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Alice in Puzzle-Land Paperback – June 1, 1984

4.5 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Raymond Smullyan received his PhD from Princeton University and has taught at Dartmouth, Princeton, Indiana University, and New York's Lehman College. Best known for his mathematical and creative logic puzzles and games, he is also a concert pianist and a magician.

Raymond Smullyan: The Merry Prankster
Raymond Smullyan (1919– ), mathematician, logician, magician, creator of extraordinary puzzles, philosopher, pianist, and man of many parts. The first Dover book by Raymond Smullyan was First-Order Logic (1995). Recent years have brought a number of his magical books of logic and math puzzles: The Lady or the Tiger (2009); Satan, Cantor and Infinity (2009); an original, never-before-published collection, King Arthur in Search of His Dog and Other Curious Puzzles (2010); and Set Theory and the Continuum Problem (with Melvin Fitting, also reprinted by Dover in 2010). More will be coming in subsequent years.

In the Author's Own Words:
"Recently, someone asked me if I believed in astrology. He seemed somewhat puzzled when I explained that the reason I don't is that I'm a Gemini."

"Some people are always critical of vague statements. I tend rather to be critical of precise statements: they are the only ones which can correctly be labeled 'wrong.'" — Raymond Smullyan

Critical Acclaim for The Lady or the Tiger:
"Another scintillating collection of brilliant problems and paradoxes by the most entertaining logician and set theorist who ever lived." — Martin Gardner

--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books (June 5, 1984)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140070567
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140070569
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 1 x 5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,837,460 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Raymond Smullyan is one of the best writers of logic puzzles, and this is perhaps his best book. It is suitable for young readers - there are puzzles in Chapters 4 and 12 specifically for people who have not learned (or do not remember) algebra - but it also contains many puzzles challenging to an adult reader. And throughout, there is surreal humor worthy of Lewis Carroll himself.

Most of the book focuses on variations of "liars and truthtellers" puzzles. Alice has to determine who stole the tarts, who is mad, who is the spy, and whether Tweedledum or Tweedledee has a black card. Things really get interesting in Chapter 5, when Alice is presented with some meta-puzzles. These are puzzles that leave out a crucial piece of information, but tell you that if you had that information, you'd be able to solve the puzzle. Oddly enough, once you know that the puzzle would be solvable, you can actually determine the solution!

There is a chapter on paradoxes (and classic puzzles generally thought to be paradoxes but aren't) and a chapter on "looking-glass logic", in which Alice is presented with a series of conditions, and asked to deduce the logical conclusion.

Smullyan stays true to his Carrollian inspiration throughout the book. We meet all the classic characters from the Queen of Hearts to the White Knight, who all devise new ways to confuse and torment poor Alice. This book gets high marks for originality, entertainment, and for presenting some intriguing and highly challenging puzzles.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this Alice in Puzzle-Land book as a gift for my grandson. My daughter usually reads stories to him at bedtime and I was not sure how my grandson would react to the puzzles. Zac loves the puzzles. Given the choice between a book and the puzzle book Zac chooses the puzzle book every time. My daughter likes it too. I guess I'll be buying more of Smullyan's books!
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Format: Paperback
This time the reader comes along for Alice's adventures in Wonderland as a logical analysis, to asses the logical understanding and thoughtfulness of the inhabitant's minds (rendering surprising results). The puzzles go first from a young child's birthday party, then onto the mysteries of the eateries in the Queen's Kitchen. Next, Alice decides from obscure facts and hints who is mad in Wonderland (waddya go Alice!). Next tackle some clever algebric and arithmetic problems of the two queens and Griffon...just don't use algebra and arithmetic! Then help the White King decipher who the devil was the spy in his various trials. Travel through the woods to play some interesting card games with the Tweedles. Then kick back as Humpty Dumpty, with his little desire for brain cells, gives a 'true logician's' lecture on the nature of paradoxes and Godel's Incompleteness Theorm. At long last wrestle with some truly difficult puzzles in which the abscent-minded White Knight has almost completely forgotten the facts of some very interesting trials. Then asses the nature of a Looking-Glass logician. And finally analyse one of life's deepest mysteries...dreams. Did the Red King actually hit on the mark with his propositions of Type A and Type B? Or was he perhaps just a figment of Alice's imagination? But then...well, I'll let you decide. At any rate...read this book!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I love all the books I have read by this author. I have only been able to solve a couple without looking at the answers in the back of the book.
However I have learned from them, and remember I'm a dyslexic. Is it .3937 milimeters in an inch, or .3739?
Is that millimeters in inches or inches in milimeters. I take some pride in just being able to understand his puzzles!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Puzzles, like riddles, are excellent ways to teach logic. All puzzle books of Smullyan are good. This one is relatively easy, and for a young person who enjoyed the stories of Alice in Wonderland, it could be real fun. My expectations were too high, I expected not only the author to use the characters of Alice, but I guess I expected him to be as inventive as Carroll himself. But most puzzles are of the well-known type: "three people answer this question like this and that, which one is telling the truth?" The puzzles themselves are not original or mind-bending, Alice is only a "decor," so I got the feeling that it was a recycling of old material. Mostly.
If you enjoy puzzles and you have kids, this is nevertheless a great gift.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My type of book especiallay since I am such an Alice in Wonderland Fan. Also love puzzle books.. Thank You.
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Bought this for my students, but am enjoying reading it myself!
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