Category Archives: Puzzles in the real world

Puzzle Books

The sidebar of the logic article I wrote in Imagine contains several books about puzzles. Here is an extended, annotated version of that list. If you’re thinking of buying one of these books, please consider clicking the Amazon affiliate links below:

Books by and about Lewis Carroll (Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, 1832-1898):

Two books detailing his mathematical puzzles, including sections on “game of logic”:

Lewis Carroll in Numberland: His Fantastical Mathematical Logical Life by Robin Wilson (W. W. Norton & Co., 2010)

The Universe in a Handkerchief, Lewis Carroll’s Mathematical Recreations, Games, Puzzles, and Word Plays by Martin Gardner (Copernicus, 1998)

Lewis Carroll’s two major works of logic are now published as one volume:

Symbolic Logic and the Game of Logic by Lewis Carroll (Dover Publications, 1958)

A collection of Lewis Carroll’s puzzles that remained unfinished upon his death:

Rediscovered Lewis Carroll Puzzles, Newly Compiled and Edited by Edward Wakeling (Dover Publications, 1996)

A new edition of the absolutely authoritative and exhaustive guide to both classics: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass. Extensive annotations concerning the background and influences of the work, the historical context, and how the works comment on the state of mathematics:

The Annotated Alice: 150th Anniversary Deluxe Edition by Lewis Carroll, Introduction and Notes by Martin Gardner, Original Illustrations by John Tenniel (W. W. Norton & Company, 2015)

A selection of books by Raymond M. Smullyan (ordered chronologically):

What Is the Name of This Book? The Riddle of Dracula and Other Logical Puzzles (Dover Publications, 1978)

The Lady or the Tiger? and Other Logic Puzzles (Random House, 1982)

Satan, Cantor and Infinity: Mind-Boggling Puzzles (Dover Publications, 1992)

The Riddle of Scheherazade and Other Amazing Puzzles (Harcourt, 1997)

King Arthur in Search of His Dog and Other Curious Puzzles (Dover Publications, 2010)

The Gödelian Puzzle Book: Puzzles, Paradoxes and Proofs (Dover Publications, 2013)

Books about Sudoku and other number logic puzzles:

A mathematical exploration of Sudoku, including how many Sudoku puzzles there are, how many clues are necessary, and different fields of mathematics that can help us better understand Sudoku:

Taking Sudoku Seriously: The Math Behind the World’s Most Popular Pencil Puzzle by Jason Rosenhouse and Laura Taalman (Oxford University Press, 2009)

For more background on Latin Squares and other mathematical concepts that Sudoku are based upon:

Before Sudoku: The World of Magic Squares by Seymour S. Block and Santiago A. Tavares (Oxford University Press, 2009)

For a thorough guide of basic and advanced solving strategies (this excellent book is unfortunately out of print):

Teach Yourself Advanced Sudoku and Kakuro by Nick Afka Thomas (McGraw-Hill, 2006)

For many, many more examples of different types of number puzzles (another excellent book that is currently out of print):

Japanese Number Puzzles by Anthony Immanuvel (Running Press, 2006)

More Gerrymandering

FiveThirtyEight.com also got into the puzzle-themed election spirit with some of their own Gerrymandering puzzles (one easy, one way hard). They come from Eli Ross at Brilliant.org, which also has a small selection of gerrymandering puzzles on its site.

FiveThirtyEight’s weekly The Riddler column has an excellent variety of difficult math puzzles. Scroll to the end to also get a curated collection of new puzzles appearing in the last week.

Corn maze directory

Recently joining other perennial autumn traditions, like apple picking and football games, are corn mazes. Visiting a corn maze is a quintessential fall activity, at least where I’m from (the midwestern United States). There are a wide variety of corn mazes, differing in size, style, design, and solving objective.

One of the many reasons I wanted to start a blog for Knossos Games was to write about corn mazes. Even with the widespread popularity of the burgeoning industry of agritourism, there is a surprising lack of commentary and analysis surrounding corn mazes. I’d like to change that.

For this first post, here is the single most useful resource for corn mazes: a directory where you can find a corn maze near you. This list is compiled by one of the few corn maze design companies, but is assembled as a service to the entire industry. As with any list, check to make sure your local maze is open and operating this season before heading out.

Get lost! Have fun!

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