Rotate the earth one way and there are 13 warriors. Rotate it back a position and there’s only 12. Where did the 13th warrior vanish to?
This is the type of curious challenge that tests your powers of observation and deduction. Use it to hone your Escape Room skills or for a family Puzzle Party.
This puzzle has never really been satisfactorily solved or explained.
It’s not a modern puzzle. This is a reproduction of Sam Loyd’s most exciting and controversial puzzle card of the disappearing warrior. It is an all-time classic by puzzlemaster Sam Loyd that he patented and copyrighted and first published in 1896.
Loyd is widely acknowledged as one of America’s great puzzlers. Dubbed so by Martin Gardner and many others. But Gardner also understood him to be “obviously a hustler” and he was well known for his snake-oil schemes and lies. He stole puzzles from others and published them under his own name. Right up until his death in 1911 he claimed he invented the 15 puzzle when the actual inventor was Noyes Chapman, who applied for a patent in March 1880. Sam Loyd started the Fifteen puzzle craze of 1880 and fooled everyone for 115 years! It was only in 1995 when renowned puzzler Jerry Slocum started to investigate and write his book about the 15 puzzle that the truth really unfolded. We sell his book on this website too. It’s a really interesting historical read with many nice observations about family and social life of the day.
Sam Loyd did patent this one and credible research believes he did invent it.
Designed in the USA and printed in Australia. The Sam Loyd Company was founded by Sam Loyd in 1892 to produce his many inventions. When he passed away in 1911, it was inherited by his son, Sam Loyd Junior, who continued to run it until his own death in 1934. Today, that same company is responsible for promoting, educating, publishing, distributing and protecting the work and legacies of both Sam Loyd and Sam Loyd Junior.
Size of outer card: 170mm x 170mm
There is no official solution for this puzzle. Sam Loyd always claimed that no one had ever solved it to his satisfaction so it remains a mystery. What’s your theory?
Here’s an interesting story from the current owners of the company about the solution to this puzzle:
There are people such as Martin Gardener who have shown their answer to the puzzle but it’s still not the official solution. Many years ago we discovered a book that we were told once belonged to Sam Loyd Junior and inside was a letter that explained the puzzle. We consider this to be the official answer however it’s been sealed up and placed in a security box to ensure we stay faithful to Sam Loyds wishes and keeping the mystery alive.
Watermark on the image does not appear on the product.