a Y.  Here are a few more of the same type.

  1. 9 P in the S S.
  2. 1760 Y in a M.
  3. 640 A in a S M.
  4. 6.0221415×1023 A in a M.
  5. 52 C in a D of P C.
  6. 206 B in the H B.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Five Brothers

Richard's father has five sons; four are named Alan, Elan, Ilan, and Olan. What is the name of the fifth son?

Find the Furniture

There are five pieces of furniture hidden in the grid below. Link the letters of each piece with horizontal, vertical, or diagonal lines. All 25 letters must be used, no letter may be used more than once, and no line may cross another.

L  E  A  R  D
B  C  H  I  R
A  C  U  B  A
T  B  P  O  O
E  D  S  F  A

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Simple Crypt-Addition

Here are four different arithmetic crypt problems for you to figure out. Each letter represents a different digit, and each problem is independent from each other problem. These are simple enough that you should be able to figure them out in your head, which means that they should also be great for introducing young puzzlers to cryptographic math puzzles.

 + Y


 +   B


+ ON


 + A

For more puzzles like this get Brainteasers and Mindbenders by Ben Hamilton.

6 + 5 = 9?

In the image above are six lines.  Can you add five new lines, different from the six original lines, to end up with nine?

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The Perplexed Carpenter

There is a hole in the barn floor that is exactly two feet wide and twelve feet long. A carpenter has only a single piece of wood that is three feet wide and eight feet long.

How can the carpenter take his piece of wood and, making only one cut, divide it into two equal parts that will exactly cover the hole in the barn floor?

Friday, May 28, 2010

Visiting the Mall

Bill, Chuck, Sally, and Dave all went to the mall together last week and entered at the same set of doors between Lord & Taylor's and Abercrombie & Fitch.  Dave wanted to go to the information booth to find out if he could buy mall gift certificates, Bill was hungry and said he needed to get something to eat at the snack bar, and Sally and Chuck needed to use the restrooms.

Can you draw a line from each person to their destination so that no two lines touch or intersect?

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The Two Trains

Henry Dudeney recalls, "I put this little question to a stationmaster, and his correct answer was so prompt that I am convinced there is no necessity to seek talented railway officials in America or elsewhere.

Two trains start at the same time, one from London to Liverpool, the other from Liverpool to London.  If they arrive at their destinations one hour and four hours respectively after passing one another, how much faster is one train running than the other?"

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

A Strange Safari - Part 2

Earlier in the month we posted a puzzle about Professor Egghead's Australian safari where he, sadly, did not see any animals other than horses and people on his first day.  Luckily the professor did get a chance to see animals on his second day of safari.

After the second day Professor Egghead called me again and this time he was happy to announce that he had seen real wildlife while out riding the horses.  I asked him how many animals he had seen and, again, he didn't remember the exact number of all the animals, but he did remember that, including the horses and people from the day before, there were a total of 52 eyes and 74 legs.

If there were twice as many 4 legged dingoes as there were 2 legged ostriches, how many of each wild animal did the professor see?

(You'll have to be a bit creative to get the right answer to this one.)