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The Colossal Book of Short Puzzles and Problems Hardcover – December 17, 2005


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The Colossal Book of Short Puzzles and Problems + The Moscow Puzzles: 359 Mathematical Recreations (Dover Recreational Math) + My Best Mathematical and Logic Puzzles (Dover Recreational Math)
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 512 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company (December 17, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393061140
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393061147
  • Product Dimensions: 9.8 x 7 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #507,539 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

A remarkable retrospective of [Gardner's] astonishingly influential career as an expositor extraordinaire. -- John Allen Paulos, author of Innumeracy

About the Author

Martin Gardner (1914-2010) is the author of more than seventy books, including Fads and Fallacies in the Name of Science, The Annotated Alice, The Annotated Hunting of the Snark, and The Colossal Book of Mathematics.

More About the Author

For 25 of his 95 years, Martin Gardner wrote 'Mathematical Games and Recreations', a monthly column for Scientific American magazine. These columns have inspired hundreds of thousands of readers to delve more deeply into the large world of mathematics. He has also made significant contributions to magic, philosophy, debunking pseudoscience, and children's literature. He has produced more than 60 books, including many best sellers, most of which are still in print. His Annotated Alice has sold more than a million copies. He continues to write a regular column for the Skeptical Inquirer magazine.

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

45 of 45 people found the following review helpful By J. Guild TOP 1000 REVIEWER on March 13, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Martin Gardner is the name that always comes to mind when one thinks of Mathematical Recreations. Anyone who ever read Scientific American magazine will remember his column in every issue. He wrote the column for 25 years;and made puzzle lovers of millions of readers. His fans ran the gamut from those with a very elementary background in mathematics to those with a high degree of knowledge. What he did was to make mathematics something to enjoy and use as a recreational pursuit. Over the years, he wrote about 70 books,many that have been popular for a long time.
In this book, he has chosen 340 puzzles from his columns of over 25 years. He has selected simple problems as well as medium and difficult. Each problem is supplied with an answer or solution . Often, answers in puzzle books are sketchy;but here we not only get an answer but also a good idea and explanation on arriving at the solution.
The most interesting thing about this book is that it is geared to all levels of puzzle solvers (OMNIHEURISTS). I am sure that someone who has worked only a few puzzles,and who hasn't,will find many quite easy and in a short time will progress to those with more challenge; due particularly to the answer explanations.At the same time ,those with a lot of experience will find plenty to amuse themselves.
Along with a pick of some of the best of the columns over the years,Gardner has included 12 of the best brainteasers to have come his way since he stopped writing the column in 1986.
Also, we are given a list of all the other books that Martin Gardner wrote over the years. Along with that, there is a list of selected titles for those interested in more in the world of Recreational Mathematics.
If you like Mathematical Recreations or puzzles of any kind ;take a look at this book and you'll surely want to own it.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Manoj Bhargaw on January 2, 2006
Format: Hardcover
What a great collection of puzzles. Anyone who likes puzzles SHOULD own this.

I initially bought this for myself. But my brother-in-law loved it so much (when it arrived) that I gave it to him as a present. Just ordered it for myself again!
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By B. Giessen on March 5, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Great collection of thought puzzles, some well known, some highly original.

What I like most is that every problem, from the simplest up to the really difficult, has a twist to it: You may think you immediately see the answer, but there is always something you didn't think of. For example Problem 1.1 (to be seen in the Excerpt when you click on the image of the book): How many dates in a year can be confusing if you don't know whether they are in European notation (28/2/2007) or US (2/28/2007)? Your first thought is "That's easy, just 12x12", until you think a second time.

If you want to train your brain, solve a few of Martin Gardner's puzzles every day. Or just do it to have fun.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By James Murphy on January 19, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I came to this book having been exposed to Martin Gardner's puzzles through the Aha! and Eureka! books and a smattering of examples from other places.

They didn't prepare me for this. This book is chock full of puzzles and problems in various areas, but only earliest puzzles in each section are on the difficulty level of the Aha!/Eureka! books (or some of his small collected puzzle books) - the latter puzzles are much more difficult and likely to require serious math and lots of pen and paper time.

So, I'd recommend this - in fact, I hope more people try it out - just be prepared for serious challenges in math and logic.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By R. Stout on August 13, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Definetly challenging for me since I have to revert back to my math classes of 20 years ago. Sometimes a better explanation of how the answer is derived would make it more of a learning experience.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Santosh Golecha on October 14, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is one of the best collections of mathematical puzzles that I have seen. Anyone who likes puzzles/mathematics should have this in his/her library.
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