Puzzle Help Items 049-060

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060  Grace, Helen, and Mary - MC18
059  Numbers between the Pairs - MC17
058  Puzzle History
057  Deaf Conversation - MC16
056  Knight's Tour Puzzles
055  Loyd, Dudeney and... Galactic Takeover - MC15
054  Sliding Block Puzzles
053  Lioness
052  Seven Hockey Pucks - MC14
051  Unicursal Patterns
050  Puzzling Shopping - MC13
049  The Brain Puzzler™
Grace, Helen, and Mary
Mini-Contest 18 - Finished
060  Grace, Helen, and Mary - MC18
Question: Grace, Helen, and Mary were discussing their ages one day, and in the course of their conversation they made the following statements:

I am twenty-two. 
I am two years younger than Helen. 
I am a year older than Mary.

I am not the youngest. 
Mary and I are three years apart. 
Mary is twenty-five.

I am younger than Grace. 
Grace is twenty-three. 
Helen is three years older than Grace.

It is of course too much to expect that three young women should be entirely truthful when speaking of their ages, and in the present instance only two of the three statements made by each girl are true.

How old are they? 

Help needed, I can't figure it. Thanks.
Lue A. S.

Mini-Contest 18 is Finished
It was our eighteenth mini-contest. Now we'd like to propose this contest's results and some details about the puzzle and its solution. With this Mini-Contest 18 is finished.

We thank you for your participation, and look forward to the next Mini-Contests. Happy Puzzling!

Contest Results
The winners are:
1. Jason Meyers.
2. Horst Karaschewski.
3. Michele Ely.
4. Nitin Duggal.
5. Elizabeth Johnston.
6. Wilk720.
7. Victoria Braverman.
8. Suresh Chandrasekharan.
9. Robert Myers.
10. T. Swarnalata.
11. Dan Norton.
12. Nellumsb.
13. Nisha S..
14. Joey Hwang.
15. Sharma.
16. Brian Kikel.
17. Robert L. Davis.
18. Nickolas Daskalou.
19. Chiranjeevi Surampudi.
20. Jeffery.
21. Michael Graae.
22. Jawahar Kandasamy.
23. Bob G.
24. Sweta Singh.
25. Subhash.
26. KYL.
27. Sule Tutan.
28. Colgrove.
29. Rick Theilacker.
30. Sherry Steblen.
31. Tina Nolte.
32. Jo Duke.
33. George D. Kimbro.
34. Chris Ruhl.
35. Neil Myska.
36. Kimberly Puen.
37. Sunil.
38. Hennie van der Merwe.
39. Equipements Dussault.
40. Vikas Mehta.
41. Ian Pedder.
42. Rifat Cayirli.
43. Reena Reji.
44. N. Carr.
45. Bill B.
46. Trevor Graham.
47. Nick Drewe.
48. Taryn Barrett.
49. Muddhazzir Ali.
50. Kate Alexeeva.
51. Rajesh Kumar Sinha.
52. Marcus Dunstan.
53. Jana Pomeroy.
Grace, Helen, and Mary
Mini-Contest 17 - Finished
059  Numbers between the Pairs - MC17
Question: We have a brainteaser that we have spent many hours on and cannot solve. Arrange the numbers 1, 1, 2, 2, 3, 3,....., 15, 15, 16, 16 in such a way that there is one number between the ones and two numbers between the twos and three numbers etc... and so on up to sixteen numbers between the sixteens.
Mitchell W. 
Grade 4

Mini-Contest 17 is Finished
It was our seventeenth mini-contest. Now we'd like to propose this contest's results and some details about the puzzle and its solution. With this Mini-Contest 17 is finished.

We thank you for your participation, and look forward to the next Mini-Contests. Happy Puzzling!

