Puzzle Books

Core Curriculum [8]
The Classics [23]
Electives [48]
Extra Credit [27]
Shop Class [16]
Psych. 101 [11]
Rubik-ology [14]
Additional Reading [60]
Souvenir Books, Exhibitions,
 Catalogues, & Compendiums
Foreign Languages [20]
Martin Gardner [22]


eading about mechanical puzzles is fun (though not as much fun as playing with them). There are but a few good books solely focused on mechanical puzzles - I wish there were more. You can't just waltz into a bookstore and find shelves full of them.

Like others with an interest in this topic, I was first "recruited" upon finding van Delft and Botermans' book "Creative Puzzles of the World," and looked forward to each new installment of Slocum's collaboration with Botermans.

Below are some of the books in my library. They are in no particular order, though I have grouped them by subject matter (subjectively, and tongue-in-cheek). Some of these stray into logic and mathematical puzzles. For some of the books, I have listed interesting contents. In some cases puzzles shown on this site are highlighted in bold.

You won't find lots of links to sources here, since many of these books are out of print.

Sandy Thompson's wonderful Twisty Puzzles site has a comprehensive list of Rubik's-related books. John Rausch's site has a list of books related to mechanical puzzles. You can also find links to several puzzle-related books available for free download at The Online Books Page of the University of Pennsylvania. Many of the books seem to be housed at http://djm.cc/library, which is part of David Moews's home page.

Core Curriculum

I believe this small set of books is the best place to start to learn about
the different classes of Mechanical Puzzles, examples from various eras, and historical background.
These are richly illustrated catalogues of mechanical puzzles, drawing on the largest collections in the world.
A collector needs to know what's out there! I often refer back to these.



Also in German, Dutch, French, Slovenian
(I don't have these versions):




Creative Puzzles of the World
Pieter van Delft, Jack Botermans 1978
  • Geometrical Problems
    • Moving-Piece Puzzles (he means Tangram-like, not Sliding Piece) pp.12-27
      • Kopfzerbrecher pp.12-16
      • Circular Tangram p.17
      • Pythagoras pp.18,9
      • The Circle Puzzle (Kreisraatsel) pp.20,1
      • The Broken Heart (9 pcs) p.22
      • The Magic Egg (Ei des Columbus, Scrambled Egg) p.23
      • The Cross Breaker (Kreuzerbrecher / Kreuzspiel, The Lucky Puzzle) pp.24-6
      • The Nine Puzzle (Alle Neune) p.27
    • Dissection Puzzles pp.28-39
      • Greek Cross to Square, others p.29
      • other dissectons pp.30-33
      • Snake eating its tail p.34
      • Cross and Crescent (Moon and Greek Cross) p.34
      • Disappearance Puzzles (vanishes e.g. Think Square, L'Echiquier Fantastique, Get Off the Earth) p.35
      • Letter Dissections pp.36,7
    • Polyforms pp.40-48
      • rhombus from 12 hexiamonds p.40
      • Pentominoes pp.41-3
      • Solid Pentominoes pp.44,5
      • Soma pp.46,7
      • The Balancing Soma p.48

  • Matchstick Puzzles pp.49-56
  • Domino Puzzles pp.57-65
  • Construction Puzzles and Packing Problems pp.66-85
    • OCC p.67
    • Rattles pp.68,9
    • The Magic Disc - 3-piece coordinate motion p.70
    • Van der Poel's 18-piece burr p.71
    • trad. 6-piece burr, J.H. de Boer pp.72-5
    • Ball-in-Cage p.76
    • Japanese Crystal (pagoda burr) pp.77,8
    • The Cluster (diagonal burr) p.80
    • O'Beirne Melting Block p.81
    • Conway 17-pc Packing in 5x5x5 p.82
    • Haselgrove Box p.83
    • Chinese Cube (ivory) p.84
    • The Vanishing Space (ball packing 13/14) p.85

  • Magic Squares - lo shu pp.86-95
  • Ring-String-Ball Puzzles - start on p.97
    • Patience/"tiring irons" - p.97
    • The Crown Puzzle p.98 (see also Hoffmann p.30 The Balls and Rings)
    • Block and Tackle p.99
    • Meleda aka Chinese Rings p.100
    • The Chinese Ladder p.104 (see Hoffmann p.31)
    • Cherry Tree p.105
    • Trefoil p.111
    • Imperial Scale p.114
    • Triplets p.115

  • String Puzzles - he means magic tricks and string figures p.117
  • Mazes and Labyrinths pp.124-142
  • Wire Puzzles
    • Stanley p.143
    • The Gordian Knot p.146
    • Triple Cross p.147
    • Triangular Trickery (Stumpy Originals No. 2) p.148
      (see also Hoffmann p.200 The Interlaced Triangles)
    • Jack's Special (spiral, cube, ball) p.149
    • Loop the Loop (aka Infinity) p.150
    • Staircase p.152
    • Ball and Ring (aka Ball and Chain) p.154
    • Loony Loop (aka Possibly Impossible) p.154
    • Squaring Off p.155

  • Number and Logic Puzzles
    • The Number Frame p.160
    • The Binary System pp.162-3 (I made these cards as a kid!)
    • Mind Reading Cards p.164
    • The Colormatch Square p.165 (like Pressman Think Through, Nitty Gritty)

  • Positioning Puzzles
    • Fore and Aft p.166
    • Crossing the Water Puzzles
    • Peg Solitaire pp.170-174
    • Tower of Brahma (Hanoi) p.175
    • Railroad Shunting Problems pp.176-177
    • Puzzles with Checkers
    • Sliding Block - Flying, Ma's, George Washington pp.180-1

  • Solutions pp.182-200


Puzzles Old and New
Jerry Slocum, Jack Botermans 1987
    Put-Together Puzzles

  • German Sectional Checkerboard (Luers) p.12
  • Bug House (rectangular box, metal pieces) p.13
  • Pieces of Dudeney's "Broken Chessboard" p.14
  • Sectional Checker Board, Unique Original Checkerboard Puzzle, Bug House (square box) p.14
  • Polyominoes - Solomon Golomb, Tetrominoes, Pentominoes pp.15-17, Hexiamonds p.18
  • Tenyo Beat the Computer polyforms p.18
  • The Egyptian Puzzle with some patterns (aka Bombing Mystery) p.19
  • Dissections: The Ivory Cross, The Druid's Cross (Edwards & Sons London), Jeu de la Croix p.20
  • The Teaser T, L'Ete, N.K.Atlas La Hache Du Bourreau, Hathaway's The New H Puzzle p.21
  • Stomachion / Loculus of Archimedes, Sei Shonagon Chie No-Ita p.22
  • Tangram table, Tangrams book with carved ivory cover p.23
  • Tangrams - McLouglin Bros. cards, Metamorfosi Del Giuoco Detto L'Enimma Chinese, The Adventures of the Beautiful Princess in Triangle Land pp.24-25
  • Richter Anchor Stone puzzles - pp.26-33 - diagrams of 36 on p.28
  • The Egg of Columbus p.29
  • The Sphinx, Lott's Stone Puzzle p.30
  • Zornbrecher p.31
  • Kreisraatsel (Circular Puzzle) pp.32,3
  • Sam Loyd's Trick Mules, P.T. Barnum's Trick Mules, The Dog Puzzle, Persian Horses, Cowboy and Bull puzzle p.34
  • Question du Lapin (Rabbit Silhouette) p.35
  • Heads and Tails (e.g. Calumet, Grandpa's Wonder Soap) p.36
  • Eight Queens - Octo Puzzle, Nichols & Frost N & F Puzzle (Pat. 1886 Butterworth) - 6 pins in 6x6 grid (1 soln.), Jeu des Manifestants p.37
  • Instant Insanity - Katzenjammer, Four Ace, Symington's, Allies Flags p.38
  • Magic Squares, Lo Shu, De La Rue 15 & 34 Patience Puzzle, The New Puzzle Marvelous 26 p.39
  • Three-Dimensional Assembly Puzzles

  • Solid Pentominoes, Ogura animal-shapes pents p.40
  • Soma p.41
  • Gordon Giant Pyramid (9 pcs), smaller 6-pc version, Coffin's Setting Hen, Four Piece Pyramid, Pyracube - The Vanishing Space p.42
  • Dean Hoffman's Packing Puzzle, Kolor Kraze p.43
  • 1934 Chicago World's Fair Scrambled Eggs p.44
  • 3-D Jigsaws - Maple Leaf, fish, Heart p.45
  • Pyramid Puzzle - 2 pc. & 4 pc. p.46
  • Puzzle Rings p.47
  • Take-Apart Puzzles

