One of my favorite puzzle books as a kid was Perplexing Puzzles and Tantalizing Teasers, by Martin Gardner. It had fun "real life" type problems (how can you drive an 11-foot-9 truck under a bridge with 11-foot-8 clearance?) and it introduced me to palindromes ("Straw? No, too stupid a fad. I put soot on warts.")
Here's another "real life" puzzle: a person brings four pieces of a broken bracelet to a jeweler and asks him to repair it. The jeweler says he charges $1 for each link he cuts apart and welds together again. "Since I have to cut and weld four links, the job will cost you four dollars." But the customer correctly tells the jeweler he can make the bracelet by cutting and welding only three links. How?
Martin Raynsford makes beautiful and intricate wooden puzzles with space-filling fractal curves and is kickstartering a set of four. The pattern is a single line that crosses all of the two dimensional space without ever repeating. The puzzles follow these simple rules to break the line into multiple pieces that are almost identical but are […]
Here are three two lateral thinking puzzles that were new to me. They’re from the book, Lateral Thinking Puzzles (1991), by Paul Sloane. Death in the Field A man is lying dead in the field. Next to him is an unopened package. There is no other creature in the field. How did he die? Death in Rome […]
I’ve been reading a 1978 book called The Art of Problem Solving, by Russell L. Ackoff. (Used copies sell for $7 including shipping on Amazon). At the beginning of the book, Ackoff tells about the time his school-age daughter came home with a familiar puzzle. On a piece of paper, there are nine dots arranged […]
For musicians, clubgoers or anyone in the thick of a loud environment, earplugs aren’t just an option. If you plan on keeping your hearing through sustained exposure to levels over 85 decibels (roughly the sound of a blender), they’re a must. The good news is, most earplugs will muffle the sound. The bad news is, […]
Seasoned chefs have a bit of a love-hate relationship with their cutlery. A really good set of knives has to prove its worth by being put through the wringer – and if they’re really good, they’ll still look great afterward. So it is with the Damasukasu Japanese 3-Piece Master Chef Hanshu Knife Set. Sitting in […]
With the intuitive software out there today, anyone can become a music producer. You’ve probably heard that from any number of laptop impresarios, but you still have to know how to use the tools – and Logic Pro X is one of the best platforms out there right now. In order to get the most […]