Contest Results
The winners are:
1. Horst Karaschewski.
2. Jensen Lai.
3. Michele Ely.
4. Elizabeth Johnston.
5. Hiren Desai.
6. T. Swarnalata.
7. Thiago Alexandre dos Santos.
8. Joey Hwang.
9. Robert Myers.
10. Kiruthika K.
11. Sule Tutan.
12. Lee Root.
13. Hennie van der Merwe.
14. Big Trev.
15. Vikas Mehta.
16. Ian Pedder.
17. Alan Lemm.
18. NickyG.
19. Deepali Chandratre.
20. Rakesh Soni.
058  Puzzle History
Question: Need to now who invented the puzzle. what were the 1st puzzles facts about the person or peoples who invented them, or a web site i can look at.
thank you

Question: I'm looking for a book or article on the history of puzzles. Can you help?
Debbie V.

Question: Please help me find some history on puzzles
Tim B.

Answer: The most comprehensive article on the history of puzzles is collected and presented as a virtual exhibition in The Elliott Avedon Museum and Archive of Games of the University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. The museum is a public institution dedicated to research and the collection, preservation, and exhibition of games and game-related objects. You'll find there a number of historical facts along with great illustrations.

The CleverWood site proposes articles about mechanical puzzles and their classification. This puzzle classification was devised by Jerry Slocum, one of the World's biggest puzzle collectors and researchers, and is a very important part of the Puzzle History as well.

A brief (but impressive) history of puzzles by Prof. David Joyner can be seen at Uwe Meffert's site. Uwe Meffert is one of the World's leading puzzle inventors and makers.

There is a great article Jigsaw Puzzles - A Brief History by Anne D. Williams, one of the World's biggest experts on jigsaws. The article can be seen at the MGC Puzzles site.

The official site of the American Jigsaw Puzzle Society devoted to sharing information on jigsaw puzzles and related areas of interest to all puzzle enthusiasts has a page with an informative article A History of the Jigsaw Puzzle by D. J. McAdam.

The wonderful Thinks.com site describes the World's First Crossword and the first steps of crosswords.
Modified: June 23, 2003
Deaf Conversation
Mini-Contest 16 - Finished
057  Deaf Conversation - MC16
Question: This puzzle I found in an magazine here in Brazil (where I live). I know how to solve it and i THINK you don't know it yet. So i'm challenging you or the visitors of your site to solve it.
Thiago A. S.

One day walking in a street, Caesar meets his old math teacher. Happy to meet him, he says hello to the teacher but he doesn't remember that his teacher answers everything with a puzzle:
-- How are you doing, professor? It's been a long time since we don't meet! Are your daughters ok? How old are they now?
-- Multiplying the three ages you get 36
-- But that's not enough to know the ages!
-- So, add up the ages and you'll get the number of that house.
Caesar starts calculating, but still can't figure out. The professor seeing that he wouldn't be able to find the answer says:
-- The oldest girl plays the piano...
That's what Caesar needed to know to figure out the problem. How old is each girl?

Mini-Contest 16 is Finished
It was our sixteenth mini-contest. Now we'd like to propose this contest's results and some details about the puzzle and its solution. With this Mini-Contest 16 is finished.

We thank you for your participation, and look forward to the next Mini-Contests. Happy Puzzling!

Contest Results
The winners are:
1. Jason Meyers.
2. Horst Karaschewski.
3. Marios.
4. Jensen Lai.
5. James Hardin.
6. Rui Barata.
7. Saravana Kumar.
8. A K Biju.
9. Joey Hwang.
10. Neil Myska.
11. Sharma.
12. Marcus Dunstan.
13. Sweta Singh.
14. Glenton Jelbert.
15. Prashant Chacko.
16. Sule Tutan.
17. Sandhya Kunnatur.
18. Tina Nolte.
19. Kimberly Puen.
20. Vikas Mehta.
21. Andrew Ofiesh.
22. Ian Pedder.
23. Asha Alex.
24. Vijya L R.
25. Rifat Cayirli.
26. Jeff Becker.
27. Rakesh Kumar Soni.
28. Sandeep Gupta.
29. Preggna S.
30. M Gambrel.
31. Boris Alexeev.
32. Sean Egan.

