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# Category Archives: puzzles

## The wonderful world of Mike Reilly

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 … Continue reading

## Area paradox unmasked

In my last post I presented a paradox, where a set of four pieces forming an 8×8 square could apparently be rearranged to form a 5×13 rectangle, summoning an extra unit of area out of thin air. Quite a few … Continue reading

## Triangunit divisors

Here’s a neat problem from Patrick Vennebush of Math Jokes 4 Mathy Folks: Append the digit 1 to the end of every triangular number. For instance, from 3 you’d get 31, and from 666 you’d get 6,661. Now take a … Continue reading

Posted in number theory, pattern, puzzles
Tagged divisors, numbers, triangular, triangunit, unit
9 Comments

## Manufactoria

A friend of mine just pointed me to a most excellent puzzle game, Manufactoria, wherein you build little machines to test robots. For now I won’t give away the secret of what real math/computer science topic the game teaches you, … Continue reading

## The broken weight problem

Here’s a fantastic problem I recently heard. Apparently it was first posed by Claude Gaspard Bachet de Méziriac in a book of arithmetic problems published in 1612, and can also be found in Heinrich Dorrie’s 100 Great Problems of Elementary … Continue reading

## Penn Alexander math club: map coloring

Today in math club I had the students explore map coloring. I tried to leave it as open-ended as possible to start—I just said that we were going to draw maps with countries, and try to give each country a … Continue reading

Posted in geometry, pattern, puzzles, teaching
Tagged four-color theorem, graphs, map coloring, math club
4 Comments