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    Oxbow Puzzle

One day we at Puzzles.COM were surprised and delighted to get a message from our visitor Edna about a very old puzzle named "Oxbow Puzzle."

It was made in Japan and poses a great challenge to its owner. Edna asked us to help with a solution to this puzzle. We were extremely intrigued with Edna's description of this puzzle, and asked her to take and send us a picture of the Oxbow Puzzle - we show it below.

The picture is courtesy of Edna.

Moreover, we liked the Oxbow Puzzle so much that created a Flash implementation of it, so now you can enjoy solving this old classic, and even can take part in our Mini-Contest (see its details below).
The Object
You start with four Orange marbles on the left, four Blue ones on the right, and one empty hole in the middle.

Move the Blue marbles to the left and the Orange - to the right, again living an empty hole in the middle. There are the next rules to solve the puzzle:

1. The marbles move (or jump) one at a time. 
2. The marbles move forward only (Blue - to the left, Orange - to the right), and never backward. 
3. Any marble can move one step into an empty hole next to it. 
4. Any marble can jump over one marble next to it, landing then on an empty hole right behind it. 
5. You can't jump over two or more marbles. 
6. The puzzle has to be solved with a minimum number of moves.

How to Play
-- Move the pieces dragging them.
-- Use the Restart button every time you want to return to the starting position on the board.
-- Use the Undo button (small, left-pointing arrow in the circle beneath the board) to return the position on the board one step back with every click of this button.
-- Use the Redo button (small, right-pointing arrow in the circle beneath the board) to move the position on the board one step forward; note that this is possible just when the Undo button was used one or more times moving the position on the Board back.
-- Use the Labels button to make the numbers of the holes of the board visible or to hide them.
-- The number beneath the Board will show you the total number of your moves.
file size
206 KB
Download PDF Print 'n' Play version


Enjoy version for Pocket PC at PocketPLAY

Mini-Contest 20 - Oxbow Puzzle is FINISHED

Now we'd like to propose this contest's results. With this Mini-Contest 20 is finished. 

It was our first Mini-Contest with PuzzleCLUB sector, and you, our fellow visitors, were very active. Actually we have the site's record in the right answers to our Mini-Contests. We thank you for this, and look forward to the next Mini-Contests. Happy Puzzling! 

Contest Results

The 12 winners are:
1. Horst Karaschewski.
2. Jon Black.
3. Alison Thompson.
4. Joey Hwang.
5. Jensen Lai.
6. Michele Ely.
7.Meltom F. Gonzales.
8.Mark Sunter-storey.
9.Amit Chawla.
10.Wisline Legros.
11.Josh Anderson.
12.Wade Kaple.
14.Buddy Dorman.
15.Barbara Algarin.
16.Mohamed Sabry.
18.Jugvinder Singh.
19.John Birch.
20.Kiruthika K.
21.Bruce A. Hedge.
22.Robyn McCabe.
24.Rajesh Kumar Sinha.
25.Chris Baynton.
26.Ed Peacock.
27.Jana Pomeroy.
28.Anna Zachariasson.
29.Jon Dyer.
32.Veron Cheung.
33.Tony R. Buonopane.
34.Elizabeth Johnston.
35.Dan Blobaum.
36.Jeff Rogers.
37.lucas land.
38.Steve Gomes.
39.Dan Cheek.
42.Summy S.
44.Anup Aravind.
45.Sandip Agarwal.
46.Girish Nehate.
47.Benjamin Osuna.
48.Amiee Marcel.
49.Bogdan Knezevic.
50.Adam Davies.
51.Jamie Sanderson.
53.Jeff LaGrone.
54.Ian Pedder.
55.Emrah Baskaya.
56.Brian M. Dailey.
57.Naiem A. S.
58.Nigel Wilson.
60.Marcus Dunstan.
61.Sue Hinman.
63.Russell Baum.
64.Eric Lafontaine.
66.Alan Lemm.
67.Michael Lever.
68.Jim Tarsi.
69.David Atkinson.
71.Shlomo Baime.
72.William Hill.
73.Matt Benton.
74.Dave Schnizlein.
75.Trevor Graham.
76.Sweta Singh.
77.Jennifer Cheong.
78.Suhas Subramanya.

Mini-Contest 20 - Oxbow Puzzle

Before we give the answer, we'd like to propose this pretty nice classic puzzle as our Mini-Contest 20 to all the visitors of our site.

Your messages with answers must be received by May 1, 2002

The names of the solvers who submit the correct and best (with the minimum of moves) solutions to this puzzle will be posted here and at the Puzzle Help section. 

How to Send Your Answers

Send us the full sequence + the total number of your moves you need to reach the final position of marbles (Blue - on the left, Orange - on the right).

For this, first click the Labels button (on the right of the Restart button just beneath the board). You'll see the numbers 1 through 9 running along the board's top - 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9. These numbers show the numbers of the board's holes. 

Use them to show your solution, so that in the solution its numbers will correspond to the board's holes. Every move should be shown as two numbers - start and finish holes, so it may look like the following:
6 - 5, 4 - 6, 5 - 4, ... 
17 moves.
This is just a sample of solution to the puzzle - not real solution!!

Happy Puzzling :)
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Last Update
May 25, 2007

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