CTK Insights

27 Sep

The Famous 15 Puzzle

Sam Loyd's Fifteen is a famous conundrum from the end of the 19th century. As the recent investigation by Jerry Slocum and Dic Sonneveld has revealed, attributing the puzzle to Sam Loyd is justified only partially. Repeated claims to the contrary notwithstanding, Sam Loyd has not invented the puzzle. He is certainly responsible for creating the craze that captivated the world in the early 1880s.

The lavishly illustrated book (see a review) is the story of the scrupulous research conducted by the authors over the space of several years and the account of their discoveries. They also published a brief variant that comes with a gorgeous wooden puzzle to immediatelyt start playing with. For a history of the craze caused by the puzzle check a short account.

The puzzle that can be played online was probably the first in the series of slider puzzles and the more general puzzles on graphs. One of its variants is played on torus and also on a Möbius strip.

The popular LetsPlayMath blog just started a series of posts devoted to the puzzle.

Reference

  1. [amtap book:isbn=1890980153]
  2. [amtap book:isbn=1435111362]

One Response to “The Famous 15 Puzzle”

  1. 1
    The Famous 15 Puzzle | Gonit School Says:

    […] Fifteen is a famous conundrum from the end of the 19th century. As the recent investigation by Jerry Slocum and Dic Sonneveld has revealed, attributing the puzzle to Sam Loyd is justified only partially. Repeated claims to […]

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