# Problem: Arranging The Jampots

I happened to see a little girl sorting out some jam in a cupboard for her mother. She was putting each different kind of preserve apart on the shelves. I noticed that she took a pot of damson in one hand and a pot of gooseberry in the other and made them change places; then she changed a strawberry with a raspberry, and so on. It was interesting to observe what a lot of unnecessary trouble she gave herself by making more interchanges than there was any need for, and I thought it would work into a good puzzle.

It will be seen in the illustration that little Dorothy has to manipulate twenty-four large jampots in as many pigeon-holes. She wants to get them in correct numerical orderâ€”that is, $1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6$ on the top shelf, $7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12$ on the next shelf, and so on. Now, if she always takes one pot in the right hand and another in the left and makes them change places, how many of these interchanges will be necessary to get all the jampots in proper order? She would naturally first change the $1$ and the $3,$ then the $2$ and the $3,$ when she would have the first three pots in their places. How would you advise her to go on then? Place some numbered counters on a sheet of paper divided into squares for the pigeon-holes, and you will find it an amusing puzzle.

Solutions: 1

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### References

#### Project Gutenberg

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

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