The Knight's Tour 2
056  Knight's Tour Puzzles
Question: Dear puzzles.com
I have been streesing over this puzzle and i need your help. The puzzle is that you must use a knight(chess piece) to travel around every space of a chess board without go over its own tracks. Since the knight can only go in that L shaped pattern it seems impossible. I hope you have better luck than me.
Anders W.

Answer: The Knight's Tour puzzles are a very old and well-searched area of recreational and chess mathematics. Yes, of course, a knight can't travel through every cell on a chessboard without going over its own tracks (if we mean tracks as the lines connecting the consecutive cells of the board both L-shaped and diagonal on 2x3 rectangle). For the last case there is a puzzle we have at our site. Please see "The Knight's Tour 2." However in this puzzle you can visit just a part of the board's cells.

What we think about the challenge you've been stressing with is that the object should be as follows: "...using a knight travel around a chess board (supposed 8x8) visiting every its cell exactly once..." Such a puzzle makes sense, for it means "without going over its own tracks," where the tracks are the cells where the knight stops after every its move. This puzzle is soluble in many ways, but isn't easy at all. 

There are some great places on the Web devoted to this kind of puzzles. These are as follows:

1. The Knight's Tour by Dan Thomasson with great "simple" finds.

2. Knight's Tour Notes by George Jelliss with a huge amount of extremely interesting materials on the theme.

3. The Ultimate Knight's Tour Page of Links by Mario Velucchi.

4. Knight's Tour: Overview by Markku Vähäaho with a fantastic Java applet that can find the Knight's tours on the boards from 5x5 through 10x10 including rectangles.
Loyd, Dudeney and... Galactic Takeover by Serhiy Grabarchuk
Mini-Contest 15 - Finished
055  Loyd, Dudeney and... Galactic Takeover - MC15
Our first Mini-Contest with the [former] DeepTHOUGHT (now Articles at PuzzleCLUB) sector. Simultaneously, the names of the solvers who submitted the correct solutions to this puzzle are presented here, at the Puzzle Help sector, too.

Mini-Contest 15 is Finished
It was our fifteenth mini-contest. Now we'd like to propose this contest's results and some details about the puzzle and its solution. With this Mini-Contest 15 is finished.

It was our first Mini-Contest with the [former] DeepTHOUGHT sector (now Articles at PuzzleCLUB), and you, our fellow visitors, were very active. We thank you for this, and look forward to the next Mini-Contests. Happy Puzzling!

Contest Results
The winners are:
1. Jason Meyers.
2. Horst Karaschewski.
3. Dan Norton.
4. Kiruthika K.
5. Eva.
6. Janice Miles. 
7. Ian Pedder.
8. Boris Alexeev.
Modified: June 23, 2003
054  Sliding Block Puzzles
Question: Dear Puzzles.com,
I am having a great deal of difficulty finding the exact kind of puzzle I want. So far I know it's a kind of sequential movement puzzle and one site described it as a solitare kind. It's also refered to as the 15 square or something like that. I can decribe it as similar to the rubicks cube in the way you are supposed to unscramble it. It's a flat square with a picture or a sequence of numbers or something divided into smaller squares, normally interlocking-so the small squares don't fall out, with one square absent so you can move them around. Your supposed to thoroughly scramble the picture or whatever up and then try to unscramble it or put the numbers, etc. into the correct order. I know that the cheap plastic versions are often given as party favors or custom "made" as advertising for a company or something. I would really appreciate your help in finding out what, exactly, this puzzle is called, and, if possible, your help in finding out where and how to obtain them. 
Thank you VERY much,
Maxinne S.

Answer: Puzzles you are describing are, in fact, called Sliding Block Puzzles (a subdivision of Sliding Piece Puzzles), and they are just a part of a more wider class called Sequential Movement Puzzles which includes puzzle types as follows:

1. Solitaire Puzzles. 
2. Counter Puzzles.
3. Sliding Piece Puzzles - includes Sliding Block Puzzles.
4. Rotating Cube Puzzles.
5. Maze & Route Puzzles.
6. Miscellaneous Sequential Movement Puzzles.
7. Mazes and Labyrinths for People.

