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(Moving Counter Problem)
| ... A .../ |
| (I) |.......| (V) |
|......| |------|
|.. R .| |. I ..|
|......| |......|
| _____|_______|_____ |
|/ |.......| |
| (O) |.. T ..| (C) |
| /......... |
The puzzle-maker is peculiarly a "snapper-up of unconsidered trifles,"
and his productions are often built up with the slenderest materials.
Trivialities that might entirely escape the observation of others, or,
if they were observed, would be regarded as of no possible moment, often
supply the man who is in quest of posers with a pretty theme or an idea
that he thinks possesses some "basal value."
When seated opposite to a lady in a railway carriage at the time of
Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee, my attention was attracted to a brooch
that she was wearing. It was in the form of a Maltese or Victoria Cross,
and bore the letters of the word VICTORIA. The number and arrangement of
the letters immediately gave me the suggestion for the puzzle which I
now present.
The diagram, it will be seen, is composed of nine divisions. The puzzle
is to place eight counters, bearing the letters of the word VICTORIA,
exactly in the manner shown, and then slide one letter at a time from
black to white and white to black alternately, until the word reads
round in the same direction, only with the initial letter V on one of
the black arms of the cross. At no time may two letters be in the same
division. It is required to find the shortest method.
Leaping moves are, of course, not permitted. The first move must
obviously be made with A, I, T, or R. Supposing you move T to the
centre, the next counter played will be O or C, since I or R cannot be
moved. There is something a little remarkable in the solution of this
puzzle which I will explain.

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