Chapter: Puzzle Games

"He that is beaten may be said

To lie in honour's truckle bed." HUDIBRAS.

It may be said generally that a game is a contest of skill for two or more persons, into which we enter either for amusement or to win a prize. A puzzle is something to be done or solved by the individual. For example, if it were possible for us so to master the complexities of the game of chess that we could be assured of always winning with the first or second move, as the case might be, or of always drawing, then it would cease to be a game and would become a puzzle. Of course among the young and uninformed, when the correct winning play is not understood, a puzzle may well make a very good game. Thus there is no doubt children will continue to play "Noughts and Crosses," though I have shown (No. 109, "Canterbury Puzzles") that between two players who both thoroughly understand the play, every game should be drawn. Neither player could ever win except through the blundering of his opponent. But I am writing from the point of view of the student of these things.

The examples that I give in this class are apparently games, but, since I show in every case how one player may win if he only play correctly, they are in reality puzzles. Their interest, therefore, lies in attempting to discover the leading method of play.

  1. Problem: The Pebble Game
  2. Problem: The Two Rooks
  3. Problem: Puss In The Corner
  4. Problem: A War Puzzle Game
  5. Problem: A Match Mystery
  6. Problem: The Montenegrin Dice Game
  7. Problem: The Cigar Puzzle

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Project Gutenberg

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

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