  • The Masterpiece Puzzles set p.48
  • Hoffmann puzzles - Dice Box, Barrel & Ball, Cannon & Ball p.49
  • Ebony Ball, Arabi Gun (Doug Haigh), Cage & Ball p.51
  • Jerry Slocum's 1955 trick opening mechanism, Takitapart, Tri-'n'-do-it p.52
  • Hoffman's Psycho Match Box, Hidden Keyhole Boxes p.53
  • Japanese Trick Boxes - opening diagram p.54
  • Japanese House-shaped boxes, Gerald letters interlocking name puzzle p.55
  • Kamei's secret boxes p.56-57
  • Trick Knife, The Hello Puzzle, Nuts and Bolts p.58
  • Sputnik, Card & Key pat. 1902 Kellogg, Keene cigars Three Ring Puzzle pat. 1892, Puzzle Pants p.59
  • Puzzle Locks (from Dick Hess' collection)pp.60,61
  • Interlocking Solid Puzzles

  • Bill Cutler's Square Rod Dodecaplex p.62
  • Berrocal Micro David, Kumiki pp.63-65
  • Botermans & Naef Dog puzzle, Kumiki Dog p.64
  • Kumiki buildings, gates, planes, boats, vehicles p.65
  • Naef Swiss Cow, 3-piece burr (Segerblom), Yamanaka six-piece burr set p.66
  • De Boer's Burrs & drawings pp.66.67
  • Bill Cutler - diagrams of the 25 notchable pieces, counts for set of 42 p.68
  • Bill Cutler's Hexagonal Porcupine p.69
  • Crimean Flexible Burrs / Rattles p.70
  • 18-piece Burr 1951 (not Grandfather design!) p.71
  • Altekruse p.72, Pagoda p.73, Chuck p.74
  • Arjeu started by Xavier Grandvaux in 1979 - Pluton (designed by Pierlot), Oursin (Pierlot), Etoile Tetraedrique (5 interlocking tetrahedrons) (Pierlot), Triple Cross 15 piece burr, Carpenter's Cross 12 piece burr, Cubix p.75
  • Gaby Games (Philippe Dubois) - Lightning, Grand Prix, Kubion (12 notched dowels) p.76
  • The Draftsman's Dream p.77
  • Chestnut Burr (Wyatt) (Pentangle Snowflake) p.78
  • Plastic Burrs - Hexsticks, 6-plank, Nova, Frantix, Spirus, 6-pc trad., 6-pc. diag. p.79
  • The Third Dimension (60 sticks) p.80
  • Van Deventer's Matchboxes p.81
  • Coffin's Cuckoo Nest, Locked Nest, Three-Piece Block p.82
  • The Fearsome Four (6-pc burrs) piece diagrams p.83
  • Stewart Coffin - Four Corners, Scorpius, Second Stellation p.84, Jupiter p.85
  • Keychains e.g. Howdy Doody, Mystic Jet, Kentucky Derby, Die, Clock, Robot, ... pp.86,87
    Disentanglement Puzzles

  • A B C tangle set, Sherm's Super Puzzles box cover pp.88,9
  • Mysto Mfg Co. Puzzle Parties box cover, French boxed tangles pp.90-91
  • Amazing Hand, ABC, Three Nags, Boston In-and-Out (aka Queen's Jubilee) p.92
  • Puzzle Pup aka Doggie Puzzle (standing & sitting versions), Boodle Alderman p.93
  • Fire Irons, Collin's (aka Hanayama Cricket), Keys Davis maze version, unscrew tip version p.94
  • The Devil's Keys, Three Snakes, Stars and Crescent, Star and Garter, Four Keys p.95
  • Gilbert Puzzle Parties set p.96
  • Nails puzzle, Hobbles, Les Crochets du Diable (aka Claws, F016) p.97
  • Sherm's Super Puzzles set, Old Hinged Metal Puzzle p.98
  • Uncle Sam's Puzzles sets (#3 shown), Horseshoes, Fish, Duck p.99
  • Snake and Scissors, Ingenious Ring puzzles (Bob Easter) pp.100,1
  • Ingenious Ring Puzzle Book, pub. 1958 by Ch'ung-En Yu
  • Double Witch Key, Witch Trio, Wedding Ring (Ring and Fetters), Caught Heart, Lyre Star German 2 kids box cover p.102
  • Varieties of Wire Puzzles - Pigeon Ring Puzzle, HPG metal puzzles box p.103
  • Chinese Rings (Patience) pp.104-107, The Brain, Kamei Five Drawers p.107
  • Pentangle story - Tricycles & Bicycles, Traffic Light, development of Treble Clef p.108,9
  • Ball and Chain p.110
  • Tenyo Computer tangles p.110
  • Swiss Cheese (mouse and cheese per HABA), Tenyo Computer Puzzle No.3 (5) solution p.111
  • Red Goose Shoes card, Un Coeur en Peine p.112
  • Lumberjack/Stumps (L, F, A) - Rikk Kvitek, Sword (like Wit's End) p.113
  • Strong Man (aka Jolly Ni**er), Buttonhole Puzzle, Sheaves and Reaping Hook, p.114
  • Chinese Ladder, Love p.115
  • Sequential Movement Puzzles

  • Peg Solitaire pp.117-121
  • Setko Double Diamond, 3 Square p.120, Hop Over, Jeu Des Grenouilles p.121
  • Siege of London (var. of 8-point star) p.122
  • Le Moulin Rouge, Question du Jour, So Easy p.123
  • Shunting Problems (Switchback Puzzle/Chifu-Chemulpo Puzzle) p.124
  • Draught Board Puzzle, Ten Little Ni**er Boys, Presidential Muddle p.125
  • Sliding Block Puzzles - S.S. Adams, Get My Goat, 15, Rate Your Mind Pal pp.126,7
  • 16 and 34 p.128, Li'l Abner, Solvit Baseball, Spirit of St. Louis, DaVinci, Wonderwoman, Crossword Addict p.129
  • different instances of Dad's Puzzle - Dad's, Tit-Bits Teaser No.4, Moving, Humdinger, The Flying Puzzle pp.130,1
  • Ma's Puzzle, Eureka - How Shall the Allies Enter Berlin?, Preparedness p.132
  • Century of Progress, Line Up the Quinties (Embossing Co.), Les Bourgeois Punis (aka Le Quart d'Heure de Rabelais) p.133
  • La Chevre et le Chou (river crossing), Capital and Labor p.134
  • Pyladisk Tower of Hanoi, The Eight Puzzle 1887 Filene, MagNif The Brain, Panex p.135
  • Pike's Peak or Bust, The Eclipse, Africa p.136
  • Ring for Mistress Loncraine Broxton, Bolt maze (Screw Loose) - Marvin Glass, Maze Medal (Hoffmann), 16-to-1, Foot Puzzle p.137
  • Rubik's-style collection, w/ Columbus' Egg, Cube w/ 2-wide belts of sliding dots (mid left), Trick Haus (upper right) p.138-9
  • Puzzle Vessels pp.140,141
  • Dexterity - Eileen Scott pp.142-143
  • Vanishes - Get Off the Earth, The Lost Jap, Teddy and the Lion p.144, L'Echiquier Fantastique
  • Impossible bottles, dovetails pp.145-147
    The Little Giant / Das Wunder Puzzle - p. 147
  • Folding Puzzles - The Fifth Pig, Palace Puzzle, Mobius Puzzle p.148
  • Lock Em Up, Pick the Pickaninnies p.149
  • The Camel folding puzzle p.149
  • Solutions pp.150-156 - includes Pentominoes, Tangrams, Burrs, Sliding Piece

New Book of Puzzles
101 Classic and Modern Puzzles to Make and Solve
Jerry Slocum, Jack Botermans 1992

Though they do not use section titles, the major divisions of the book follow the classification scheme favored by Slocum and used in the 1987 book.

