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

Posted in games, links, people, puzzles | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

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

Posted in geometry, pictures, puzzles, solutions | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

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 , , , , | 9 Comments

My blog is back (hooray!) and a quick puzzle

My blog is finally back up after a long hiatus due to hosting problems (not the first time). I’m seriously contemplating moving somewhere more reliable, but it’s hard to come up with a solution that would not (a) invalidate any … Continue reading

Posted in logic, meta, puzzles | Tagged , , , | 8 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

Posted in games, links, logic, programming, puzzles | Tagged , , | 17 Comments

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

Posted in arithmetic, challenges, number theory, puzzles | Tagged , | 22 Comments

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 , , , | 4 Comments

Math Teachers at Play #21

Math Teachers at Play #21 is up at Math Mama Writes…, and it includes this cute puzzle, which Sue apparently made up herself: The Numberland News runs personal ads. 21 was looking for a new friend and put an ad … Continue reading

Posted in fibonacci, links, number theory, puzzles | Tagged , , , , , , | 13 Comments

The haybaler

At Penn Alexander’s math club yesterday, the students worked on a fun puzzle that I’d never seen before. It goes like this: You have five bales of hay. For some reason, instead of being weighed individually, they were weighed in … Continue reading

Posted in arithmetic, challenges, logic, puzzles, teaching | Tagged , , | 11 Comments

Who Am I?

An excellent puzzle from JD2718: There are five true and five false statements about the secret number. Each pair of statements contains one true and one false statement. Find the trues, find the falses, and find the number. 1a. I … Continue reading

Posted in challenges, logic, number theory, puzzles, teaching | Tagged , , | 13 Comments