Samuel Loyd (1841 – 1911), born in Philadelphia and raised in New York City, was an American chess player, chess composer, puzzle author, and recreational mathematician. As a chess composer, he authored a number of chess problems, often with interesting themes. At his peak, Loyd was one of the best chess players in the US and was ranked 15th in the world, according to chessmetrics.com.

A father left to his four sons this square field, with the instruction that they divide it into four pieces, each of the same shape and size, so that each piece of land contained one of the trees. How did they manage it?

Two friends, logicians – Ein and Stein – get imprisoned in two distant cells in a castle. Both cells have just one door, and a window with 8 bars in the first cell, and 12 bars in the second cell. The first day both logicians get the same letter from the prison master:

“The total number of bars in the two prison cells in this castle is either 18 or 20. Starting tomorrow, every morning I will go first to Ein and then to Stein, and will ask how many bars the other logician has. If one of you answers correctly, I will immediately let both of you leave the castle. If one of you answers incorrectly, I will execute both of you. Of course, you can always decide not to answer and just stay imprisoned. I have sent a copy of this letter to you and your friend. There is no point in trying to communicate with him – your cells are far away from each other, and he won’t hear you.”

Will the logicians manage to escape the castle eventually? When will they do it?

Five points, A, B, C, D, and E, lie on a line. The distances between them in ascending order are: 2, 5, 6, 8, 9, X, 15, 17, 20, and 22. What is X?

SOLUTION

We assume that the points are ordered A to E from left to right. We have AE = 22 and either AD = 20, BE = 17, or AD = 17, BE = 20. Without loss of generality AD = 20, BE = 17, and therefore AB = 5, BD = 15, DE = 2. The distance of 6 is associated with either BC or CD, and therefore the points are arranged in one of these two ways:

AB = 5, BC = 6, CD = 9, DE = 2

AB = 5, BC = 9, CD = 6, DE = 2

If it is the latter, we get the sequence of distances: 2, 5, 6, 9, 11, 14, 15, 17, 20, 22, which does not fit the provided sequence.

If it is the former, we get the sequence of distances: 2, 5, 6, 8, 9, 14, 15, 17, 20, 22, and therefore X = 14.

The main challenge of a Sunome puzzle is drawing a maze. Numbers surrounding the outside of the maze border give an indication of how the maze is to be constructed. To solve the puzzle you must draw all the walls where they belong and then draw a path from the Start square to the End square.

The walls of the maze are to be drawn on the dotted lines inside the border. A single wall exists either between 2 nodes or a node and the border. The numbers on the Top and Left side of the border tell you how many walls are on that line of the grid. The numbers on the Right and Bottom of the border tell you how many walls exist in those rows and columns, respectively. In addition, the following must be true:

Each puzzle has a unique solution.

There is only 1 maze path to the End square.

Every Node must have a wall touching it.

Walls must trace back to a border.

If the Start and End squares are adjacent to each other a wall must separate them.

Start squares may be open on all sides, while End squares must be closed on 3 sides.

You cannot completely close off any region of the grid.

Examine the first example, then solve the other three puzzles.