    Put-Together Puzzles

  • Tangram pp.8,9 - Loyd's The 8th Book of Tan, The Anchor Puzzle, Casse-Tete Chinois, Voelcker's chicory coffee extract tangram trade cards
  • Jigsaw pp.10,11 - McLoughlin Bros. Dissected Map of the United States
  • Dissected Letters pp.12,13, The F D Puzzle, The New L-Square Puzzle, Squares & Oblongs by TSL p.13
  • Square Dissection - Snider's Diamond Puzzle p.14
  • The Fresh Milk Puzzle (card from National Milk Publicity Council) p.15
  • The Endless Chain - La Chaine Sans Fin pp.16,17
  • Magic Squares pp.18,19 - Lo Shu, The Giant Puzzle McLoughlin Bros. 1888
  • Animal Puzzles pp.20,21 - The Donkey Puzzle - Standard Screw, Loyd's Trick Donkeys, The Animated Dogs R.D. Housden, Les Deux Mulets, Dickinson's Witch Hazel The Witches Puzzle 1938
  • After Animals Came People pp.22,23 - Les Quatre Vagabonds, Willard-Johnson Prize Fight
  • Bucephale, Un Sage dans les Nuages (A Sage in the Clouds) p.23
  • Edge Matching Puzzles pp.24,25 - Pair-It Douglas Novelty Co., L'Arc en Ciel
  • Peer Clausen's Hexagone by Naef p.26
  • Nut Pyramid p.27
  • Magic Numbers pp.28,29 - White Shoe Store Washington Monument (total 555) p.28
  • Hegger Revolving Century, The Who Broke the Bank / 40 Puzzle p.29
  • 25 Y pp.30,31 (solution p.31)
  • Diabolical Cube p.32
  • Diabolical Die (Wil Strijbos) p.33
  • Bill Cutler's Splitting Headache pp.34,35
  • Matchstick Puzzles pp.36,37 - Japanese "Puzzle" matchbox, Bryant and May books, Sheepfold Puzzle, Sticktricks Braintesters
  • Take-Apart Puzzles

  • A Difficult Case? - Puzzle Purse p.38
  • The Hidden Coin p.39
  • The Secret Box Robert Jackson 1986 pp.40,41
  • Two Elephants With A Secret pp.42,43 - Sri Lanka bookends
  • Paper tangles pp.44,45 - Skipper Sardines, Nye Baker in the Barrel (aka Pilsbury's Best Flour), Trade Puzzle Boots 1884 / Farnsworth Shoes, Yates
  • Pick-a-Peg pp.46,47
  • Dualock (The Cross Puzzle) pp.48,49
  • Interlocking Solid Puzzles

  • Kumiki pp.50,51 - Aeroplane
  • Puzzle Knots (Burrs) pp.52-65 - Spear's Puzzle Knots, The Cage pp.54,55; 3-piece burr p.56
  • Boule Enfermee p.57; Vernon Wood's 9-piece burr puzzle pp.58,59
  • Bill Cutler Bin Cross pp.60,61
  • Finnish Diagonal Burr pp.62,63
  • Russian Rattle Burr pp.64,65
  • Three-Dimensional Jigsaw Puzzles - Bantam Eggs (Scrambled Eggs) p.66, Dachshund
  • Broken Heart (Technisolid) Puzzle Guild Inc. Chicago p.67
    Disentanglement Puzzles

  • Van Houten's Violin (cardboard), Constantin Violin and Bow (wooden) pp.68,69
  • Butter-Nut Bread paper tangle, Spaghetti Eater pp.70,71
  • Mousetrapping (mouse in box tangle), Mouse with Cheese pp.72,73
  • Wit's End p.74,75 (easy and hard versions)
  • Gordian Knot (Gekkenwerk) pp.76,77 (solution)
  • Buttonhole Pencil pp.78,79
  • Delivrez Mon Coeur, The Pig-Tail of the Chinaman p.80
  • Untie the Bear, Aunt Jemima paper tangles p.81
  • The Braided Leather Puzzle p.82
  • Stewart Coffin Super Sleeper Stopper p.83
  • Horseshoes, Triple Horseshoes pp.84,85
  • various wire puzzles pp.86-95, La Balance de Themis (eq. to Le Bon Geolier), La Bouteille Infernale, Les Tracas de L'Artilleur (eq. to Le Souci de l'Artilleur)
  • Le Petit Porte-Veine, Comment Nous Separer p.90, Le Cavalier et son Sabre (eq. to Le Dragon et son Casque) p.91, Le Divorce (eq. to La Question du Divorce), Le Bracelet Egyptien (eq. to Le Bracelet de Cleopatre)
  • Heartbreaker, Heart's Desire (Uncle's) pp.92,93
  • Gingerbread Man, Fooler pp.94,95
  • Sequential Movement Puzzles

  • Indians and Travellers (river crossing), Jealous Husbands, Fox Goose and Corn, Men and Boys pp.96,97
  • Double Five, Great 13 pp.98,99
  • Peg Solitaire pp.100-103
  • The Triangle Puzzle Board pp.102,3
  • Pyramids (Towers of Hanoi) pp.104,5
  • The Railroad Puzzle (Protheroe - Humpty Dumpty; Great Northern Puzzle) pp.106,7
  • Oklahoma (string around pegs) pp.108,9
  • The Yankee Puzzle (step maze) p.110
  • Puzzles with Checkers p.111
  • The New 15 p.112, The 13 Puzzle p.113 (Slocum's IPP11 gift)
  • No-Jump-O pp.114,115
  • Dexterity Puzzles

  • Flip-A-Ring p.116, One-In-the-Eye-For-Kruger p.117
  • Other (including Vanish and Impossible)

  • Devil's Fan (like Loyd's GOtE) p.118
  • Magic Playing Card p.119
  • Arrow Through Bottle p.120
  • Solutions pp.121-125


The Book of Ingenious and Diabolical Puzzles
Jerry Slocum, Jack Botermans 1994

Organized using the usual Slocum classification.

    Put-Together Puzzles

  • Tangram and dissections - pp.1-19
    • Anchor, La Hache du Bourreau p.6
    • La Cocotte, Anchor Geduldprufer p.7
    • WAR p.8
    • The Egyptian Puzzle - Murray Wagons, Patriotic, Bombing Mystery pp.8,9
    • Anchor copies p.10 - Seven Block 1935 (eq. to Pythagoras), Lucky Puzzle (eq. to Kreuzspiel)
    • Baffle No. 1, Adams Square and Cross p.11
    • St. Charles Evaporated Milk Seven Card Puzzle p.12
    • La Croix Brisee (eq. to Jeu de la Croix), Jeu Geometrique / L'Union Fait La Force p.13
    • Hill's American p.14
    • Jayne Fishing Puzzle, Mysterious Cross (red cross) p.15
    • ELZZUP p.16,17
    • Checkerboard pp.18,19
  • Edgematching pp.20-23; Daily Mail World Record Net Sale p.20, Royal National Life-Boat, OXO triangles p.21
  • Le Taquin Japonais p.22
  • Mosaik, Tesa Mosaic Square p.23, Testa Cross Colour
  • Jeu des Sentinelles p.24
  • Havana Harbor, Chad Valley Bird's p.25
  • Quinz Partout (eq. to Les 15), Radcliffe's Magic Hexagon p.26
  • C'est a Prendre ou a Laisser (Greco-Latin Square), Ivory Soap Bubble Puzzle, playing cards by Jacques Ozanam p.27
  • weaving - Les Anciennes Provinces de la France, Les Quatre Verites p.28
  • Le Berger Malin (The Lazy Shepherd - get 10 in each square) p.29; Le Fermier Avise, Le Nombre Treize (no pic)
  • Bismarck's Puzzle, The Doctor on the Shelf pp.30,1
  • Stephens Motor Works p.31
  • Cover the Red Spot p.32, Olympic Rings
  • Perforated Disc p.33
  • Ten Spot Domino, Mayblox, Mystic Eight p.34
  • The Spots Puzzle (dissected Die) p.35
  • Sivy Farhi's Nonahuebe, Beat the Elf, Kolor Kraze pp.36,7
  • O'Beirne's Six Block: Six Step - Trevor Wood (read about O'Beirne's six-block cube), Coffin's Unhappy Childhood p.38
  • Nob's Cube p.39
  • N pentacube, T packing, Coffin's Pentacube pp.40,1
  • Take-Apart Puzzles

  • Trick Matchboxes (Vestas) pp.44-49
  • Trick Locks pp.50-59
  • Van Houten's Padlock Puzzle (cardboard) p.55
  • Trick Knives pp.60-63
  • Trick Boxes pp.64-69
  • Interlocking Solid Puzzles

  • Philippe Dubois Icosahedron Frequency 2 (120 pcs) p.70
  • 7-piece Ivory Burr, 9-piece Ivory Burr p.72
  • 3-piece burrs p.73
  • "OCC" 3-piece interlocking p.74
  • Dubois' Coubion Burr, Rhomak Burr p.75
  • Stewart Coffin pp.76,77 - General, Twelve Point, Rosebud p.77
  • Geoff Wyvill's Nova Plexus p.78, various aluminum burrs
  • Kumiki pp.80-89
  • General Engineering & Design Double Cross Puzzle (6-pc burr) p.84
  • Dario Uri burr p.85
  • Gold Moon (1982 Epoch Co.), T-Dof, Perplexity p.85
  • Shackman Clown, Comic Man, etc. p.86
  • Kumiki crustaceans, pistols pp.87-9
  • Mag-Nif Deviled Egg, Fractured Fruit - Apple/Orange & Apple/Watermelon p.90
  • Lakeside Banana Split, Phony Baloney, Prankfurter, Fickle Pickles, Cheerios pp.90,1
  • Pacific Puzzle Co. sandwich 1992 p.91
    Disentanglement Puzzles