This is a modern puzzle classification devised by Jerry Slocum - one of the World's greatest puzzle collectors and researchers.

To learn more about Sliding Piece Puzzles you may visit the best place on the Web about them - Nick Baxter's Sliding Block Puzzle Page. We have a presentation of this site at our Sliding Block Puzzles page.

At Nick Baxter's page you will find everything - from such classics as Get My Goat and Dad's Puzzler, to the modern creations of Minoru Abe. Many of the puzzles are old or rare, so this may be the only place where you can see these designs. You can actually play most of the puzzles if your browser supports Java. In most cases, the puzzle pieces are actual images from the real puzzles, making the experience that much better. Once you solve a puzzle, you can challenge yourself to match or beat the minimum number of moves.

Sliding Block Puzzles are very popular starting from the last decades of the 19th century when Sam Loyd made the whole World crazy with his "14-15 Puzzle." On the market you can find just a few different versions of Sliding Block Puzzles which mostly are derived from this old design though. But a huge number of extremely creative and clever puzzles of this kind are produced in small quantities by different famous creators and craftsmen. You can see their names at Nick Baxter's page. So if you are interested in Sliding Block Puzzles, then this is the place for you to explore. 

Some of the most famous Sliding Block Puzzles of nowadays are produced by Binary Arts. First of all these are puzzles from the Rush Hour Family. Also this is the Fifteen Puzzle originally introduced in 1880. Binary Arts has recreated it in smooth, polished metal and decorative enamel, just as it appeared at the height of its popularity during the 1930s. The object is exactly as you're describing - to scramble the 15 numbered tiles in the tray with one vacant cell, and then to slide them into correct numerical order.

Last but not least, you can see and purchase the above-mentioned puzzles at our Gift Shop.
Modified: June 23, 2003
053  Lioness
Question: I recently bought a puzzle by a company called Master Pieces. The puzzle is named Lioness. I put it together and found one piece is missing. Could you locate the e-mail address of the manufacturer "Master Pieces". I can't seem to find it on the web. 
Nancy B.

Answer: We know this nice puzzle and several places at the Web to purchase it: http://www.sourceonegifts.com/cgi-bin/s1g/027-116 or http://putziespuzzles.com/500piece1.html.

But unfortunately we haven't the Master Pieces e-mail address - just a place with their puzzles; there look for Karl Bang Collection.
Seven Hockey Pucks
Mini-Contest 14 - Finished
052  Seven Hockey Pucks - MC14
Question: Can you arrange seven hockey pucks in six rows so that there will be exactly three hockey pucks in each row?

Mini-Contest 14 is Finished
It was our fourteenth mini-contest. Now we'd like to propose this contest's results and some details about the puzzle and its solution. With this Mini-Contest 14 is finished.

We thank you for your participation, and look forward to the next Mini-Contests. Happy Puzzling!

Contest Results
The winners are:
1. Tierrie.
2. Nicole Takahashi.
3. Horst Karaschewski.
4. Suman Sasidharan and Debanshu Karmakar.
5. Suhas Subramanya.
6. Jensen Lai.
7. Alex Packard.
8. Rob Solem.
9. Betsy.
10. Sweta Singh.
11. Amit Gupta.
12. Barry Stones.
13. Ketki Vahalia.
14. Ali Yilmaz.
15. Neil Myska.
16. Joe Wolfe.
17. Nickolas Daskalou.
18. Michele Ely.

The Unicursal Marathon
051  Unicursal Patterns
Question: Puzzle number four on your "Unicursal Marathon Solution" page can actually be solved! I have seen it done and I did it myself two years ago. Unfortunately I did it on accident and I don't remember the steps that I took at the time but I know that it is posible. I THINK the only way to do so though is to split the diagonals and draw it in segments that way but I really don't remember. I also have friends who said that they have done this puzzle a few years ago too. I know that it is possible!

