Question Sam Loyd's Cyclopedia of Puzzles Answer
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PROPOSITION: Place two officers in the center of the field, guarded by fourteen men, so that there are no three in line.

HERE IS AN ODD LITTLE problem in military tactics which can be worked out advantageously upon an ordinary checker-board of sixty-four squares, the puzzle being to place sixteen checkers upon the board so that there shall not be more than two in a line in any possible direction. In the puzzle given, however, it is stipulated that we begin by placing two officers upon the spots as near as possible to the center of the field. This makes the puzzle less difficult, as we have two of the men placed properly to begin with, and the problem is then merely to post, the other men so that there shall be no three in a line. In other words, after the sixteen figures are posted correctly a cannon ball coming from any possible direction could not hit more than two men. It is a pretty and interesting puzzle, somewhat akin to famous problem of placing eight queens upon a chessboard so that none can he taken by another. It yields readily to a system of exhaustive analysis which may be introduced upon a simple plan, but will try the patience of such as attempt to master it by haphazard experimental methods. The theory of analysis by exhaustive trial, enters largely into puzzle practice in the construction as well as guessing of problems and pertains to an invaluable training of the mind. First place the officers in the center of the board, and then devise a method of exhaustive analysis which will ring every possible change of the placing of the fourteen men so that the same trial positions never recur a second time.

To that odd little lesson in military tactics wherein it was required to place sixteen checkers upon a board of sixty-four squares so that no three should be in line from any possible direction, the accompanying diagram shows the correct answer. The stipulation of beginning by first placing two men in the center of the board bars out many answers which would otherwise be quite as correct as the one here shown:



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