  • Edison Mazda Lamp, Hang the Kaiser, Weil Bros. Bear p.94
  • National Oats girl, Fairmont milk can, Jewel Stoves and Ranges p.95
  • Everett Piano, Michelin man & tire p.96
  • Irish Question, Jayne's Expectorant, Daisy Puzzle, Yankee Mystery p.98
  • Van Houten's Cocoa Spider Web p.99
  • Rastus, Ivory Lotus, Ariel p.100
  • Ivory Boat p.101
  • Bovril, Chilean Puzzle p.102
  • Gardner Screw Corp. Bootlegger and His Flask p.103
  • Bild-a-Bike p.103
  • Houddene p.103
  • Hanging Strongman, Boot and Hand p.103
  • tangles from China pp.104,5
  • Sequential Movement Puzzles

  • Fisherman's Puzzle (nails & string) p.106
  • Cannibals and Missionaries p.107
  • Ring-in-Plate mazes, Cross & Crown, Eureka, CWS, Razzle Dazzle (scalloped edge) pp.108-9
  • Dorstrom Hub (fan blades) p.109
  • Queen's Jubilee p.109
  • Stivers' Panama Canal (copyright by J.H. Lynch) (eq. to mountain goats) p.110
  • Eight Pin Puzzle p.110
  • La Question Sino-Japonaise (eq. to mountain goats) p.111
  • Mazawattee Tea and Coffee (eq. to Fore and Aft) p.111
  • Octo/Okto, Le Disque, Jeu du Zig-Zag (all eq. to Eight-Point Puzzle aka Seven Knights) pp.112,3
  • L'Horologe Etoile (like 8-point, but 12 points) p.113
  • Selchow & Righter Spider Web (peg solitaire) p.114
  • peg solitaire p.115
  • Au Revoir, Do Svidania, White Eagle Mobil Gas p.116
  • United States, Mystic Six, Canama Panal (sliding piece) p.117
  • Blockado p.118
  • Daughter in a Box, Break Through the Defenses, Germain (all sliding block) p.119
  • The Premier Puzzle, Silver Label p.120
  • Hard Time Map, Jungle Gym (eq. to Ma's) p.121
  • Infant's (Hospital) Progress, Tit-Bits New Game Capture the Kaiser, Kapture the Kron Prinz p.122
  • 1916 Presidential Puzzle, Put Hitler in the Doghouse, George Washington Puzzle p.123
  • various Rubik-style puzzles pp.124-7
  • Dexterity Puzzles

  • Garden of Eden p.132
  • Donkey Puzzle 1897 p.133
  • Puzzle Vessels pp.136,7
  • Rabbiduck p.136
  • Impossible Objects pp.138-141
  • Solutions pp.142-147, including: Bild-a-Bike, Boot and Flask, St. Charles, Royal National Life-Boat, Daily Mail hexagons, OXO, Ten Spot Domino, Ivory Soap Bubble Puzzle, Mayblox, O'Bierne's Six Block, Unhappy Childhood, Mystic Eight, ...


The Puzzling World of Polyhedral Dissections
Stewart T. Coffin

An updated version of this book is hosted on-line at John Rausch's site.

Geometric Puzzle Designs, shown below, is an even more recent update of this book. In the contents I show here, sections present only in GPD are enclosed in brackets. Some sections are revised, and a few are omitted in GPD.

1. 2D Dissections
  • Jigsaws
  • Tangram
  • Other Tangram-like Puzzles (Anchor)
  • Loculus of Archimedes
  • Convex Tangrams
  • Sam Loyd's 5-piece Square Dissection
  • Geometrical Dissections
  • Dudeney's Four-Piece Square/Triangle
  • Checkerboards
2. 2D Combinatorial Puzzles
  • Triangles as Building Blocks - Polyiamonds
  • Squares as Building Blocks - Polyominoes
  • Pentominoes
  • More Checkerboards
  • The Cornucopia Puzzle
  • Hexagons as Building Blocks
  • The Snowflake Puzzle
[Misdirection-Type Puzzles]
  • Square-Root Type Designs
  • #176-A
  • #177-A
  • Housing Project
  • Cruiser
  • Few Tile (IPP18 Tokyo) - Drop-In?
[Variations on Sliding Block Puzzles]
  • Dad's Puzzle
  • Butterfly Puzzle (IPP25)
  • Window Pain
  • Looking Glass
  • The Decoy
  • Drop-Out
3. Cubic Block Puzzles
  • The 3x3x3 Cube
  • The Diabolical Cube - Hoffmann
  • Mikusinski's Cube - Steinhaus
  • Soma Cube - Piet Hein
  • Tetra-cubes and Penta-cubes enumerated
  • The Half-Hour Cube
  • The Solid Tetrominoes
  • The Solid Pentominoes
  • A Checkered Pentacube Puzzle (Unhappy Childhood)
  • Polycubes in General
  • Rectangular Blocks
  • Slothouber-Graatsma Puzzle
  • Conway's Packing Puzzle
  • The Patio Block Puzzle
4. Interlocking Block Puzzles
  • Cubic Block Puzzles
  • [The Involute Puzzle]
  • The Convolution Puzzle
  • The Three-Piece Block Puzzle
5. The Six-Piece Burr
  • The 25 Notchable Pieces
  • Burr No. 305
  • Difficulty Index and Burr No. 306
  • Higher-level Burrs and Bill's Baffling Burr
  • Peter Marineau's [Piston] Burr
6. Larger (and Smaller) Burrs
  • Symmetry
  • The Three-Piece Burr Problem
  • Practical 12-Piece Burrs
  • The Altekruse Puzzle
  • Variations of the Altekruse Puzzle
  • The Pin-Hole Puzzle
  • The Corner Block Puzzle
  • A 24-Piece Burr - Pentangle's Squirrel Cage
7. The Diagonal Burr

8. The Rhombic Dodecahedron and its Stellations

  • Theory of Interlock
  • Stellations
  • The Second Stellation
  • The Four Corners Puzzle
  • Color Symmetry
  • The Second Stellation in Four Colors
  • The Third Stellation in Four Colors
9. Polyhedral Puzzles with Dissimilar Pieces
  • The Permuted Second Stellation
  • The Permuted Third Stellation
  • The Broken Sticks Puzzle
  • The Augmented Second Stellation (aka 12-Point)
  • Building Blocks
  • The Augmented Four Corners Puzzle
  • The Diagonal Cube Puzzle
  • The Reluctant Cluster Puzzle
10. Intersecting Prisms
  • The Hexagonal Prism Puzzle
  • The Triangular Prism Puzzle
  • The Star Prism Puzzle
  • The Square Prism Puzzle
  • The Three Pairs Puzzle
11. Puzzles That Make Different Shapes
  • The Star of David Puzzle
  • [All-Star]
  • [Fusion-Confusion]
  • A Puzzle in Reverse
12. Coordinate-Motion Puzzles
  • The Expanding Box Puzzle
  • [Combination Lock]
  • [Vector Diagrams]
  • The Rosebud Puzzle
13. Puzzles Using Hexagonal or Rhombic Sticks
  • The Cuckoo Nest Puzzle
  • [The Nine Bars Puzzle]
  • A Triple-Decker Puzzle
  • A Holey Hex Hybrid
  • Notched Hexagonal Sticks - Hectix
  • Notched Rhombic Sticks - [Twelve Piece Separation]
14. Split Triangular Sticks
  • Scorpius
  • The Dislocated Scorpius Puzzle
  • The Scrambled Scorpius Puzzle [and Scrambled Legs]
15. Dissected Rhombic Dodecahedra
  • The 10 Possible [Garnet] Pieces
  • Two-Tiered Puzzles - [The Split Star]
  • The Pennyhedron Puzzle
16. Miscellaneous Confusing Puzzles
  • The Pseudo-Notched Sticks Puzzle
  • [The Hectic Hexsticks]
  • The Square Face Puzzle
  • The Queer Gear
17. Triacontahedral Designs
  • Thirty Pentagonal Sticks and Dowels
  • Pentagonal Sub-Units
  • Notched Pentagonal Sticks
  • Notched Rhombic Sticks
  • The Jupiter Puzzle
  • [Saturn]
  • The Dislocated Jupiter Puzzle
  • A Scrambled Jupiter?
  • The Dissected Triacontahedron
18. Puzzles Made of Polyhedral Blocks
  • Truncated Octahedra (5-Piece Box Packing) Setting Hen???
  • Rhombic Dodecahedra
  • The Leftover Block Puzzle (13-14)
  • Substitution of Spheres
  • The Four-Piece Pyramid Puzzle (design of pieces not shown)
  • The Octahedral Cluster Puzzle
19. Intermezzo

20. The Two Tiers Puzzle (Garnet in Garnet)
[20 is deleted in GPD]

21. Theme and Variations

  • [The Peanut Puzzle]
  • The Six-Part Invention
  • The Eight-Piece Cube Puzzle (Pieces of Eight)
  • More Variations
  • The Pillars of Hercules Family
22. Blocks and Pins
  • The Lollipop Puzzle
23. Woodworking Techniques


Geometric Puzzle Design
Stewart T. Coffin
2007 A.K. Peters

This is an updated version of Stewart's classic "Puzzling World of Polyhedral Dissections." It contains some new material, including his "Involute" cube design.


