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1,000 Playthinks: Puzzles, Paradoxes, Illusions & Games Paperback – October 1, 2001
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From School Library Journal
Adult/High School-Moscovich believes that "now that most of the physical frontiers have been crossed the mental ones beckon us." He has created these visual challenges, riddles, and puzzles to help push thinking into these new frontiers. Some of them are completely original; others are adaptations of classic challenges. They are bold, bright, colorful, and genuinely inviting. They are arranged by mathematical or scientific category, and ranked by a degree of difficulty from 1 to 10. A key further subdivides them into mind puzzles, pencil-and-paper puzzles, those that must be traced or copied, and, finally, those that require cutting. Most can be done alone; some are for groups. When complete and total frustration has set in, readers can turn to the back of the book for the solutions, which are clearly illustrated and explained. Sidebars explain the mathematical or scientific principles involved. The spiral binding allows the book to lie flat. Put this out where teens can see it and you'll find them poring over the puzzles, trying to figure them out.
Jane S. Drabkin, Chinn Park Regional Library, Prince William, VA
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
From the Back Cover
A compulsive, exuberant cornucopia of puzzles, 1000 PlayThinks is like salted peanuts for the brain. Here are mental games, visual challenges, logic posers, riddles and illusions.
Can you cross the IMPOSSIBLE DOMINO BRIDGE? Wield the SICKLE OF ARCHIMEDES? Or figure out how to avoid the booby prizes in GAME SHOW?
Comprised of both original puzzles and mind-boggling adaptations of classic games this book, written by a man Wired magazine called a living inspiration for the rest of us, celebrate that unique place where pure play and problem-solving coexist.
Start solving. And right away you'll feel smart, intuitive, curious, successful and at one with the beauty of mathematics.
Find the Perfect Puzzle
WARM - UPS
249 TUBE ILLUSION 368 PERMUTINO 709 MOBIUS STRIP 835 BOMBS AWAY 913 BIRD IN THE CAGE
270 KISSING SPHERES 445 SEPARATING CATS 758 JUMPING DISKS 80 KNIGHTS ATTACK 181 HAMILTONIAN CIRCUIT
172 CRANKSHAFT 242 APOLLONIUS'S PROBLEM 42 HEPTAGON MAGIC 165 MATCH POINT 714 M-PIRE COLORING GAME
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(Puzzle 307) Morley's theorem is (to quote the late H.S.M. Coxeter) "one on the most surprising theorems in elementary geometry", but Moscovich manages to get the diagram wrong! The triangle which he picks out does not even look equilateral!
(Puzzle 772) For the well-known puzzle of passing a cube through a smaller cube the author begins his explanation: "If you hold a cube so that one corner points directly toward you, its edges outline a hexagon. It then becomes obvious that the cube has ample space for a square hole slightly larger than one of its faces." There is even a picture of a hexagon with a square superimposed on it. Although a cube can be passed through a (slightly) smaller cube in this way, it is well known that the optimum solution does not have the edges of the hole parallel to the space diagonal of the cube.
(Puzzle 990) Weighing from 1 to 40 grams using weights on one side of a balance only. Moscovich says "you must have the weights 1, 2, 4, 8, 16 and 32 grams". Not so. For example, 1, 2, 4, 8, 9 and 16 would be ok.
I began to compile a list of errors in this book, but I gave up when I had accumulated over 30, having read, I would estimate, about a quarter of the book.
The book has a "Difficulty Index" which should be renamed the "Difficult Index". You have to know the exact title of a puzzle and its level (from 1 to 9), in order to find it again using this index.
On the plus side the book is beautiful, user friendly, looks good on the coffee table and makes a great paper-weight/doorstop.
If you like puzzles try Sam Loyd or Martin Gardner.