The other day I received an email from Mike Reilly, who introduced himself as a professional game and puzzle inventor, and suggested that I might be interested in taking a look at a few of his web sites. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect: “game and puzzle inventor” sounds awesome, but on the other hand, I routinely get emails of the form “hey, I just saw your blog, you might be interested in looking at my web site” and they often turn out to be people just trying to make money without anything very interesting to offer.

So (as you can probably guess from the fact that I am actually writing a blog post about it) I was thrilled to discover that Mike is definitely *not* one of those sorts of people! He has created some really fascinating and beautiful games and puzzles.

I first got sucked into his Hour Maze puzzles (the first one is pictured above) which should tickle the fancy of many Math Less Traveled readers. The rules are simple — fill in the grid so that every number from 1-12 is used an equal number of times, and the numbers in adjacent (i.e. not separated by a wall) cells differ by one, modulo 12 (so 1 and 12 differ by 1). But completing them can be quite tricky! There’s definitely lots of interesting math lurking there but I haven’t yet been able to come up with any general strategy. Maybe that will be the subject of a future post.

Mike also linked me to his Kickstarter project, Reilly’s cube, where he’s raising money to produce a beautiful wooden cube puzzle he designed — and you can get your own if you support the project! You can also read there about other games and puzzles he’s designed (some of which you can also get as rewards for supporting the project).

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Thanks for the link and puzzle–perfect timing for the first day of school :-).

Just a quick thought (having not actually dug in to the puzzles yet) about general strategy… maybe somehow using the taxicab metric?