# Category Archives: Book

Jul 27

## Mummy Mazes

Creative expression, learning, and focusing are some of the most important activities which children should be encouraged to do from an early age. Driven by this idea, Elizabeth Carpenter has published several oversized books, which give kids the opportunity to solve beautifully drawn line mazes, color them, and learn interesting trivia all at once. The Mummy Mazes Monumental Book contains 28 poster-size mazes based on Ancient Egypt themes, along with explanations about each of the included objects. The Dino Mazes Colossal Fossil Book contains 31 poster-size mazes, depicting various dinosaurs, accompanied by descriptions and quick facts about them. Recently, Elizabeth also published a Mandala Mazes book, which can be popular among older people looking for fun, relaxing activities as well. In terms of difficulty, the Dino and the Mummy mazes seem to fall on the easier side, while the Mandala mazes are a bit more challenging. After being completed, the mazes can be detached and used as posters, even though we think they look best organized together. All three books offer great quality and we would highly recommend them to any maze enthusiast.

• about 30 over-sized mazes per book
• beautiful line mazes, suitable for coloring
• books include interesting trivia
• highly recommended

Mar 23

## My Best Mathematical and Logic Puzzles

Martin Gardner is one of the legends when it comes down to puzzles. This relatively short book of his (less than 100 pages) contains a wide variety of puzzles, some of which are already considered classics. Even though I did not enjoy all of the entries – some of them were just simple mathematical exercises, there is enough quality content to justify the purchase of the book. The overall difficulty is about average, with some fairly easy and some harder problems thrown around. In order to give you an idea of what to expect, I have selected several puzzles from the book, which represent its overall level.

1. A cylindrical hole six inches long has been drilled straight through the center of a sphere. What is the volume of the remaining in the sphere?

2. An airplane flies in a straight line from airport A to airport B, then back in a straight line from B to A. It travels with constant engine speed and there is no wind. Will its travel time for the same round trip be greater, less or the same if, throughout both flights, at the same engine speed, a constant wind blows from A to B?

3. Two missiles speed directly toward each other, one at 9000 miles per hour and the other at 21000 miles per hour. They start 1317 miles apart. Without using pencil and paper, calculate how far apart they are one minute before they collide.

4. If you meet two of the Jones sisters (this assumes that the two are random selections from the set of all the Jones sisters), it is an exactly even-money bet that both girls will be blue-eyed. What is your best guess as to the total number of blue-eyed Jones sisters?

MBMALP is a nice little book which will offer something to everybody. Like pretty much anything bearing the name of Martin Gardner, it is a recommended read, guaranteeing several hours of fun mental workouts.

• a small book
• Martin Gardner’s selection
• a large variety of puzzles
• highly recommended

Mar 13

Follow Finn is a large format, hardcover activity book, targeted towards very young children. The story follows the adventures of Finn who travels through a world of various mystical places with his companion dog Sep. Each illustration is drawn in a specific color theme – purple, red, blue, etc., and filled with intricate details. There are two basic tasks for the child to complete on every page – go through a maze which is incorporated into the picture and/or find several hidden objects in it. To get an idea of the overall difficulty of the tasks, you can see one of the mazes in our Casual Puzzles section. If your child likes this book, we also recommend you to check Peter Goes’ other bestseller “Timeline”, which has both a regular and an activity book edition. We personally love all of them and think they are great reads for children in pre-school and primary school.

• activity book with a story, mazes, and hidden objects
• easy tasks, appropriate for young children
• beautiful illustrations

Jan 19

## Myths and Monsters

Usually, mazes are split into two categories – easy, colorful, targeted towards younger children, and complex, with little to no art, targeted at older people. In that case, what do you do when you have a gifted child which enjoys cute art but also is looking for some real challenge? Well, you could introduce them to Joe Wos’ popular MazeToons series which the artist regularly updates on his website. After receiving lots of recognition and accolades for his work over the years, Joe finally decided to publish some books, starting with “A-maze-ing Animals” and “Myths and Monsters”. Both books are medium size, have high-quality paper, and vibrant colors. Each of them includes 50 mazes sorted in increasing difficulty with solutions provided at the end. We like them so much, we even asked the artist to create one special maze for Puzzle Prime which you can find in our Casual Puzzles section. Joe Wos’ books are highly recommended, especially for kids in primary and middle school.