The Puzzling World of Polyhedral Dissections CD-ROM
Stewart T. Coffin

A gift from Brett.

In addition to "The Puzzling World of Polyhedral Dissections" this CD-ROM contains the 1985 and 1992 editions of Stewart's Puzzle Craft.

You can get a free copy of the 1992 edition of Puzzle Craft from the g4g4 site.

The Classics

Once you've got the basics, expand the breadth and depth of your puzzle knowledge with these.
These are among the best puzzle books from several centuries past, written by acknowledged experts of their eras.


[Images from Wikipedia.]

Professor David Singmaster has done a lot of research into the history of Recreational Mathematics, and cites many authors and significant publications. Below is a rough timeline of key publications and authors, based on my scouring through Singmaster's material and cross-referencing with other bibliographic sources. If I own a physical copy, or have access to an online copy, the entry is shown in bold. The symbol [C] is a link to the listing for my copy.


to 1400
  • c250 - Arithmetica - Diophantos (c200-c298) [Wikipedia]
  • 800 - Propositiones Alcuini doctoris Caroli Magni Imperatoris ad acuendos juvenes [PDF] - Alcuin of York (c735-804) [Wikipedia]
  • 900 - Book of Precious Things in the Art of Reckoning, aka Book of Rare Things in the Art of Calculation, - Abu Kamil (c850-c930) [Wikipedia]
  • c1150 - Lilavati - Bhaskara
  • 1202 - Liber Abbaci - Leonardo Pisano, called Fibonacci (c1170->1240) [Wikipedia]

  • 1494 - Suma de Arithmetica Geometria Proportioni et Proportionalita [PDF] - Luca Pacioli (or Paciuolo) (c1445-1517) [Wikipedia]
  • c1500 - De Viribus Quantitatis [online photos of MS] - Pacioli
  • 1517 - Libro de Abaco - Pietro Borgo
  • Nicolo Fontana Tartaglia (1500-1557)
  • 1539 - Practica Arithmetice - Jerome Cardan = Girolamo Cardano = Hieronymus Cardanus (1501 1576) [Wikipedia]
  • 1545 - Artis Magnae sive de Regulis Algebraicis - Cardano
  • 1550 - De Subtilitate- Cardano - patience puzzle discussed
  • 1557 - De Rerum Varietate- Cardano - Alliance/Victoria tanglement puzzle
  • 1545 - Libro Primo d'Architettura - Serlio, Sebastiano (1475-1554) [Wikipedia] - first geometric vanish
  • 1612 - Problèmes plaisans et délectables qui font par les nombres - Bachet de Meziriac, Claude Gaspard (1581-1638) [Wikipedia]
  • 1624 - Recreation Mathematique - van Etten, Henry (pseudonym of Leurechon, Jean) (1591-1670) - 1st silhouette problems
  • 1694 - Recreations Mathematiques et Physiques - Jacques Ozanam (1640-1717) [Wikipedia] [online]
1700 - 1800
  • Montucla, Jean Etienne (1725-1799) [Wikipedia]
  • 1733 - [C] Engaños à Ojos Vistas - Pablo Minguet (or Minguét) è (or é or e or y) Yról (or Irol) (c1700-c1766)
  • 1749 - Les Amusemens Mathematiques - Andre-Joseph Panckoucke (1700-1753) - 1st dissection of cross into Zs and Ls, Egyptian puzzle
  • 1770 - Algebra - Leonard Euler (1707-1783) [Wikipedia]
  • 1780-1790 - Kunst-Cabinet - Peter Friedrich Catel

1800 - 1900
  • 1801,1803 - Bestelmeier catalogue - G. H. (Georg Hieronimus) Bestelmeier
  • 1858 - The Sociable; or, One Thousand and One Home Amusements - Arnold, George (1834-1865) [online] [PDF]
  • 1859 - The Book of 500 Curious Puzzles [PDF]
  • 1862 - The Magician's Own Book - Arnold, George (1834-1865) & Cahill, Frank [online, PDF]
  • 1882 - Récréations mathématiques - (François-) Édouard (-Anatole) Lucas (1842-1891) [Wikipedia] [online] - tower of hanoi puzzle
  • 1895 - L'Arithmétique Amusante - Lucas [online]
  • 1890 - Everybody's Illustrated Book of Puzzles - Saxon & Co., London, 1890 - Don Lemon [= "The Sphinx" = Eli Lemon Sheldon], selector. [ online at The Internet Archive]
  • 1892 - [C] Mathematical Recreations and Essays - Ball, Walter William Rouse (1850-1925) [Wikipedia]; 1939 - 11th ed., revised by H. S. M. Coxeter
  • 1893 - [C] Puzzles Old and New - Hoffmann
  • Carroll, Lewis (pseudonym of Dodgson, Charles Lutwidge) (1832-1898) [Wikipedia]
1900 - 1970

  • 1900 - Mathematische Unterhaltungen und Spiele - Ahrens, Wilhelm Ernst Martin Georg (1872-1927)
  • 1907 - [C] The Twentieth Century Standard Puzzle Book - Routledge, London - A. Cyril Pearson
  • 1907 - Canterbury Puzzles - Dudeney, Henry Ernest (1857-1930) [Wikipedia] [online]
  • 1914 - Sam Loyd's Cyclopedia of 5,000 Puzzles, Tricks and Conundrums - Lamb Publishing, ed. by Sam Loyd Jr. [online at Ed Pegg's site]
  • Sam Loyd (1841-1911) [Wikipedia]
  • 1917 - [C] Amusements in Mathematics - Dudeney
  • 1921 - [C] New Mathematical Pastimes - Maj. Percy MacMahon (1854-1929) [Wikipedia]
  • 1926 - Modern Puzzles - Dudeney
  • 1927 - [C] The Book of Puzzles - Collins, Archie Frederick (1869-1952) [Wikipedia entry for Collins]
    [ Metagrobology Wiki entry for The Book of Puzzles]
  • 1928 - [C] Puzzles in Wood - Edwin M. Wyatt
  • 1928- Sam Loyd and His Puzzles - An Autobiographical Review - Sam Loyd Jr. (1873 1934)
  • 1932 - Puzzles and Curious Problems - Dudeney
  • 1938 - [C] Mathematical Snapshots - Hugo Steinhaus (1887-1972) [Wikipedia]
  • 1942 - [C] 100 Puzzles How to Make and Solve Them - Anthony S. Filipiak
  • 1946 - [C] Wonders in Wood - Edwin M. Wyatt
  • 1956-1981 - Martin Gardner (1914-2010) columns
  • 1959 - [C] Mathematical Puzzles of Sam Loyd, Vol. 1, ed. by Martin Gardner - Dover
  • 1960 - [C] Mathematical Puzzles of Sam Loyd, Vol. 2, ed. by Martin Gardner - Dover
    (Vols 1 & 2 contain about 2/3 of the mathematical problems in the Cyclopedia)
  • 1965 - [C] Puzzles and Paradoxes - Thomas H. O'Beirne
  • 1967 - [C] 536 Puzzles and Curious Problems Ed. by M. Gardner. Scribner's, NY
    (This contains almost all the puzzles from Dudeney's Modern Puzzles and Puzzles and Curious Problems.)



Puzzles Old and New
Professor Louis Hoffmann aka Angelo John Lewis
The 1988 hardcover reprint by L.E. Hordern and Martin Breese Limited, of the original 1893 Frederick Warne and Co. edition.

Find out more about the history of this book at Dalgety's Puzzle Museum.

Click for an index compiled by Donald Knuth.

Several other books on games and magic appeared under the byline of Professor Hoffmann, including the Illustrated Book of Patience Games, and Drawing Room Amusements (London, George Routledge, 1883).

You can purchase some as e-books from Lybrary.com.

