Martin Gardner, a well known authority on math and logic puzzles, has selected some of his favorite puzzles in this collection. Some are his own original puzzles; others are compiled from other sources.
The more math you know, the more you will appreciate these puzzles. The book is probably best for teens and adults.
First of all, let's begin by saying...THIS IS NOT REAL CHOCOLATE! Sorry, hate to break it to you, but if you try to manipulate pentominoes or tetris-shaped pieces of real chocolate for very long, you're going to end up with chocolate sludge all over your fingers, and no more toy to play with. If you have real chocolate, EAT IT!
But if you've got Chocabloc, you've got a puzzle on your hands. Can you fit all the tetris and pentomino pieces together to fit in the tray? What other shapes can you create? Get a friend to make a shape and trace around it. Now can you create that same shape?
This would probably make a great Christmas gift for your favorite math teacher, too!
This is a combination of manual dexterity and problem solving. Manual dexterity is necessary to keep the marble on the track. But problem solving is also required to figure out the proper way to turn and rotate the globe to move from one obstacle to another.
The Perplexus comes in three flavors: Rookie Perplexus, Original Perplexus, and Perplexus Epic, which is featured here.
We have the "Original Perplexus" and have found it to be a great conversation piece; when we have visitors in our home, often the Perplexus ends up getting passed around the room repeatedly, as people take turns trying to get through the three dimensional labyrinth.
Back in the eighties, the Rubik's Cube was quite a craze - everyone had one of these puzzles. The popularity of the cube has significantly waned since then, but occasionally variations will crop up.
This cube has 7 squares per edge (that makes 49 per face, right?) and it is described as having "19.5 duoquinquagintillion permutations."
Hurts my brain just thinking about it!
The concept behind this game is quite simple. Your playing piece is standing on one side of a river, and must get across without falling in. What do you have to work with to help you accomplish this task? You have planks that form bridges, supported by stumps that stick out of the water.
The game comes with several stumps and planks in a variety of lengths. There are 40 game cards, each with a different layout of holes punched through where the stumps are supposed to go. Once you've put the stumps in place, your challenge is to find a way to spread your planks from stump to stump so you can safely cross the river.
Sounds simple? Well, it is. And it isn't. The 40 puzzles start easy, but progress to more challenging, so there's something for younger children, but also something to keep them interested as they get more advanced.