THE VICTORIA CROSS PUZZLE.—solution

In solving this puzzle there were two things to be achieved: first, so to manipulate the counters that the word VICTORIA should read round the cross in the same direction, only with the V on one of the dark arms; and secondly, to perform the feat in the fewest possible moves. Now, as a matter of fact, it would be impossible to perform the first part in any way whatever if all the letters of the word were different; but as there are two I's, it can be done by making these letters change places—that is, the first I changes from the 2nd place to the 7th, and the second I from the 7th place to the 2nd. But the point I referred to, when introducing the puzzle, as a little remarkable is this: that a solution in twenty-two moves is obtainable by moving the letters in the order of the following words: "A VICTOR! A VICTOR! A VICTOR I!"

There are, however, just six solutions in eighteen moves, and the following is one of them: I (1), V, A, I (2), R, O, T, I (1), I (2), A, V, I (2), I (1), C, I (2), V, A, I (1). The first and second I in the word are distinguished by the numbers 1 and 2.

It will be noticed that in the first solution given above one of the I's never moves, though the movements of the other letters cause it to change its relative position. There is another peculiarity I may point out—that there is a solution in twenty-eight moves requiring no letter to move to the central division except the I's. I may also mention that, in each of the solutions in eighteen moves, the letters C, T, O, R move once only, while the second I always moves four times, the V always being transferred to the right arm of the cross.