Hoffmann was famous for his books on magic. [Illusionwiki]

  • Chapter I - Dexterity
  • Chapter II - Mechanical, Trick, Secret
  • Chapter III - Dissected or Combination
  • Chapter IV - Arithmetical
  • Chapter V - Word and Letter
  • Chapter VI - Counters
  • Chapter VII - Matchstick
  • Chapter VIII - Wire Puzzles
  • Chapter IX - Quibble or Catch
  • Chapter X - Misc

Chapter II describes 52 mechanical puzzles, many of the trick opening type...
  1. Barrel and Ball -- BP
  2. Dice Box (barrel)
  3. The Churn
  4. Cannon and Ball -- BP; has extra nozzle unscrew
  5. Cage and Ball -- BP; has rotating base
  6. Castle Money Box
  7. New Castle Money Box
  8. Brass Money Box
  9. Captive Six-Pence -- corian version
  10. Cannon & Cord
  11. Heart Puzzle
  12. Alliance (aka Victoria)
  13. Two Balls = Ox Yoke
  14. Ariel (base w/ two pillars, cord)
  15. Pen and Wheel
  16. Balls and Rings (crown)
  17. Chinese Ladder
  18. The Staff
  19. The Imperial Scale
  20. Sceptre (see Donay)
  21. Balls and Chain (see Donay)
  22. Four Keys -- BP
  23. Screw Box -- thin shell, press sides in to grip inner sleeve
  24. Ball and Three Strings
  25. Lighthouse -- BP
  26. Jubilee Puzzle Box
  1. Jubilee Penny -- hinged door on coin
  2. Invisible Gift
  3. Arabi Gun
  4. Psycho Matchbox -- the penny safe design
  5. Touch-Me-Not Matchbox -- pin prick
  6. Magic Drawer Matchbox -- double drawer trick
  7. Unique Matchbox -- move bottom plate to release top
  8. Surprise Matchbox -- prick, fake hinge
  9. New Brass Puzzle Matchbox -- cylinder, coin on top, counter-thread top unscrews
  10. Ne Plus Ultra Matchbox
  11. Sphinx Matchbox -- ne plus with a hinged side to lock the top
  12. Puzzle Snuff-Box
  13. New Puzzle Snuff-Box
  14. Puzzle Ball -- like ebony ball but no cuts
  15. Ebony Ball
  16. Puzzle Purse
  17. Puzzle Pocket-Knife
  18. Automatic Knife
  19. Double Ball and Ring
  20. Wedding Ring Box
  21. New Money Box
  22. Zulu Box -- brass magic trick equivalent
  23. New Persian Puzzle
  24. Magic Handcuff -- Chinese finger trap
  25. Key and Ring -- tip unscrews with wingnut
  26. New Egg of Columbus -- red, cone in base
Chapter III describes 41 "Dissected or Combination" puzzles...
  1. The Anchor Puzzle (Kopfzerbrecher #8)
  2. The Tormentor Puzzle (Qualgeist #13)
  3. The Pythagoras Puzzle (#12)
  4. The Cross Puzzle (Kreuzspiel #10, also Lucky Puzzle, Kohner's Voodoo)
  5. The Circular Puzzle (Kreisraatsel #9)
  6. The Star Puzzle (Stern Raadsel)
  7. The Zigzag Square (12 pcs)
  8. The Extended Square
  9. The Octagon Puzzle
  10. The Patchwork Square
  11. The Two Squares (eq. to the Cut Out Puzzle)
  12. The Latin Cross Puzzle (5 pcs.)
  13. The Greek Cross Puzzle
  14. The Protean Puzzle
  15. The Caricature Puzzle (eq. to Kopfzerbrecher pcs)
  16. The Chequers Puzzle (14 pcs.)
  17. The Spots Puzzle
  18. The Endless Chain (La Chaine sans Fin)
  19. The Hexagon (5 pcs.)
  20. Eight Squares in One
  21. The Five Squares
  1. The Geometrical Square
  2. The Dissected Square (9 pcs. - form 3 squares or one large one)
  3. The Twenty Triangles (eq. to Mystic Wedge)
  4. The New Triangle (7 pcs.)
  5. The Japanese Square (10 pcs.)
  6. The Chinese Square (16 pcs.)
  7. The Yankee Square (11 pcs.)
  8. Another Cross Puzzle (eq. to Jeu de la Croix)
  9. The Carpenter's Puzzle No. 1
  10. The Carpenter's Puzzle No. 2
  11. The Cabinet Maker's Puzzle (divide a circle into two stool seats with holes)
  12. The Bonbon Nut Puzzle (burr)
  13. The Rattle Puzzle (burr)
  14. The Cross-Keys or Three-Piece Puzzle (OCC)
  15. The Nut (or Six-Piece) Puzzle (trad. 6-pc burr)
  16. The Fairy Tea-Table
  17. The Mystery
  18. The Diabolical Cube
  19. The Chinese Zigzag (3D jigsaw)
  20. The Man of Many Parts (Les Quatre Vagabonds)
Chapter IV describes 112 Arithmetical puzzles...
  • 7. A Simple Magic Square (Lo Shu)
  • 8. The "Thirty-Four" Puzzle (Thinking Man's 34, 34 Skidoo)
  • 9. The "Sixty-Five" Puzzle
  • 10. The "Twenty-Six" Puzzle (4x4 w/ corners omitted)
  • 28. The Captives in the Tower
  • 54. The Tenth Man Out (circle of 30, leave 15)
  • 55. The Ninth Man Out (circle of 30, leave 15)
  • 56. The Three Travellers (river crossing)
  • 57. The Wolf, the Goat, and the Cabbages
  • 58. The Three Jealous Husbands
  • 68. The Magic Cards (binary cards)
  • 69. The Fifteen or Boss Puzzle
  • 70. The Peg-Away Puzzle
  • 72. The Royal Aquarium Thirteen Puzzle (eq. to Le Nombre Treize)
Chapter VI describes 27 Puzzles With Counters...
  • 13. (The Eight-Point Puzzle)
  • 14. "Okto" (variant of 8-point)
  • 17. The "Right and Left" Puzzle (mountain goats)
  • 19. The "Four and Four" Puzzle (related to the 1915 PANAMA puzzle)
  • 20. The "Five and Five" Puzzle
  • 21. The "Six and Six" Puzzle
  • 24. No Two in a Row (8 queens)
Chapter VIII describes twelve tanglement puzzles...
  1. United Hearts -- eq. Uncle's Heart's Desire
  2. Triangle -- simple spiral, single gate
  3. Snake and Ring -- ring on spring
  4. Hieroglyph
  5. Interlaced Triangles -- Stumpy #2, Uncle's TriangleDangle
  6. Double Bow and Ring -- classic horseshoes
  1. Egyptian Mystery
  2. Ball and Spiral -- eq. La Bouteille Infernale
  3. Unionist -- eq. Claws
  4. Eastern Question -- eq. Hess F069
  5. Handcuff -- four rings
  6. Stanley
Chapter X describes 48 Miscellaneous Puzzles...
  1. The John Bull Political Puzzle (sliding counter)
  2. The Pig in the Sty (12-move jumping pegs)
  3. Hide and Seek (2-sided boxed maze)
  4. The Brahmin's Puzzle (Towers of Hanoi)
  5. Cardan's Rings (Patience)
  6. The Knight's Tour
  7. The Knotted Handkerchief
  8. Crossette
  9. Single-Stroke Figures
  10. The Balanced Egg. Another Method.
  11. Solitaire Problems
  12. Skihi (construction cards, pat. by Skihi Novelty Co.
  13. A Card Puzzle - arrange the four fives from a deck of cards, face up, so only four pips on each is visible.
  14. Another Card Puzzle - Graeco-Latin 4x4 using aces and face cards
  15. The Floating Corks - make seven corks float upright in a basin of water
  16. The Obstinate Cork
  17. Fixing the Ring
  18. The Treasure at Medinet (four piece version of Jeu des Manifestants / 8 Queens)
  19. The Four Wine-Glasses
  20. One Peg to Fit Three Holes (circle, triangle, square)
  21. The Balanced Pencil
  22. To Balance an Egg on the Point of a Walking Stick
  23. The Ashantee Horseshoe
  24. A Feat of Dexterity
  1. The Divided Square - cut a square into 5 equal squares
  2. The "Oval" Problem - draw an oval with just a compass
  3. The Floating Ball
  4. The Cut Playing Card - cut a hole in a playing card so a person can step through the hole
  5. The Mitre Puzzle - remove an isoceles-triangular one-fourth of a square, then divide the resulting "mitre" shape into four equal parts
  6. The Five Straws
  7. The Three Fountains
  8. The Two Dogs (same principle as Sam Loyd's Mules)
  9. Water Bewitched
  10. The Balanced Halfpenny
  11. The Balanced Sixpence
  12. Silken Fetters (classic two-person handcuffs challenge)
  13. The Orchard Puzzle
  14. The Cook in a Difficulty (La Question de la Marmite)
  15. The Devil's Bridge (La Pont du Diable)
  16. The Two Corks (grasp two corks and pull apart without entangling fingers)
  17. The Divided Farm
  18. The Conjurer's Medal (eq. to The Queen's Jubilee puzzle)
  19. The Maze Medal
  20. The Puzzle Key-Ring
  21. The Singular Shilling
  22. The Entangled Scissors
  23. The Penetrative Penny
  24. The Packer's Secret (Le Secret d'un Emballeur)

Hoffmann's Puzzles Old and New (Centenary Edition)
Edward Hordern

The Book of Puzzles by A. Frederick Collins
1927 D. Appleton and Company

John Devost kindly sent me this copy.
Collins' book is a successor to Hoffmann's seminal 1893 Puzzles Old and New.
You can find out more about Collins' book at The Metagrobology Wiki.
Thanks much, John!

