January 13, 2004

In one of my classes, we examine problem solving to learn about brain functioning. Here is this week's problem:

A board contains seven squares in a row. 1 is empty, 2, 3, 4 contain dimes, and 5, 6, 7 contain pennies.

You can move a coin to an adjacent unoccupied square, or jump one or two coins to an unoccupied square. Any coin can jump or move in either direction and can jump coins of any value.

Reverse the contents of the squares (pennies in 1, 2, 3; dimes in 4, 5, 6) in ten moves. Can you do it?

A board contains seven squares in a row. 1 is empty, 2, 3, 4 contain dimes, and 5, 6, 7 contain pennies.

You can move a coin to an adjacent unoccupied square, or jump one or two coins to an unoccupied square. Any coin can jump or move in either direction and can jump coins of any value.

Reverse the contents of the squares (pennies in 1, 2, 3; dimes in 4, 5, 6) in ten moves. Can you do it?