Tuesday, August 10, 2010

A Note About Puzzles

I'm going to be running one puzzle a day for the next couple of weeks. Puzzles will go up at 11am, and solutions will go up at the same time the following day. Please follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Google Friend Connect, or RSS in order to get the daily puzzle and the solution.

Some of these are classics, and some of them are my variations or adaptations of classic ideas. Some of them have been around so long no one even knows who first came up with them. If I know an actual source, I will credit it, but some are just things I remember from a lifetime of reading.

Martin Gardner: 1914 - 2010

A few people, such as Sam Loyd, Henry Dudeney, and Martin Gardner, are responsible for publishing many of the best-known puzzles for the first time. Dover Books prints a number of these collections in cheap editions, and they are a goldmine of information and ideas. (See Amazon link below.)

Sadly, Martin Gardner recently passed away. He was a longtime contributor to Games Magazine and an inspiration to many math, logic, and puzzle buffs. He was a true polymath, and his work embraced everything from debunking of pseudoscience; to mathematics, games, and puzzles; to literary criticism.

Bonus Martin Gardner puzzle: what is significant about the number 8,549,176,320? (HT: NY Times)


Eye of the Frog said...

Hmm....It uses all the numbers 0-9 exactly once. It's also divisible evenly by 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, and 9. Seems that 7 was left out.

Thomas L. McDonald said...

It was mentioned in the NY Times obituary. It's the natural integers in alphabetical order.

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