Here's a fun puzzle from the NY Times. Try it then discuss your experience in the comments.
Alex Bellos' Monday puzzle in The Guardian is the Three Switches Probem:
Downstairs in a house are three identical on-off switches. One of them controls the lamp in the attic. The puzzle is to work out which switch controls the lamp.
The rules are as follows. You are allowed to manipulate the switches all you like, and then you are allowed only one trip to the attic. How do you do it?
My mom loves number puzzles, so I recommended her the laudable Threes, which would go on to win Apple's 2014 game of the year. But it was already too late: The clones had gotten to her first.
She was playing 2048, which was being cheered in the press as "the indie hit made in just one weekend". She didn't know it was a free public mod of 1024, which was a free clone of Threes, a finely-tuned experience designed by the well-respected Asher Vollmer (with well-respected artist Greg Wohlwend), and sold on the App Store for $2.99.
One year after the puzzling and provocative Threes cloning controversy—where the free clones ultimately reached many more players than the premium original—the developers are offering a new free, ad-supported version of the game. Vollmer tells the Verge that Threes' paywall "has always felt like a misstep."
Try the game that started it all for free on the App Store or Android Marketplace. And if you like Vollmer and Wohlwend's work, also check out TouchTone, a puzzle game about the surveillance state.
The amusement I get from looking at this weird-looking card is worth more than the 60 seconds it took me to make it. No tape, glue, or hidden cuts are needed. If you can't figure out how to make one, someone in the comments will show you how to do it.
Chris Yates is a polymath. A sculptor, artist, woodworker, cartoonist, entrepreneur, dog-kennel assembler, musician, and more. He's best known now for his handmade jigsaw puzzles. He's on the show to talk about his zigzag path to making a niche for himself.
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Here's a nice little Christmastime Creative Commons and free/open source software success story: yesterday, I posted the Electronic Frontier Foundation's NSA-themed crossword puzzle, which was CC licensed. Shortly after, TheDod posted an interactive version of the puzzle to Github, forking an interactive crossword program written by the Boston Globe's Jesse Weisbeck.
Interactive edition of EFF's Xmas 2013 NSA crossword puzzle (Thanks, Dave!)
Dave from the Electronic Frontier Foundation sez, "Tomorrow is the 100th anniversary of the crossword puzzle, so EFF designed one to test your knowledge of NSA surveillance. EFF Global Policy Analyst Eva Galperin was able to defeat the puzzle in under 15 minutes, but a few of the questions stumped even some of our experts."
Update: Shortly after this was posted, TheDod posted an interactive version of the puzzle to Github, forking an interactive crossword program written by the Boston Globe's Jesse Weisbeck.
On Coinheist.com, a crossword puzzle you solve by interpreting regular expressions.
The puzzle game Chocolate Fix has been a family favorite around our house for years. The puzzle consists of 9 plastic chocolate candies (in three colors and shapes), a tray that holds the candies in a 3 x 3 grid, and a spiral-bound book with various challenges to solve. The challenges offer clues on how to arrange the candies in the tray. The hints sometimes show just the shape but not the color, the color but not the shape, or the shape and the color of a candy that belongs to a particular spot, column, or row in the grid. It's your job to figure out the single solution to correctly arrange the candies.
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