The cheesemonger places sixteen cheeses
floor in a straight row and then makes them into four piles, with four
cheeses in every pile, by always passing a cheese over four
you use sixteen counters and number them in order from 1 to 16, then
you may place 1 on 6, 11 on 1, 7 on 4, and so on, until there are four
in every pile.
It will be seen that it does not matter whether the four
passed over are standing alone or piled; they count just the same, and
you can always carry a cheese in either direction.
There are a great
many different ways of doing it in twelve moves, so it makes a good
game of "patience" to try to solve it so that the four piles shall be
left in different stipulated places.
For example, try to leave the
piles at the extreme ends of the row, on Nos. 1, 2, 15 and 16; this is
Then try to leave three piles together, on Nos. 13, 14, and
Then again play so that they shall be left on Nos. 3, 5, 12, and 14.