Solve This! The Sliding Puzzle Quiz

By: Staff
Image: refer to hsw

About This Quiz

They're addictive, engrossing and maddening. Sliders have been around for well over a century, but you still may have a lot to learn about these braintwisters.

What is the first sliding puzzle commonly known as?

It took its name from its 4-by-4 grid with 15 tiles and one empty space.

What shape were the pieces of the original sliding puzzle, the 15 Puzzle?

The pieces of the 15 Puzzle were all squares. Can you imagine trying to slide interlocking triangles?

How many 15 Puzzle configurations are solvable?

Exactly half the possible arrangements of the numbers can be returned to numerical order with the empty square at the end.

The 15 Puzzle became popular in which year?

The 15 Puzzle was a huge sensation in the early months of 1880. Though the craze died down by the summer, the 15 Puzzle is still popular today.

Who was the inventor of the 15 Puzzle?

Though Sam Loyd claimed be its inventor, the 15 Puzzle was actually the creation of postmaster Noyes Chapman.

How can sliding puzzle pieces be moved?

Sliding puzzle pieces can only be rearranged by moving them into an empty space.

True or False: The simpler a sliding puzzle's design, the easier it is to solve.

Some very simple sliding puzzles are extremely difficult to solve.

Why was the Pennant Puzzle of 1909 harder to solve than earlier sliding puzzles?

Rectangular pieces complicated the solution of the Pennant Puzzle, also known as Dad's Puzzle.

True or False: Even computers have a hard time solving sliding puzzles.

The myriad of movement options and variables of these puzzles are so complex that they present a challenge to computers.

Ma's Puzzle, released in 1927, introduced what element into sliding puzzles?

The L-shaped pieces of Ma's Puzzle added a new degree of complexity to its solution.

What is the key to solving sliding puzzles?

Sliding puzzles are difficult because there's no key or formula that tells you how to solve them. As with most things, patience is your best asset.

The Japanese sliding puzzle Sokoban represents what kind of worker?

Sokoban is the Japanese word for "warehouse manager." In this puzzle, the manager (player) has to move boxes into their proper position.

What makes Sokoban especially difficult?

Because the boxes can only be pushed and not pulled, it's easy to reach a dead end.

What professional group has a history of sliding puzzle analysis?

While philosophers and psychologists may find these diversions fascinating, the principles behind solving sliding puzzles have long intrigued mathematicians.

When mathematicians judge a puzzle PSPACE-complete, what does this mean?

The term PSPACE-complete is a measure of mathematical complexity and difficulty.

What claim is made for the computer-designed puzzle called Quzzle?

Quzzle's inventor claims it is the hardest simple sliding puzzle to solve.

Rubik's Cube, a relative of the sliding puzzle, created a sensation in which decade?

Rubik's Cube was all the rage during the early 1980s. A total of more than 350 million have been sold since the Cube was introduced.

How long did it take chess champion Bobby Fischer to solve Rubik's Cube?

Fischer solved the puzzle in 25 seconds on the Tonight Show.

What is the world's record for solving Rubik's Cube?

At a 2011 contest, Latvian puzzle whiz Feliks Zemdegs unscrambled the cube in 5.66 seconds to set a world's record.

Which renowned puzzle inventor has an annual puzzle design award named for him?

Nob Yoshigahara, who died in 2004, was one of the world's leading puzzle designers. The Nob Yoshigahara Puzzle Design Competition is held annually.

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