[ Issue 22 ]

Language, literature, music, nature, the performing arts, hobbies, science and humour all deserve Emily Bronto's approval

Bikwil offers acclaim to language, literature, music, nature, the performing arts, hobbies, science and humour


Issue 22's Editorial consists of a new brainteaser.  This time Tony Rogers introduces the "Five Coin Puzzle".

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Five Easy Pieces
— Tony Rogers


Guess what? It’s time again for another Bikwil mind bender. Though no cinch, this one ought to be simpler than our notorious “Twelve Billiard Balls Puzzle” (Issue 4, November 1997).

The “Five Coin Puzzle” concerns coins lying in a straight row, all touching — three 20-cent coins and two 10-cent coins.

When you start, they are positioned so that the coin types alternate, with a 20-cent coin on the left. Your goal is, in as few moves as possible, to arrange them (again in a straight line), so that the 20-cent coins end up together on the left, then the 10-cent coins, all touching.

Thus, starting with this:

20 10 20 10 20

you have to get to this:

20 20 20 10 10.

Here are the rules for moving the coins:

coins must be slid, not picked up;
two adjacent coins (always of different types) must be moved
each time;
at least one of the pair moved must touch a third coin after
the move;
the coins moved must not change their left-to-right
orientation (in other words, 20 10 must not be twisted to 10 20).

Solution next March.

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