(related to Problem: The Eight Rooks)

Obviously, there must be a rook in every row and every column. Starting with the top row, it is clear that we may put our first rook on any one of eight different squares. Wherever it is placed, we have the option of seven squares for the second rook in the second row. Then we have six squares from which to select the third row, five in the fourth, and so on. Therefore the number of our different ways must be $$8 \times 7 \times 6 \times 5 \times 4 \times 3 \times 2 \times 1 = 40,320$$ (that is $8!$), which is the correct answer.

How many ways there are if mere reversals and reflections are not counted as different has not yet been determined; it is a difficult problem. But this point, on a smaller square, is considered in the next puzzle.

Thank you to the contributors under CC BY-SA 4.0!



Project Gutenberg

  1. Dudeney, H. E.: "Amusements in Mathematics", The Authors' Club, 1917

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