Answer: Pattern 4 can't be solved unless you use tricks of some kind. Our comments can be seen at the "Unicursal Marathon Solution" page.

But if you send us any proofs that Pattern 4 can be drawn with a pencil in one continuous line so that you don't take the pencil point off the paper, and will not go over any part of the line twice, or cross it, we'll be happy to post your results here, at our Puzzles.COM site.

Unicursal or Not?
Question: i need to know how to draw a square with a cross in the middle of it (going from corner to corner) and then draw a triangle on each side of the square, BUT i have to do it without lifting my pen or redrawing over any lines. no one can figure this out (even the maths experts) so if you can do it, you are the smartest person alive. please help. its urgent. 

Can you draw a square with an x in the middle and a triangle pointing outwards on each side of the square without picking up your pen or retracing a line?
Nancy C.

Question: This puzzle has been annoying me for about a year now and I still can't get it. You have to draw the attached with out lifting your pencil from the paper. The pencil can't lift from the paper at all. I would be grateful if you could get it for me.
Jonathan B.

Unicursal or Not?
Answer: Unfortunately, we have to say that this classic puzzle pattern can't be solved. To see more examples of unicursal and non-unicursal patterns, to learn more about why some patterns can be drawn without lifting your pencil from the paper, while other can't, explore our Unicursal Marathon page with a set of mini challenges which were proposed as our Mini-Contest 10, and solutions and comments to them at the Solution page. The pattern you're asking about is, in fact, the same as Pattern 4 in our set of mini-patterns.
Puzzling Shopping
Mini-Contest 13 - Finished
050  Puzzling Shopping - MC13
Question: A man went in to a shop and asked: "How much is 1?"
"£1.20" replied the shopkeeper.
"How much are 10?" asked the man,
"£2.40" replied the shopkeeper,
"I'll have a 100" said the man,
The shopkeeper charged him £3.60, what was the man buying?

Mini-Contest 13 is Finished

It was our thirteenth mini-contest. Now we'd like to propose this contest's results and some details about the puzzle and its solution. With this Mini-Contest 13 is finished.

We thank you for your participation, and look forward to the next Mini-Contests. Happy Puzzling!

Contest Results
The winners are:
1. Jason Meyers.
2. Prakash Khaitan.
3. Neville Giles.
4. Sandhya Kunnatur.
5. Horst Karaschewski.
6. M.B.
7. Nigel Wilson.
8. Brian Tolfree.
9. Nicole Takahashi.
10. Andrew Thompson.
11. Jensen Lai.
12. Jon Black.
13. David Webb.
14. Andrew McDermott.
15. Barry Stones.
16. John & Moni Ostberg.
17. Kristen Carlson.
18. Geoffrey Mayne.
19. Neil Myska.
20. Jennifer Gorrell.
21. Julie Whitham.
22. Raja Saravanan.
23. Mario Sanchez.
24. Robert Jones.
25. Aaron Jurek.
26. Matt Wickham.
27. Rachel Paterson.
28. Paul McGuire.
29. Scar135.
30. Daniel Drapeau.
31. Michele Ely.
049  The Brain Puzzler™
Question: As a child I had a puzzle that was a short cylindrical shape with posts coming out of the top that would slide back and forth. And move the inside of the puzzle. It was based on the binary system. I am wondering if anyone has seen this puzzle, know the name of it or where I might find it.
Tom P.

Answer: We believe we know this famous puzzle. This is the Brain Puzzler™ produced by Mag-Nif - an American manufacturer of a wide variety of creative, innovative and successful products including many great puzzles. The Brain Puzzler™ can be found (and purchased as well) at: http://www.magnif.com/2225.htm

A picture of the Brain Puzzler™, its description and a detailed explanation how to solve it you can see at Jaap's Puzzle Page with SpinOut® and Brain Puzzler™.

Also the full solution to the Brain Puzzler™ can be found at the PuzzleSolver.com site.
Items 061-072

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