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To solve this puzzle:

  1. First, you have to guess what the goal is. This should be simple, but you need to solve the puzzle to confirm it
  2. Next, find out how the tiles can be moved. There is a simple rule that determines which tiles can be swapped. Can you discover it?
  3. Finally, move the tiles to get to the goal. Mindless trial and error will not get you very far. You really need to plan ahead to solve the puzzle

Start puzzling by clicking on the board above. Good luck!

I have also created a physical version of this puzzle, which is available at my Shapeways shop. There you can find more clues on how to solve the puzzle, should you need them.

Edit - 25 Jan 2014
When you solved the puzzle, you will get a code. Add a comment with this code to proof that you solved it. Note, you will get a different code each time, so I don't accept duplicates. Also, I can verify that the code is valid, so don't try to cheat! :-)

Hall of Fame
7anime7drawer7 - 166 Moves on 13 Feb 2014, 50 Moves on 4 Aug 2014
Add a Comment:
 
:icon7anime7drawer7:
7anime7drawer7 Featured By Owner Edited Aug 4, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
50 moves :D
it's not all that good, but it's better than my previous record... kind of
18dd82f3
Reply
:iconeriban:
eriban Featured By Owner Aug 5, 2014
Well done! Fifty moves is not bad. Although it's not the optimal solution, it's a whole lot closer to it than the first solution you found! :-)
I have updated the Hall of Fame in the description.
Reply
:iconpsychorror:
Psychorror Featured By Owner May 17, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I'm really, REALLY starting to loathe the number eight.


I hate 8.
Reply
:icon7anime7drawer7:
7anime7drawer7 Featured By Owner Aug 4, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
you what?! eight is the best!!
Reply
:iconeriban:
eriban Featured By Owner May 18, 2014
Poor eight… what has it done to deserve this hate? If anything, you should resent the numbers that don't want to be friends with it...
Reply
:iconravenswd:
Ravenswd Featured By Owner May 17, 2014
Hi. I've been completely unable to swap any pieces, or in fact to get it to do anything at all. As far as I can tell, this is a static image. I suspect that perhaps my Flash isn't working properly? Just to confirm, just to get me started... Could you let me know what I need to do to swap two pieces? I don't know if I'm doing something wrong or if it's just not working. Thanks.
Reply
:iconeriban:
eriban Featured By Owner May 17, 2014
You should be able to swap a pair of tiles by clicking in the open space between. You cannot swap all tiles, but try this for the tiles numbered 1 and 2. That should work.
Reply
:iconravenswd:
Ravenswd Featured By Owner May 17, 2014
Aha! It's working for me now! Thanks!!
Reply
:iconeriban:
eriban Featured By Owner May 18, 2014
Good to hear, so nothing to stop you from solving the puzzle now… Well, except that it's not entirely straightforward. Good luck!
Reply
:icon7anime7drawer7:
7anime7drawer7 Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Done! :D
166 moves
code f8518e53

Reply
:iconeriban:
eriban Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2014
Code confirmed. Added a "Hall of Fame" section to the description with your name. :-)
Reply
:icon7anime7drawer7:
7anime7drawer7 Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
cool! thanks :D
I will try to take less moves next time Bl
Reply
:icondarkrose-chan:
DarkRose-chan Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Is this a version of that game where you have to get all the pieces in order?
Like, those 4x4 games where you have 15 pieces *but in here is 3x3 and they're all here* and have to move them around?
If it is, I just love those kind of games. And even if it isn't, I'm just loving it, it's so challenging >D
Nice job in this :D
Reply
:iconeriban:
eriban Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2014
Thanks! Yes, this puzzle indeed resembles the 15-puzzle. Both puzzles have similar goals, ordering the tiles in ascending order, going from 1 to 9, or from 1 to 15 respectively. The way that tiles are moved differs, however. In the 15-puzzle, a tile is moved with the empty space, whereas here you have to swap two tiles simultaneously. The difficulty is that not all pairs of tiles can be swapped. If they could, the puzzle would be far too easy and not much fun! :-)
Reply
:icondarkrose-chan:
DarkRose-chan Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
First of all, you're welcome :D
Second of all, you, my friend, have created a head Kracken XD I love mental games *that require thinking, like this one* that can cause me headaches *in the good way*, because... I don't want my brain to melt, I guess :P
I already made it to put 1, 2 and 3 in the top row, but then 4 and 6 are stuck in the middle :B Goddammit. I won't stop trying, though :D
Reply
:iconeriban:
eriban Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2014
I hope you manage to solve it without your brain melting. Let me know if you do. Good luck!
Reply
:icondarkrose-chan:
DarkRose-chan Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
OMG I have 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 9, 8, 7 right now.............
And I started doing it 7' ago.
ARGHHHHHH
I have already got to a similar situation, but in which I had the top and bottom lines good and the middle ones was the one ruining everything :I
Reply
:iconeriban:
eriban Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2014
Definitely getting closer… Next step is making sure you can get the last few tiles in the correct position. Easier said then done maybe!
Reply
:icondarkrose-chan:
DarkRose-chan Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
It's just...
Top row
1 <--> 2 <--> 3
1 <-/-> 3
Middle row
4 <--> 5 <-/-> 6
4 <--> 6
Bottom row
7 <--> 8 <-/-> 9  <-- STUCK

Plus all the other possibilities, I'll never finish this D:
But I shall not give up!
Have you ever finished it?
Reply
:iconeriban:
eriban Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2014
Yes, I have solved this puzzle. In fact, I have even solved the 4x4 and 5x5 versions of it. Those are even a bit more difficult, but if you manage to solve the 3x3, you should be able to manage those as well.

