(related to Problem: The Southern Cross)

My readers have been so familiarized with the fact that it requires at least five planets to attack every one of a square arrangement of sixty-four stars that many of them have, perhaps, got to believe that a larger square arrangement of stars must need an increase of planets. It was to correct this possible error of reasoning, and so warn readers against another of those numerous little pitfalls in the world of puzzledom, that I devised this new stellar problem. Let me then state at once that, in the case of a square arrangement of eighty-one stars, there are several ways of placing five planets so that every star shall be in line with at least one planet vertically, horizontally, or diagonally. Here is the solution to the "Southern Cross": —


It will be remembered that I said that the five planets in their new positions "will, of course, obscure five other stars in place of those at present covered." This was to exclude an easier solution in which only four planets need be moved.

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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