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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Some of the best puzzles ever published., March 13, 2005
I have seen the word connoisseur used to describe collections before, but when I sat down to write this review I realized that I did not know the precise usage of the term. Therefore, I pulled out my Webster's dictionary and looked it up. It was "a person who has expert knowledge and keen discrimination in some field, esp. the fine arts or in matters of taste." In terms of keen discrimination, the term applies to the puzzles in this book. They are some of the best puzzles ever published, although those who follow the field will have seen many before, although perhaps in an altered form.

However, expert knowledge is not required to understand and solve the puzzles. The level of mathematical knowledge is that of detailed knowledge of basic algebraic and reasoning techniques. Like the very best puzzles, solving them requires a bit of "sideways" thinking. In other words, the most obvious approach to a puzzle will most likely lead to bafflement, but if you look at it just the right way, the solution is obvious. Furthermore, once the inspiration arrives, you know that you indeed have the solution.

In all honesty, I struggled with many of these puzzles. Sometimes, I was just being stupid, and other times I doubt if the solution would have ever managed to form in my thoughts. Fortunately, solutions to nearly all of the problems are included. The final chapter contains unsolved puzzles, which seems like a bit of a misnomer, and in a real sense it is. These are really unsolved problems, their topic is just one that fits inside what is generally considered the puzzle genre.

I loved this book, even when I was so frustrated I wanted to chop it with my very sharp axe. These puzzles will stretch you to the breaking point, which is of course a prerequisite for being among the best ever created.

Published in Journal of Recreational Mathematics, reprinted with permission.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A puzzler's delight!, April 25, 2004
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Wow, what a splendid collection of varied and challenging puzzles - a puzzler's delight!
I especially liked the "handicap" puzzles - these are new to me, and involve algorithmic puzzles with bizarre handicaps having to do with memory.
The book also has extensive refrences so you can further your interests for a particular type of puzzle. There's even an unsolved puzzles section to challenge even the professional mathematician.
In terms of difficulty level, I would say that 2/3rds of the puzzles are meant for the seasoned puzzler and do require some "mathematical maturity" . But there are quite a few "insight" puzzles that required almost no math.
There's even geography puzzles of all things - that's quite refreshing and original for a math puzzle book.
congrats Dr. Winkler on a splendid collection!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A real exercise in logical and creative thought, September 19, 2007
This book mainly requires that you be at ease with mathematics and mathematical terms on the level of a high school student. The solutions don't involve long calculations and calculus books. They are brain teasers that often require out-of-the-box thought and creativity. They are excellent for computer science students studying the theory of algorithms, because often the same thought process that goes into solving the more difficult problems in that field are applicable to the puzzles in this book. The puzzles can be very difficult, and several were without solution for a very long time. There is also a group of Unsolved Puzzles at the end of the book.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent choice, July 9, 2004
By A Customer
this book is interesting and challenging, even to people who have studied math at the college level. the problems are short, and take about an hour to solve, at least they did for me. it was a great read and i highly recommend this as a gift for the math lover in your life.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A different sort of puzzle book, March 2, 2007
By 
George Bell (Boulder, CO USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
An interesting aspect of this puzzle book is that the sections on the solutions are longer than those describing the problems! More than most puzzle books, you will find solutions described in great detail. The solutions in fact are the best part of the book!

Many of these puzzles are unbelievably difficult. In fact the last chapter contains a list of "unsolved puzzles", which is an amusing idea. Mathematicians will spend hours poring over these puzzles. This is distinctly different from any puzzle book I have ever bought! It is more for the mathematically inclined.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Must for a puzzle lover, September 15, 2008
Enjoyed the book a lot. I sometimes found the questions a bit hard to understand but that I guess that is done intentionally.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, July 15, 2014
almost the new one
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great gift for math lovers, January 8, 2013
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My brother is quite the mathematician, so I figured he would love this book, and I was right! I was a little nervous the puzzles would be too easy for him, but many of them were quite challenging. A few are not really 'math' puzzles but rather plays on words, but all in all, this is a great book for anyone who wants to exercise their brain.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good Puzzles, Very Tricky, December 28, 2012
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This review is from: Mathematical Puzzles: A Connoisseur's Collection (Kindle Edition)
I thoroughly enjoyed the puzzles in this book. I received many hours of entertainment, and learned a great deal as well. But, being a layman and not knowing much at all about mathematics, some of the later problems were rather difficult. A few of the problems had writing that was difficult to understand. But overall, I thoroughly enjoyed the challenge and definitely recommend it!
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5.0 out of 5 stars An extremely good collection of maths puzzles, September 21, 2010
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This book has a collection of very classic mathematical puzzles. It is extremely fun reading for all maths geeks or college or even high school students who are interested in mathematics
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