Puzzle Break

I’m on vacation with my family at Disneyworld all week this week, so we’ll do things a little differently. For those of you who aren’t spending the week at theme parks, here is another kind of recreation: two sites full of puzzles of a variety of types.

Everything you’ll find at both sites is rich in mathematical content (but feel free not to notice).

Logic Mazes, a site belonging to Richard Robert Abbott (inventor of Eleusis and other card games). What he calls logic mazes are sometimes called “mazes with rules”. For example, in the Alice mazes, you navigate a grid by following arrows, but the size of your steps changes as you pass through certain squares. So you might find it easy to get to point A with step size 2 but have to work quite hard to get the same point with step size 3. So even small-appearing mazesa can conceal vast maze structure. Many of the puzzles are playable online.

Puzzle Beast is a collection of Puzzles like no other. Perhaps most reamrkable is that the individual puzzles are generated by computer (the mathematics of how this is done is a story in itself!). If you want a suggested starting place, The Fried Okra Perplexity is good, as is the Dry Cleaning. All are original, all puzzle types include problems that will entertain and challenge any solver.

Oh, sure, there are a lot of good math topics that relate directly and indirectly to the puzzles on these sites, but we can talk about that later. Let’s not let my explanations get in the way of your own discovery. Just go play.

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3 Responses to Puzzle Break

  1. [...] Puzzle Break! Department of Mathematics, University of Michigan — Ann [...]

  2. Dad says:

    Wow – you seem really smart! Is everyone in your family smart – or just you and your dad???

    • Cap Khoury says:

      Thanks. There are a number of schools of thought on how intelligence runs in families. I am put in mind of my sister’s comment on the subject.

      “The apple can fall far from the tree, but lands right with the other apples.”

      So intelligence and heredity is a murky issue.

      Much less murky is the fact that the ability to have children IS hereditary. If someone’s parents didn’t have any children, they probably won’t either.

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