Question Sam Loyd's Cyclopedia of Puzzles Answer
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Proposition: In how few moves can you transpose the position of the whisky flask and the scrubbing brush.

HERE IS A PRETTY little study, presented as a seasonable souvenir for the consideration of the rank and file of veterans who will march on May Day to new quarters.

The sketch shows a migratory couple, who, having had their worldly belongings landed by contract into their cozy little six-room flat, have been wrestling for several hours with the domestic 14-15 block puzzle. They have five large articles, the bedstead, table, sofa, ice box and bureau, which are so bulky that no two can be placed in any one room at the same time on account of the close packing of the other small articles, which minor belongings, however, need not be mentioned, as pertaining to the problem.

It so happens, however, that the ice box and the bedstead were placed by the furniture wreckers in the wrong rooms, and the man and his good wife have been struggling for several hours to transpose them.

Being one of the many who solved my old 14-15 puzzle, the man has marked out a diagram of his flat on the table, with the connecting doors as shown, and has placed five articles on the squares to represent the pieces which are to be moved. It is only necessary to mention that the whisky flask represents the bedstead and the scrubbing brush may be taken for the ice box, and that you are to transpose the positions of these two articles by moving one piece at a time in a sequence of plays in which the flat-iron, pepper box and mouse trap may be used to advantage.

Of course there are a thousand and one ways of performing this simple trick, but on Benjamin Franklin's well-known axiom that “three moves are as bad as a fire,” the feat must be performed in the fewest possible number of moves, and as there is never more than one vacant square to move to, correspondents or others who wish to record their answers can write out the same as concisely as possible by merely mentioning the article moved, viz.: “I perform the feat in thirty moves, as follows: Whisky flask, scrubbing brush, flat iron, mouse trap. etc., etc. Solve the puzzle by the use of small pieces of paper for counters placed on the diagram of the flat.

In that moving day puzzle: First move the whisky flask 1, scrubbing brush 2, flatiron 3, whisky flask 4, pepper-box 5, mouse trap 6, whisky flask 7, flatiron 8, scrubbing brush 9, pepper-box 10, flatiron 11, whisky bottle 12, mouse trap 13, flatiron 14, pepper-box 15, scrubbing brush 16, whisky bottle — and the feat is accomplished.


Why is a book your best friend and companion? Because when it bores you can shut it up without giving offense.

Why is playing chess a more reputable occupation than playing cards? Because you play chess with two bishops, and cards with four knaves.

When may ladies who are enjoying themselves be said to look wretched? When at the opera, as then they are in tiers.

Why should a minister be believed? Because he is nearly always accurate (a curate).

Why is a mad bull like a man of convivial disposition? Because he offers a horn to everybody he meets.

What should be looked into? A mirror.

Why is the map of Turkey in Europe like a frying pan? Because it has Greece on the bottom.

How many young ladies does it take to reach from New York to Philadelphia? About one hundred, because a miss is as good as a mile.

Why should a colt avoid exposure? Because it might take cold and become a little horse (hoarse).

In what respect is matrimony a game of cards? Why, a woman has a heart, a man takes it with a diamond, and after that her hand is his.

What word of one syllable, if you take two letters from it, becomes a word of two syllables? Plague (ague).

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