Notes on the 14-15 Puzzle
Created in the 1870s by the American puzzlist Sam Loyd, the 14-15 puzzle begins with 15 blocks in regular order, except that blocks 14 and 15 are reversed. The goal of the original puzzle was to move the blocks into correct numerical order, with the vacant square in the lower-right corner (the Home State of the 15-Square puzzle).
Loyd offered $1,000 to the first person to find the correct solution. The 14-15 puzzle, also known as the Boss puzzle, became quite famous internationally, but no one ever received the prize. The puzzle is in fact unsolvable.
But it is possible to solve the 14-15 puzzle if the Home State is modified slightly, by placing the vacant square in the upper-left corner of the board rather than the lower right. This is the form of the puzzle presented here.
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