  • A Word to You
  • I. Paper and Card Puzzles
    • The Crusader's Cross - 5 piece Latin Cross
    • The Surveyor's Puzzle - Take 1/4 of a square and divide the remainder into four equal parts.
    • The Triangle and Square Puzzle - four each of three types of pieces make a square
    • A Paradoxical Puzzle - equal to L'Echiquier Fantastique/Hooper's Paradox
    • An Impossible Possibility - take four from four and leave eight - cut four corners from a square to leave an octagon
    • Chinese Tangrams
    • The Loculus of Archimedes (rectangular version)
    • Playtime Puzzle Cards - eight cards each with one letter from "PLAYTIME" - given definitions, find four, five, and six-letter words
    • The Card Chain Puzzle - cut a chain of seven links from a playing card - need to be able to split edge of moistened card
    • Through a Playing Card - cut a card so you can step through it
    • Her Majesty's Four Fives Puzzle - using the four fives from a deck, lay them so only four pips of each can be seen

  • II. String and Handkerchief Puzzles
    • The Elusive Snare
    • The Dressmaker's Puzzle - scissors on loop through handles
    • The Bachelor's Button Puzzle - cherries
    • The String and Ball Puzzle - Ox Yoke (gives two solutions) eq. Hoffmann Ch.II.No.XIII
    • The Egyptian Heart Puzzle - heart with six holes, threaded cord and bead - eq. Hoffmann Ch.II.No.XI
    • The Bead in the Bottle - burn through a string with a magnifying glass in the sun
    • The Chinese Ladder Puzzle - classic eq. Hoffmann Ch.II.No.XVII
    • A Fourth Dimensional Knot - tie a knot in a handkerchief without letting go of either end

  • III. Match and Matchstick Puzzles
  • IV. Wire and Chain Puzzles
    • The Twin Hearts - 2 hearts
    • The Eternal Triangle
    • The Bead and Spiral
    • The Snake and Ring
    • The Great Seven-Ring Puzzle - Patience - cites Cardan 1550, Wallis 1693
    • Some Good Metal Puzzles - shows 5 hard wire puzzles: F017 Double G, F010 Triple Rings, F025 "The Union Puzzle", F030 C&U, F079 Over the Top
    • The Eastern Question - F002
    • The Dumb-bell and Chain Puzzle - eq. Hoffmann Ch.II.No.XXI

  • V. Skill and Patience Puzzles
    • calls these the "Pigs in Clover" type - dexterity
    • Some Early Puzzles - Pigs in Clover - invented by A. Brentano on Apr. 11 1889
    • The Maze - copy of PIC
    • Pick-Me-Up - invented by J.D. Mitchell shortly after PIC, brought out by Pick-Me-Up, a comic magazine of London, hence the name
    • Indivisibility - contemporaneous with PIC - patented by J.I. Hinde in 1889 - dot the i's with five balls
    • The Solar System Puzzle - nine balls of various sizes and colors
    • The Spider and Fly Puzzle - mercury blob - move four felt pellets to corners
    • In-the-Soup Puzzle - miniature bowl, small glass marble, wire "spoon" - use the wire to get the marble out of the bowl
    • Some Recent Puzzles
      • Hop-o'-Me Puzzle - square case, glass cover - 8 radial divisions & balls
      • Will-o'-the-Wisp Puzzle - get 3 balls into cavities in a triangle
      • Silver Drop Puzzle - get 3 balls into bottle
    • The See-Saw Puzzle - Journet #51
    • The Bunny Burrow Puzzle - Journet #54 Bunnies
    • The Clock - Journet #63 Clock
    • Kan-U-Do-It? - Journet #70 Kanuduit - but Collins pictures Blighty
    • The Whirligig - Journet #65
    • The Dovecote - Journet #57
    • The Bowling Green - with mercury - Journet #50
    • Niagara Falls - Journet #66
    • Pin-U-Ring-It - Journet #64
    • Golden Rod - Journet #67
    • The Diabolical Tubes - Journet #61
  • VI. Some Arithmetical Puzzles
    • The Globe Trotter's Puzzle
    • The Compositor's Puzzle
    • Sailors Don't Care Puzzle - Josephus problem - save 15 out of 30
    • The Imperial Caesar Puzzle
    • The Lady Bookmaker's Puzzle
    • How Old is Jane?
    • The Card Addition Puzzle
    • The Five Gamblers Puzzle
    • The Sir Douglas and Princess Mary Puzzle
    • The Basket of Eggs Puzzle
    • The Sheik and His Camels - 17 camels - give 1/2 to son A, 1/3 to son B, and 1/9 to son C.

  • VII. Magic Squares and Other Figures
  • VIII. A Few Geometrical Puzzles
    • The Star Group Puzzle - use four straight unicursal lines to pass through 9 points in a 3x3 square grid
    • A Euclidean Puzzle
    • The Swarm of Triangles
    • The Greek Cross Puzzle - dissect one large greek cross into two equal smaller
    • The Fly on the Rotating Disk
    • The Cube and the Pyramid Puzzle - dissect cube into 3 identical pyramids
    • A Paradoxical Train Puzzle
    • Euclid's Famous Forty-Seventh
    • The Fly on the Octahedron
    • The Spiral Puzzle

  • IX. Labyrinths and Mystic Mazes
    • The Egyptian Labyrinth - near Lake Moeris, by King Ameneambe c. 2300BC
    • The Cretan Labyrinth
    • The Samian Labyrinth - Island of Samos during reign of Polycrates c. 500BC
    • The Maze of Sens Cathedral
    • The Maze of Saint Quentin
    • The Maze of Saint Owen
    • The Maze of Bayeaux Cathedral
    • The Mazes of Safron Walden and Sneiton
    • The Mazes of Hampton Court and Versailles
    • right hand rule, broken line mazes

  • X. Dissected and Cluster Puzzles
    • Simple Cut-out Puzzles
    • The Dissected Snake Puzzle
    • Jig-saw Puzzles
    • The Chinese Zig-Zag Puzzle - cut up rectangular block
    • The Dissected Die Puzzle - The Spots Puzzle
    • The Dovetail Puzzle - trick dovetail joint, no lock
    • Cluster, Parisian, or Gordian Knot puzzles (Burrs)
    • The Cross-Keys Puzzle - eq. to OCC
    • The Bonbon or Nut Puzzle - eq. Hoffmann Ch.III.No.XXXIII
    • Other Cluster Puzzles - Cluster, Cluster of Clusters, Gun Cluster, Point Cluster, Flat Cluster, Secret Table, Kumiki Barrel, Ball, Egg/Football

  • XI. Picture Puzzles and Rebuses
    • several - including...
    • Sam Loyd's "Jassack" (eq. Bucephale)
    • Dead Dogs
    • The Manx Rabbit Puzzle - arrange three rabbits so they have 3 ears among them.
    • The Head in the Landscape Puzzle
    • Find the Man's Wife Puzzle - invented by Dudeney - logically deduce pairings among six men and six women pictured

  • XII. Letter, Word and Cross-Word Puzzles
  • Index


Puzzles in Wood
Edwin M. Wyatt
Copyright 1928 The Bruce Publishing Company
Fourth Printing 1939

