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## POINTS AND LINES PROBLEMS.

"Line upon line, line upon line; here a little and there a little."—Isa. xxviii. 10.

What are known as "Points and Lines" puzzles are found very interesting by many people. The most familiar example, here given, to plant nine trees so that they shall form ten straight rows with three trees in every row, is attributed to Sir Isaac Newton, but the earliest collection of such puzzles is, I believe, in a rare little book that I possess—published in 1821—Rational Amusement for Winter Evenings, by John Jackson. The author gives ten examples of "Trees planted in Rows."

These tree-planting puzzles have always been a matter of great perplexity. They are real "puzzles," in the truest sense of the word, because nobody has yet succeeded in finding a direct and certain way of solving them. They demand the exercise of sagacity, ingenuity, and patience, and what we call "luck" is also sometimes of service. Perhaps some day a genius will discover the key to the whole mystery. Remember that the trees must be regarded as mere points, for if we were allowed to make our trees big enough we might easily "fudge" our diagrams and get in a few extra straight rows that were more apparent than real.

206.—THE KING AND THE CASTLES.

There was once, in ancient times, a powerful king, who had eccentric ideas on the subject of military architecture. He held that there was great strength and economy in symmetrical forms, and always cited the example of the bees, who construct their combs in perfect hexagonal cells, to prove that he had nature to support him. He resolved to build ten new castles in his country all to be connected by fortified walls, which should form five lines with four castles in every line. The royal architect presented his preliminary plan in the form I have shown. But the monarch pointed out that every castle could be approached from the outside, and commanded that the plan should be so modified that as many castles as possible should be free from attack from the outside, and could only be reached by crossing the fortified walls. The architect replied that he thought it impossible so to arrange them that even one castle, which the king proposed to use as a royal residence, could be so protected, but his majesty soon enlightened him by pointing out how it might be done. How would you have built the ten castles and fortifications so as best to fulfil the king's requirements? Remember that they must form five straight lines with four castles in every line.

Solution

207.—CHERRIES AND PLUMS.

The illustration is a plan of a cottage as it stands surrounded by an orchard of fifty-five trees. Ten of these trees are cherries, ten are plums, and the remainder apples. The cherries are so planted as to form five straight lines, with four cherry trees in every line. The plum trees are also planted so as to form five straight lines with four plum trees in every line. The puzzle is to show which are the ten cherry trees and which are the ten plums. In order that the cherries and plums should have the most favourable aspect, as few as possible (under the conditions) are planted on the north and east sides of the orchard. Of course in picking out a group of ten trees (cherry or plum, as the case may be) you ignore all intervening trees. That is to say, four trees may be in a straight line irrespective of other trees (or the house) being in between. After the last puzzle this will be quite easy.

Solution

208.—A PLANTATION PUZZLE.

A man had a square plantation of forty-nine trees, but, as will be seen by the omissions in the illustration, four trees were blown down and removed. He now wants to cut down all the remainder except ten trees, which are to be so left that they shall form five straight rows with four trees in every row. Which are the ten trees that he must leave?

Solution

209.—THE TWENTY-ONE TREES.

A gentleman wished to plant twenty-one trees in his park so that they should form twelve straight rows with five trees in every row. Could you have supplied him with a pretty symmetrical arrangement that would satisfy these conditions?

Solution

210.—THE TEN COINS.

Place ten pennies on a large sheet of paper or cardboard, as shown in the diagram, five on each edge. Now remove four of the coins, without disturbing the others, and replace them on the paper so that the ten shall form five straight lines with four coins in every line. This in itself is not difficult, but you should try to discover in how many different ways the puzzle may be solved, assuming that in every case the two rows at starting are exactly the same.

Solution

211.—THE TWELVE MINCE-PIES.

It will be seen in our illustration how twelve mince-pies may be placed on the table so as to form six straight rows with four pies in every row. The puzzle is to remove only four of them to new positions so that there shall be seven straight rows with four in every row. Which four would you remove, and where would you replace them?

212.—THE BURMESE PLANTATION.

A short time ago I received an interesting communication from the British chaplain at Meiktila, Upper Burma, in which my correspondent informed me that he had found some amusement on board ship on his way out in trying to solve this little poser.

If he has a plantation of forty-nine trees, planted in the form of a square as shown in the accompanying illustration, he wishes to know how he may cut down twenty-seven of the trees so that the twenty-two left standing shall form as many rows as possible with four trees in every row.

Of course there may not be more than four trees in any row.

Solution

213.—TURKS AND RUSSIANS.

This puzzle is on the lines of the Afridi problem published by me in Tit-Bits some years ago.

On an open level tract of country a party of Russian infantry, no two of whom were stationed at the same spot, were suddenly surprised by thirty-two Turks, who opened fire on the Russians from all directions. Each of the Turks simultaneously fired a bullet, and each bullet passed immediately over the heads of three Russian soldiers. As each of these bullets when fired killed a different man, the puzzle is to discover what is the smallest possible number of soldiers of which the Russian party could have consisted and what were the casualties on each side.

Solution