Newsletter #7 : Sliding Blocks Puzzles

[This is a back-issue of this website’s newsletter]
Sliding Blocks Puzzles

I’ve just uploaded a new game – a java applet with some sliding blocks puzzles.

Basically, a “sliding blocks puzzle” is a puzzle where tiles (or blocks) are placed on a confined grid of some sort. Then they must then be moved only by sliding, in order to achieve some goal. The traffic jam game is a famous example of a sliding blocks puzzle.

I decided to make this sliding blocks puzzle page while reading a book of puzzles. The book described a problem of a husband and wife trying to move furniture around their apartment. It struck me that the puzzle was actually impossible to solve, but would be solvable if their apartment had a different floor plan.

You can read more about my thoughts – and try the puzzles – at the web page. The java applet currently has six different sliding blocks puzzles – although as you’ll see, some of them would be quite hard to actually make out of real physical sliding blocks! Nonetheless, they work fine on the screen 🙂

In the future, I may add more puzzles to the applet, or make printable versions of the ones I have. Things seem to be busy right now!

New Look

When you do visit the page, you may notice (or may have already noticed) that it looks a bit different.

I made some changes to the logo and menus so that the pages will load faster. I also changed the layout a bit so it will work better for people with small screens – no more horizontal scrolling!

I’ve tried to test the new look on a few different browsers and computers, but if you find it seems weird and unusable, do please let me know!

In the meantime, if it’s school holidays where you are – I hope they go great for you and your family!

Mike H…
(Dr Mike’s Math Games for Kids)