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THIS amusing little solitaire came into vogue early in 1909: it is a game of pure skill.

Take nine cards of any suit, ranging from the deuce to the 10 inclusive (suppose clubs) shuffle them up, and deal them out face upwards into three rows of three cards in a row. The following is an easy "lay-out" which occurred in play:

Our task is now to move the cards until we have got them into a single column, with the 10 at the top, the 9 underneath it, and so on, in descending order, down to the 2 at the bottom. I have lettered the three columns in the above diagram as A, B, C, for convenience of reference. The rules for moving the cards are as follows:

1. Only one card can be moved at a time, and this can only be taken from the foot of one column and placed at the foot of another, immediately beneath a card of higher denomination.

Thus in the above diagram the 10 cannot be moved at all (at present), for there is no position to which it can be transferred. The 9 can be moved and placed in column C beneath the 10; the 3 can be moved and placed either in column A, beneath the 9, or in column C, beneath the 10.

2. Whenever all the cards of a column have been removed, the bottom card of either of the other two columns may be moved up into the vacant space in the top row.

To work out the above diagram, therefore, we proceed as follows. to indicate a move it is only necessary to name the card moved, and to state the column (A, B, or C) to which it is to be transferred. Remember that it always goes to the foot of the column if the columnar space is occupied, and to the head of the column if that space happens to be vacant.

We must first get the 10 into the top row, which can be accomplished in five moves:

3 to C, 6 to A, 5 to A, 3 to A, 10 to B.

Then get the 9 and 8 into their proper places, thus:

3 to C, 5 to B, 3 to B, 6 to C, 3 to A, 5 to C 3 to C, 9 to B, 8 to B.

Next get the 7 into position under the 8, thus:

3 to A, 5 to B, 3 to C, 4 to B, 3 to B, 6 to A 3 to A, 4 to C, 3 to C, 5 to A, 3 to B, 4 to A 3 to A, 7 to B.

And the following moves bring the problem to completion:

2 to B, 3 to C, 2 to C, 4 to B, 2 to A, 3 to B 2 to B, 5 to C, 2 to C, 3 to A, 2 to A, 4 to C 2 to B, 3 to C, 2 to C, 6 to B, 2 to A, 3 to B 2 to B, 4 to A, 2 to C, 3 to A, 2 to A, 5 to B 2 to B, 3 to C, 2 to C, 4 to B, 2 to A, 3 to B 2 to B.

This Patience is called "The Tower of Hanoy," because it is identical in principle with a mechanical puzzle known by that name, and invented by Edouard Lucas. Instead of cards, M. Lucas used perforated discs of graduated sizes, which were slipped on to three upright rods.

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