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Brain Busters! Mind-Stretching Puzzles in Math and Logic (Dover Recreational Math) Paperback – September 6, 2003
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Top Customer Reviews
As Mr. Clarke notes in the introduction, his reasons for this puzzle compilation included the pure enjoyment of creating logical and mathematical art. Fortunately for us, Barry's creations serve not only the role of entertainment, but also more importantly the role of instruction, as he leads us down different paths of twisting logic, with excellent scenery along the way. If you view mathematics as a form of poetry, you will certainly enjoy this opportunity to learn from a mathematical wizard. Brain Busters! is indeed a "mind-stretching" experience, one that allows you to see the way Barry's imagination is captured in a distinctly unique manner in each of his puzzles. His mathematical imagination is the communality that runs through each puzzle, but at the same time it is his creative touch that serves as the specificity, giving great variation to this excellent and enjoyable work.
(Angela Newing has written for The Daily Telegraph, UK)
Brain Busters, like Barry's other books, demonstrates his wonderful ability to create funny offbeat puzzles as only he can. Besides the imaginatively written puzzles, I really enjoyed his charming cartoons that accompany many of them. My favourite one is of a sorcerer who has just turned the furious Count Lettuce into a little furry creature.
As well as math and logic problems, the book also contains some very tricky crosswords, short puzzle stories and fun lateral-type puzzles using matchsticks. In fact, there is something to suit every taste. So, if you like puzzles, you'll absolutely love this book. I did!
"I have nothing better to do than read Amazon reviews" version: First, a caveat--I grew up on Raymond M. Smullyan's Alice in Puzzle-Land, so I have a particularly refined interest in puzzles, especially logic puzzles and riddles with especially clever answers ["Why do mathematicians get Halloween and Christmas mixed up?" (search Google for the answer, since I don't think this review forum does spoiler text)].
There are a few straightforward logic puzzles included in Brain Busters!, and the twist of including a list of all the answers with the catch that only one answer in each column is correct is interesting. However, that is about the extent of the cleverness in these puzzles. A number of the puzzles involve just trying to figure out the wording; e.g., from the introduction, "Did [your mathematical friend] know that square is a square?" I had to look up the answer to understand how that was a riddle! I even expected, for instance, the curious 4x4 word puzzle on the cover to have a clever answer, but the answer is just a different set of words with a convoluted meaning--no one would realistically write that kind of a message, so I was left wondering if I'd actually solved it or not. The Complex Crosswords are challenging but annoying; I ultimately ended up building a special spreadsheet in Excel to figure out the letter arrangements without any guides whatsoever other than the 10x10 grid.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I like to do brain busters to keep me in mental shape. For that reason I bought this book. It is fun, complicated and it really stretched my mind.Published 23 months ago by softballgirl
The delivery time was great. The description could have been more specific - I was looking for logic puzzles of a certain type and could not tell if this book had the right type of... Read morePublished on January 7, 2008 by Cherie Connick
I am a seasoned veteran of logic puzzels, lateral thinking problems, math problems, and spatial reasoning puzzles.
These are not logic puzzles. Read more