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We cull from the American Agriculturist the following description of a new puzzle that has taken Yankeedom by the ears:—Whoever visited New York in February last must have met at every street corner men and boys doing a thriving business in selling a new game or toy known as “ The Sliding Number Puzzle.” This game, which is for a single therefore a solitaire, consists, as the diagram shows, of a box into which 16 small square blocks of wood fit quite closely. Upon the upper face of each block is a number, and these run from one to sixteen. When the puzzle is to be worked, one of the blocks is removed (the one having “16” upon it), and the others are face down upon the table, and mixed as in the stirring or “shuffling” of dominoes. The blocks being well mixed, are then placed in the box just as they are picked up, beginning at the upper left hand corner, and tilling to the right. When all the 15 blacks are in, there isasingle space vacant, and thisallows of a sliding of the blocks —one at a time, and of course through only one space. The trick, or puzzle, is to so move the blocks that they will be finally brought into the regular order of the numbers upon them —that is, block “ 1” is in the upper lefthand comer, “2” next at its right, and so on until “15” is reached at the end. So far as the explanation of the puzzle is concerned it is very simple, but to get the blocks, into the regular order is quite another thing. Some persons, after having spent several hours, and even days, have been unable to get them right, while others have succeeded in doing it after a few minutes. Of the latter, it maybe said it was all guess work, and . the next time they try, it may take them a much longer time. The possible arrangement of blocks as they are placed hap-hazard in the box, are so numerous, that it is safe to say that it can never‘be twice alike ; therefore, the movements are different in every succeeding “game.” It is interesting to see how much “ taken ” people have been with this puzzle, bankers and business men have stood in groups at the entrances of their places of business, and exercised their calculating powers over some hard move, or laughed to see someone else move and move again, and not make the least particle of progress. The puzzle took with the boys at once, who freely invested their dimes and r half-dimes —the puzzles being of various . sizes, shapes, and prices, to suit the demands of the trade. In our first trial of tlie puzzle we failed, but in a second attempt, about half-an-hour of “ shoving around,” brought all the blocks to their proper places. the sliding number puzzle. * II 6 14 3 1234 15 1 12 5678 4 5 13 3 9 10 11 12 10 8 7 9 1 3 *4 I 5

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Bibliographic details

A NEW YANKEE CRAZE., Ashburton Guardian, Volume 1, Issue 100, 15 May 1880

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A NEW YANKEE CRAZE. Ashburton Guardian, Volume 1, Issue 100, 15 May 1880