• colorful, cartoonish style
• well designed mazes

Aug 3

## Pierre the Maze Detective

When I first saw “Pierre the Maze Detective: The Search for the Stolen Maze Stone”, I instantly felt regret I was not 20-30 years younger, so that I could fully enjoy what the book has to offer. Drawn by the talented IC4DESIGN team, this hardcover follows the adventures of Pierre and his nemesis Mr. X over a series of highly detailed mazes. Each maze takes place in a unique environment – sometimes you need to navigate your way through the streets of a crowded city, other times times through an intense sea battle. As an extra challenge, the artists have placed on every page a set of hidden items which you must find in order to complete the mission.

Even though “Pierre the Maze Detective” is targeted towards younger children, I feel that adults can also appreciate it for the beautiful artwork and attention to details. If you want to see an example of the book’s amazing illustrations, check this maze which we have included on our website (with the kind permission of the artists). I am sure you will love it just as much as we do!

UPDATE: There is a new title in the series – “The Mystery of the Empire Maze Tower”.

• amazing artwork
• background story
• hidden objects
• easy difficulty

Apr 15

## The Big Book of Brain Games

The Big Book of Brain Games is really big. It is over 400 pages long and contains 1000 puzzles of various types and difficulties. The puzzles are sorted in chapters based on their categories – Geometry, Numbers, Topology, Science, Perception, etc. Each of them is rated from 1 to 10 depending on how difficult it is. At the back of the book there is an index, which lets you find easily all puzzles of specific difficulty. Despite the huge amount of puzzles, there are just a few “real” brainteasers. The book consists mostly of problem exercises which require pen and paper in order to get solved. In order to give you an idea of what to expect, I have selected several puzzles from the book, which represent its overall level.

1. Many years ago a man married the sister of his widow. How did he do it?

2. Can you measure your weight anywhere in the universe using a spring scale?

3. A great number of birds sit randomly spaced on a wire, each watching its nearest neighbor. Not counting the two birds on the end of the wire, what percentage of the birds sits unwatched?

4. Using just a compass and a ruler, can you divide a circle into eight regions of equal area?

5. You see three faces on each of three dice, for a total of nine faces. If the sum of the dots on each die is different, and you see a total of forty dots altogether, then can you work out which faces must be visible on each die?

Even though TBBOBG did not offer many of the puzzles I enjoy solving the most – classical brain teasers, I can’t deny that it is a high quality product and a great coffee table book. The sheer amount of content inside can provide countless hours of problem solving both for young and old.

• tons of puzzle content
• large variety of puzzles
• high-quality illustrations

Jan 15

## Mathematical Puzzles: A Connoisseur’s Collection

Mathematical Puzzles: A Connoisseur’s Collection by Peter Winkler is not your casual puzzle book. Even though most of the problems inside are easy to formulate, many of them require extensive mathematical background and well-developed analytical thinking. If you possess these two qualities however, you will certainly enjoy this book. The puzzles are hard, the solutions are beautiful and the explanations are very well-written. The book contains over 100 puzzles which are split in different categories – Insight, Numbers, Geometry, Geography, Algorithms and others. In order to give you an idea of what to expect, I have selected several puzzles from the book, which represent its overall level.

1. Given 10 red points and 10 blue points on the plane, no three on a line, prove that there is a matching between them so that line segments from each red point to its corresponding blue point do not cross.

2. A phone call is made from an East Coast state to a West Coast state, and it’s the same time of day at both ends. How can this be?

3. The hour and minute hands of a clock are indistinguishable. How many moments are there in a day when it is not possible to tell from this clock what the time is?

4. Associated with each face of a solid convex polyhedron is a bug which crawls along the perimeter of the face, at varying speed, but only in the clockwise direction. Prove that no schedule will permit all the bugs to circumnavigate their faces and return to their initial positions without incurring a collision.

For me personally, MP:ACC is the most valuable puzzle book in my collection. If you are up to the challenge it offers, you owe yourself a favor to buy it. Even if you don’t feel too confident in your abilities to solve the problems in it, you can still get it and study the solutions. All the brilliant ideas which you will find inside are priceless.

• math heavy puzzles
• ingenious solutions
• great explanations