This perplexing puzzle was originally published in a book by Martin Gardner in the 1960s. It looks simple, but most people find it quite challenging!
The wooden box contains 8 square holes, and there are eight wooden pegs that you place in the holes. 'Adjacent' holes are defined as holes that have a line running between them. The challenge is simple to state - arrange the 8 pegs, which contain the numerals 1 to 8, in such a way that consecutive numbers are not in adjacent holes. So 1 cannot be adjacent to 2, and 6 cannot be adjacent to 5, as it is in the picture shown here! It might sound simple, but there are in fact over 40,000 combinations, and only one solution.
It can initially seem very daunting, but the solution has a true elegance about it. This problem feaured on a TV show in the USA many years ago, where the presenter illustrated the difference between a computer and a human mathematician, since a computer will work through all 40,000 combinations in order to find the answer, while a human being can approach the problem using logic and insight.
The hand crafted wooden box measures 4.5 x 3 x 1.5 inches, and is made of hardwood. The 8 numbers are laser etched, so they cannot be rubbed off. The box has a base and a lid, so there is no danger of the pieces getting lost when the box is not in use.