The 8th Book of Tan by Sam Loyd
The mysterious changes do not pertain alone to the omission of certain pieces, but to numerous other paradoxical features, the fallacies of which are to be explained. In the Chinese books we find that the two versions of a spool are given with the lower one merely somewhat wider, which makes it an unsatisfactory answer to discover that the fallacy turns upon the lower flanges being larger, as shown. The disappearance of the upper flanges converts it into a jardinière, which is presented again with a piece chipped off.
In the next figure we see a mango flower sprouting, which speedily grows into quite a bush, and we have a complete exposition of the famous East India trick, with each tableau calling for all seven pieces. Then we have three representations of a bottle, which can be changed in several ways.
We next see three forms of the hexagon, which can be made to sprout, so that by a series of gradual changes we get a dagger, candle, obelisk, and tombstone. This evolutionary series is carried over on the next page.
Here are the familiar figures of the top-spinners, with a hitherto undiscovered interpretation. The first person is spinning the little top so as to place the ownership. Then we have a couple tossing the top between them, and the problem is to discover whether the top is one of the pieces belonging to the third or second figure, or an independent subject calling for seven more pieces. The three other figures are also cleverly placed so as to suggest a misleading answer to one of the best puzzles of the book.
Under the impression that all of the imperfect forms, which apparently lack one piece, were be constructed from eight pieces, a foreign publisher, who was not up in puzzle matters, brought out a collection of designs which require one piece more, and furnished the same with a set of eight blocks! Each and every one of the problems can be constructed with seven, so, thanks to this happy blunder, some of the best figures known have been preserved. Ne sutor ultra crepidam.