For some time we tried to make these little
allotted to them, and failed.
The Professor, however, would not give
his solution, but said he would instead introduce to us a little thing
that is childishly simple when you have once seen it, but cannot be
mastered by everybody at the very first attempt.
"Waiter!" he called again.
"Just take away these
bring the chessboards."
"I hope to goodness," exclaimed Grigsby, "you are
not going to
some of those awful chess problems of yours.
'White to mate Black in
moves without moving his pieces.'
bishop rooks the king, and pawns
his Giuoco Piano in half a jiff.'"
"No, it is not chess.
You see these two snails.
They are Romeo
Juliet is on her balcony, waiting the arrival of
her love; but
Romeo has been dining, and forgets, for the life of him, the number of
The squares represent sixty-four houses, and the amorous
visits every house once and only once before reaching his beloved. Now,
make him do this with the fewest possible turnings.
The snail can move
up, down, and across the board and through the diagonals.
with this piece of chalk."
"Seems easy enough," said Grigsby, running the
chalk along the
"Look! that does it."
"Yes," said the Professor: "Romeo has got there,
it is true, and visited
every square once, and only once; but you have made him turn nineteen
times, and that is not doing the trick in the fewest turns possible."
Hawkhurst, curiously enough, hit on the solution
at once, and
Professor remarked that this was just one of those puzzles that a
might solve at a glance or not master in six months.