By the way, I have just uploaded an updated version of this puzzle today. If you solve it, you will now get a code that you can use to prove that you solved it. So keep trying!
Reply
(1 Reply)
:icondarkrose-chan:
DarkRose-chan Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Me too XD
Thank you :D
Reply
:icon7anime7drawer7:
7anime7drawer7 Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
this is like really hard : /
i'm trying to get them like 
1 2 3
4 5 6
7 8 9
but i'm stuck >_>
Reply
:iconeriban:
eriban Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2014
You indeed guessed the goal correctly. Well done, that's a start. But as you discovered, the puzzle is not easy, so good luck! 
Reply
:icon7anime7drawer7:
7anime7drawer7 Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
ugh
would you give me a hint in exchange for a free commission? lol
i already know how the blocks move but i haven't managed to get them in the right order x_x
Reply
:iconeriban:
eriban Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2014
Ha, sorry for the anguish this puzzle is causing…
But a free commission for a hint sounds like a great deal. I would definitely give you a hint for a drawing of a confused Hikaru (from Hikaru no Go) trying to solve this puzzle, either the online version of this puzzle or the physical one :-)
Reply
:icon7anime7drawer7:
7anime7drawer7 Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
commission done! ^^
now please give me a hint xD
Reply
:iconeriban:
eriban Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2014
Thanks. It's great. I like it a lot!

I just gave you a small first hint via a PM. Hopefully it's enough, but if not, I can give you a follow-up one. Good luck trying to solve the puzzle! 
Reply
:icon7anime7drawer7:
7anime7drawer7 Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
thanks! that hint was extremely useful! : D
I've solved it twice now ^^
Reply
:iconeriban:
eriban Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2014
Well done! This makes you the first to solve the puzzle. For the record, the hint I gave you was not that big, it was mainly a nudge in the right direction, so you still deserve lots of credits for solving it!
Reply
(1 Reply)
:iconlaverkyn:
Laverkyn Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist

if the goal is to get them like


9   8   7

6   5   4

3   2   1


then i've solved it, yes XD

Reply
:iconeriban:
eriban Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2014
Solved in zero moves, you're a genius! Oh, hold on, that wasn't actually the goal…

The puzzle will tell you when you've solved it, so keep trying :-)
Reply
:iconlaverkyn:
Laverkyn Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
XD please tell me whats the goal im autistic i cant help it im gonna explode!! XD
Reply
:iconeriban:
eriban Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2014
Okay, exploding is not good, so I'll share the goal with you. It's as 7anime7drawer7 guessed. In other words, you have to reverse the tiles so that they are ordered from 1 to 9.
Reply
:iconlaverkyn:
Laverkyn Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist

okay i gave up






after two minutes

Reply
:iconeriban:
eriban Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2014
I doubt if anyone is able to solve it within two minutes. Maybe only exceptional puzzle geniuses. So a bit more dedication is required if you want to solve it :-)
Reply
:iconlaverkyn:
Laverkyn Featured By Owner Jan 23, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist

maybe that kid who can solve a rubix cube with a blindfold


(did i say it right? just askin, imma not pro at english)

Reply
:iconeriban:
eriban Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2014
Could be, but still, there's a difference between solving a puzzle you don't see but know and solving a puzzle you see but don't know...
Reply
(1 Reply)
:iconlaverkyn:
Laverkyn Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist

aha

thats cool im gunna try

Reply
:iconwilltommo:
willtommo Featured By Owner Dec 20, 2013  Hobbyist
Oh gosh is this mathematics homework..?!

3 and 2 can be swapped. 4 and 5 can. 4 and 9 can. 7 and 8 can. 9 and 6 can. Is it something to do with the sum of each pair of tiles?
4 can also go with 6 and 2. (Im sure I haven't listed all possible movements here, but it might point me in the right direction).

3+2=5  4+5=9  7+8=15  9+6=15  4+6=10  4+2=6. All factors of 3 and/or 5?

I'm lost. But thanks for the challenge!
Reply
:iconeriban:
eriban Featured By Owner Dec 20, 2013
Indeed, a pair of tiles can be swapped when their sum is divisible by three and/or five. So you figured out the rule. Well done! 

So the next question is, did you manage to solve it? Knowing the rule is a pre-requisite for solving it, but even then, it's not easy.
Reply
:iconwilltommo:
willtommo Featured By Owner Dec 20, 2013  Hobbyist
I was completely lost from there... Its intriguing haha
Reply
:iconeriban:
eriban Featured By Owner Dec 20, 2013
Thanks. Good luck solving it if you haven't given up yet! ;-)
Reply
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