The most famous American composer. He improved upon the ideas of his contemporaries and contributed many ideas of his own. He composed quickly and often did not bother to polish his work; but his problems, designed for the solver, always contained some pointed and original idea. More than any other composer he made problems popular when composers such as Klett were making them so difficult that few could solve them. In 1867 he traveled to Europe. He played in the Paris tournament that year, with little success, and went to Germany where he met Kohtz and other German composers who were impressed with his clear presentation of ideas, although many years were to pass before they were to adopt such ideas themselves. From early childhood Loyd had been fascinated by conjuring, sleight-of-hand, ventriloquism, and puzzles of all kinds, and he practiced all these diversions. At the age of 27, after trying his hand at various trades, he found his true vocation: inventing puzzles. They were often used by advertisers, and he called himself an advertising agent; others called him the puzzle king. His multifarious inventions were collected by his son, Sam Loyd Junior, in Encyclopedia of Puzzles (1914).

*Mathematical Puzzles of Sam Loyd* (1958) and

*More Mathematical Puzzles of Sam Loyd* (1960) contain selections made by Martin Gardner. Loyd gave up composing chess problems for eight years while he established his business, and recommenced in 1876. Two years later he published

*Chess Strategy*, a book containing about 500 of his problems and a somewhat incoherent text. Interpreted and rewritten by Allan C. White, who added biographical material and about 200 problems, it appeared as Sam Loyd and his Chess Problems (1913). Reprinted in 1962, this book forms an excellent introduction for the uninitiated who wish to enter the problem world.

Updated
10.11.2011