I posed my son a puzzle today. He’s a student, in senior high school, and exams are ever in his mind. I told him a story of four students who missed their exam, and gave him some information about them.
The other day I received a marvellous package in the post. Inside was a book, The Puzzle Universe, by Ivan Moscovich, published by Firefly Books. Ivan Moscovich has made a career out of making amazing mathematical puzzles and games.
I’ve been reading this book, by Scott Adams, the author of Dilbert. Inside, I found a probability puzzle!
Scott Adams talks about Volleyball games, and how he noticed that the team that reaches 17 first usually wins. (A win in volleyball is 25 points.)
[This is a back-issue of one of this site’s newsletters]
Here’s a simple-sounding puzzle: I give you a bunch of triangular tiles. What shapes can you make with them? The tiles are all the same size, all equilateral triangles. You have to use all the tiles I give you.
I spotted this sign at a shirt shop while on holidays overseas:
I saw this puzzle the other day.
You have two fuses. Each fuse is a piece of string, that burns for exactly 1 minute. However, the fuse doesn’t burn evenly, so cutting the fuse in half doesn’t give you two 30 second fuses.
Can you find a rectangle whose perimeter equals its area?
I’ll explain one way to solve this puzzle below.
Allergy warning: this product contains algebra. May contain traces of number theory.