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The 15 Puzzle Book
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The 15 Puzzle Book

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TypesJerry Slocum, Paper Puzzles
Dimensions10 1/4 in x 3/4 in x 8 1/4 in / 26 cm x 1.7 cm x 21 cm

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Product Info

Author: Jerry Slocum
ISBN: 1890980153
EAN: 9781890980153

Ever heard about the 15-Puzzle?

From now on it will be part of the rest of your life!

The New York Times: "No pestilence has ever visited this or any other country which has spread with the awful celerity of what is called the 'Fifteen Puzzle'. It has spread over the entire country. Nothing arrests it. It now threatens our free institutions, inasmuch as from every town and hamlet there is coming up a cry for a 'strong man' who will stamp out this terrible puzzle at any cost of Constitution or freedom."

The Utica Herald: "The puzzle is filling the lunatic asylums of this country at the rate of about 5000 per day."

The Philadelphia Evening Bulletin: "The Puzzle is setting the people wild - the sanity of the population threatened."

This book contains the definitive, illustrated history of one of the most popular and important mechanical puzzles of all time. It can be argued that the Fifteen Puzzle in 1880 had the greatest impact on American and European society of any mechanical puzzle the world has ever known.

Books by famous mathematicians tell that a deaf mute invented the 15 puzzle, but encyclopedias, other books and web sites say it was invented by Sam Loyd who Martin Gardner called "America’s greatest puzzle designer". Or has Sam Loyd, who said he invented the puzzle, continued to fool the world for more than 100 years?

The true story of the puzzle is told here for the first time.
• The real inventor and his patent application records were found.
• The story of how the puzzle came to be manufactured.
• Proof that the 15 puzzle is mathematically impossible to solve.
• How a young New Yorker solved it.
• The worldwide puzzle craze that it created.

About the Author
This is the eighth book by Jerry Slocum on the subject of puzzles. His first book, Puzzles Old and New, was published in 1986. It was followed by New Book of Puzzles, Ingenious & Diabolical Puzzles, Tricky Optical Illusions and two books published by Klutz Press, The Puzzle Arcade and Swipe This Pencil. His last previous book, The Tangram Book, was published by Sterling in 2003. Several reviews are shown with the book listing at

Coauthor Dic Sonneveld works at Lieden University in the Netherlands and he also contributed to The Tangram Book.

Will Shortz, Editor, Crossword Puzzle, The New York Times and Puzzlemaster, National Radio wrote the Foreword.

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