Problem: "Strand" Patience

The idea for this came to me when considering the game of Patience that I gave in the Strand Magazine for December, 1910, which has been reprinted in Ernest Bergholt's Second Book of Patience Games, under the new name of "King Albert."

Make two piles of cards as follows: $9 D,$ $8 S,$ $7 D,$ $6 S,$ $5 D,$ $4 S,$ $3 D,$ $2 S,$ $1 D,$ and $9 H,$ $8 C,$ $7 H,$ $6 C,$ $5 H,$ $4 C,$ $3 H,$ $2 C,$ $1 H,$ with the $9$ of diamonds at the bottom of one pile and the 9 of hearts at the bottom of the other. The point is to exchange the spades with the clubs so that the diamonds and clubs are still in numerical order in one pile and the hearts and spades in the other. There are four vacant spaces in addition to the two spaces occupied by the piles, and any card may be laid on a space, but a card can only be laid on another of the next higher value — an ace on a two, a two on a three, and so on. Patience is required to discover the shortest way of doing this. When there are four vacant spaces you can pile four cards in seven moves, with only three spaces you can pile them in nine moves, and with two spaces you cannot pile more than two cards. When you have a grasp of these and similar facts you will be able to remove a number of cards bodily and write down $7, 9,$ or whatever the number of moves may be. The gradual shortening of play is fascinating, and first attempts are surprisingly lengthy.

Solutions: 1

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Project Gutenberg

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

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