“The solution often turns out more beautiful than the puzzle.”
“Did you always like math?” I was asked once.
It was a strange question, because I’ve never really liked math.
After pondering it, I realized that I’ve done well in math because I’ve always liked puzzles!
Puzzles & Riddles Instead of Math
Puzzles and riddles get your thinking juices flowing. And math is all about thinking.
To improve your math skills, start doing more puzzles and riddles.
Note: “puzzles” are not limited to jigsaw puzzles. In fact, I don’t even think about that kind when I use the word puzzle. Although I’m sure they have a benefit on thinking and processing too.
Here is a list of some of my favorite puzzles and riddles, along with some great places to find them:
- The Missing Dollar (on MathForum – the awesome math Q/A site)
- The Tower of Hanoi
- Three Men Fishing (my father-in-law shared this one with me)
- The Five Room House
- Einstein’s Puzzle (new one to me, I’m excited to look into it)
- Thiagi Circles
- Sudoku (I prefer the irregular/jigsaw sudoku puzzles)
- The Wolf, The Goat and The Cabbage – with my favorite solution shown here from xkcd.com:
Some puzzle/riddle collections:
- 101 Friday Puzzles by Richard Wiseman
- 24 Interesting Brainteaser Problems by Professor Inan at University of Portland
- GAMES Magazine
- Highlights Magazine’s Puzzle Buzz and Puzzle Mania (Kate does these!)
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