By Michael Hartley
In this math puzzle, the goal is to cut up a heart-shaped biscuit into three pieces. The cuts don't need to be straight - in fact, they can wiggle and writhe as much as you like. They'll have to, in fact. The shape of the biscuit makes this puzzle mesh well with themes like Valentine's day or love. However the puzzle can also be used at any other time of the year.
So, here's the puzzle. The biscuit has sprinkles on it (heart-shaped, of course). These sprinkles come in three colors - white, red and pink. The goal is to cut the biscuit into three pieces, so that one piece has all the white sprinkles, the second has all the pink ones, and the third piece has all the red sprinkles. The pieces will be very oddly shaped, with twisty-turny edges!
If you want to try this puzzle on your kids,
- First, download and print one of the puzzle sheets below. Which one you choose will depend on your personal preference, and on whether you have a color printer.
- Then, explain the puzzle to the children in your care.
- After that, let the children baffle away! They can either physically cut the printed puzzle sheet with scissors, or just draw where they would cut. It will be easier to check their answers if they use scissors, but you'll need more puzzle sheets in case mistakes are made!
Now, let me explain the four puzzle sheets I've provided.
- The first version shows an actual photograph of the biscuit that inspired this puzzle. You can see a thumbnail of the photo below. Yes, this puzzle was inspired by a real biscuit! This version of the puzzle sheet is a much larger download than the others, and is probably not suitable for drawing on, or for black-and-white printing. Use this if you have a color printer, a fast internet connection, kids who can handle scissors, and you want photo-realistic puzzle sheets.
- The second version shows a more abstract form of the biscuit. It's still in color, but in cartoon form. This is suitable if you have a color printer, and want the kids to draw on the puzzle sheet instead of cutting it. You can see a picture of it above.
- The third version (shown below) is just like the second, but in black and white. Instead of red, pink and white heart-shaped sprinkles, the hearts are colored white, gray amd black. Good for people who want to use black-and-white printing or photocopying instead of color, and suitable for either drawing on or cutting. This version is probably the most suitable for the most people.
- The fourth and final version (also shown above) has all hearts white. This means that you can color them in yourself, in any pattern you like. Or better still, get the kids to challenge each other with difficult colorings. You could even use four or more colors if you want to make a more challenging version of this puzzle, or two if you want to make an easier one. Don't worry - no matter how you color the small hearts, it is still possible to solve this puzzle.
As I mentioned earlier, this game is based on a real biscuit, bought from a Gelare outlet. Since this outlet so kindly (though unwittingly) gave me a free math puzzle to share with you all, I'll also give them a little free advertising. My wife and I were visiting Singapore, and decided to visit the waterfront near the old Merlion statue. This is also a short walk from the Singapore Arts Center, which boasts some very unique architecture. We found a Gelare outlet there, and stopped for lunch. During this lunch, the biscuit was served. So there you have it. This map shows how to get there, about a 650 yard walk from the nearest train station.
Of course Gelare did not supply the instructions for the math puzzle inspired by the biscuit. They served the biscuit and I thought of the math puzzle. I now present the math puzzle for you to enjoy - after all, the biscuit itself has already finished being enjoyed...
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