  • Cut-Up "T" (=Pa's T)
  • Cut-Up Cross (=Shackman What's Your Score Cross)
  • Cut-Up Square 1 (=tangram)
  • Cut-Up Square 2 (=Crestline Mystic Wedge)
  • Impossible Area (8x8=5x13, as L'Echiquier Fantastique)
  • Band-Sawed Sphere (=3D Jigsaw Sphere)
  • Band-Sawed Square Prism (like Venus Key)
  • Turned Box with Combination Lock Lid
  • The Bewitching Cubes (=6-cube Instant Insanity)
  • Shuffle Puzzle 1 (=15)
  • Shuffle Puzzle 2 (=Dad's)
  • Peg and Disc Puzzle (=Towers of Hanoi)
  • The "Cross" Plug Puzzle (circle/plus/square plug)
  • The "Wedge" Plug Puzzle (square/triangle/circle plug)
  • A Steamed-Wood Puzzle
  • Wood Fan
  • Bottled Cross
  • Savings Bank
  • Three-Piece Cross (=Triple Cross)
  • Three-Piece Burr Puzzle (another 3-piece burr)
  • Six-Piece Burr (15 assemblies from 13 length-8 pieces: AJVTOYNFHDMBI)
  • Diagonal Six-Piece Burr
  • Nine-Piece Burr (=Marian's Puzzle?)
  • The Cross Burr (12 pieces)
  • The Twelve-Piece Burr Puzzle (=Altekruse)
  • Fifteen-Piece Burr
  • The Great Pagoda or Nineteen-Piece Burr
  • Jackstraws
  • Polyburr
  • Built-Up Cube (=Kumiki Cube)
  • The Grill (=Dovetail)
  • Locked Links
  • The Double Dovetail
  • The Impossible Dovetail Joint (=Danzig's Dilemma but no lock)
  • Double-Lock Dovetail Joint
  • Two-Way Fanned Half-Lap Joint
  • Wooden Log Chain
  • Caged Balls
  • The Magic Drawer
  • The Mysterious Coin Purse (=Penny Safe)
  • The Coin Bank
  • Oriental Jewel Box with Secret Lock
  • Secret Lock Tool Box
  • Desk Companion with Secret Stamp Compartment
  • Hidden Key-and-Lock Jewel Box


Wonders in Wood
(sequel to Puzzles in Wood)
Edwin M. Wyatt
Linden Publishing Inc. 1997 (orig. pub. 1946)

  • The Tetrahedron or Triangular Pyramid (=2-piece pyramid)
  • Nest of Toys (=nesting furniture)
  • Three-Dimensional Jigsaw (like cowboy)
  • Cut-Up Checkerboard (14 pieces)
  • Six-Pointed Star
  • Squaring Triangles (like Loculus of Archimedes)
  • Built-Up Trapezoid
  • Built-Up Square (=Egyptian Puzzle)
  • Lost Area (13x13=8x21)
  • Solitaire Marble Game Board
  • Marbles in a Maze
  • Solitaire Checkerboard (circular 13-hole)
  • Fore and Aft (=Setko)
  • Shuffle Box Number One (14 blocks)
  • Shuffle Box Number Two (11 blocks)
  • Double-Double Dovetail Joint
  • Triple Dovetail Puzzle
  • Double Cross (3-piece burr)
  • Eighteen-Piece Double Cross (=Arjeu CT718 ?)
  • Quadruple Burr
  • The Snowflake (burr)
  • Chestnut Burr
  • Toy Chair
  • Enchanted Dice (=6-cube Instant Insanity)
  • Cross-Barred Ball Cage
  • Concentric Spheres
  • Wooden Pliers
  • Scissors
  • E Puzzle (imp. obj.)
  • Wooden Valentine (imp. obj.)
  • Draftsman's Dream
  • Six-Piece Ball Puzzle
  • Cocklebur
  • The Floating Magnet
  • The Mysterious Block (magic trick)
  • The Lie Detector
  • Fake Pop Gun
  • Plugged Bottle (imp. obj.)
  • Disappearing Coin Device (magic trick)
  • Counterfeit Machine
  • Dominoes
  • String Puzzle (magic trick)
  • Built-Up Turned Work
  • Rope Border
  • Marquetry
  • Geometrical or Chip Carving


100 Puzzles - How to Make and Solve Them
Anthony S. Filipiak
A. S. Barnes and Company New York 1942

I found one cheap, but it seems to be pretty rare. I've seen it going for anywhere from $70 to over $400. The dust jacket on mine is mostly intact and shows several puzzles which aren't even mentioned in the book! The Star and Crescent, Valspar, Boot and Hand, and U2 tanglements are all pictured but not discussed. The Kumiki motorcycle and tank aren't, either, but the cube and gun are. I suppose there is something to be said for modern truth-in-advertising laws.

  • Shifting Block Puzzles - 19, 9, 5, 11, 15, 10, and 27 blocks
  • Straight Line Peg Puzzles - Jumping, Flipping in Pairs
  • Circle Peg Puzzles
  • Checker Board Puzzles
  • Checker Board String Puzzles
  • Chinese Chess Board
  • String Puzzles
  • Glass Topped Box Puzzles
  • Six Piece Burr Puzzle
  • Wood Design Puzzles (Kumiki)
  • Geometric Design Puzzles
  • Miscellaneous Puzzles (incl. 4 Ace Puzzle like Katzenjammer, also an original bolt and washer)

Mathematical Puzzles and Other Brain Twisters
100 Man Made Problems - How to Make and Solve Them

Anthony S. Filipiak
A. S. Barnes and Company New York 1942

Same contents as above.


New Mathematical Pastimes
Maj. Percy MacMahon
Paul Garcia and Tarquin Reprints 2004
Reprinting of the Cambridge University Press 1930 Edition 2nd Impression
  • Part I - Pastimes Based Upon Simple Geometrical Forms
  • Double-Six Dominoes
  • Equilateral Triangles (4 colors in 3 compartments per triangle = 24 tiles; see Contack)
  • Square Pastimes (3 colors in 4 compartments per square = 24 tiles)
  • (5 colors in 4 compartments, no repetition = 30 tiles; if all must have a given color, then 24 tiles)
  • Right-Angled Triangle Pastimes
  • The Cube Pastime (6 colors all faces different = 30 cubes; MacMahon Colored Cubes / Mayblox)
  • Pastimes Based Upon the Regular Hexagon (6 colors, always same pair at north and south = 24 tiles)
  • Part II - The Transformation of Part I
  • (Shaped Edges in Lieu of Colors)
  • Part III - The Design of "Repeating Patterns" or Decorative Work

Mathematical Recreations and Essays
W.W. Rouse Ball (revised by H.S.M. Coxeter)
Macmillan 11th ed. 6th printing 1973

Fourteen chapters:
  • I. Arithmetical Recreations
  • II. Arithmetical Recreations (continued)
  • III. Geometrical Recreations
  • IV. Geometrical Recreations (continued)
  • V. Polyhedra
  • VI. Chess-Board Recreations
  • VII. Magic Squares
  • VIII. Map-Colouring Problems
  • IX. Unicursal Problems
  • X. Kirkman's School-Girls Problem
  • XI. Miscellaneous Problems
  • XII. Three Classical Geometrical Problems
  • XIII. Calculating Prodigies
  • XIV. Cryprography and Cryptanalysis

Some of my favorites:

  • Geometrical Paradoxes (e.g. L'Echiquier Fantastique / L'Incroyable) p.84
  • triangular edgematch p.111
  • MacMahon color cubes p.112
  • Great Northern Puzzle (shunting) p.114
  • Chifu-Chemulpo (shunting) p.115
  • ferry-boat problems p.116
  • Third Problem with Pawns (e.g. Fore-and-Aft) p.124
  • The Eight Queens Problem p.165
  • Guarini's Problem (e.g. Knights Exchange on 3x3) p.188
  • Latin Squares and the Magic Card Square (e.g. Bali Buttons) p.189
  • Euler's Problem (The Seven Bridges of Koenigsberg) p.242

Mathematical Snapshots
Hugo Steinhaus
Dover edition 1999 - reprint of 1983 edition - copyright 1950
  1. Triangles, Squares, and Games
  2. Rectangles, Numbers, and Tunes
  3. Weighing, Measuring, and Fair Division
  4. Tessellations, Mixing of LIquids, Measuring Areas and Lengths
  5. Shortest Paths, Locating Schools, and Pursuing Ships
  6. Straight Lines, Circles, Symmetry, and Optical Illusions
  7. Cubes, Spiders, Honeycombs, and Bricks
  8. Platonic Solids, Crystals, Bees' Heads, and Soap
  9. Soap-Bubbles, Earth and Moon, Maps, and Dates
  10. Squirrels, Screws, Candles, Tunes, and Shadows
  11. Surfaces Made of Straight Lines, the Chain, the Toycart, and the Minimal Surface
  12. Platonic Bodies Again, Crossing Bridges, Tying Knots, Coloring Maps, and Combing Hair
  13. Board of Fortune, Frogs, Freshmen, and Sunflowers

You can peruse Sam Loyd's Cyclopedia of 5000 Puzzles online at Ed Pegg's site.

Also check Donald Knuth's index.


Mathematical Puzzles of Sam Loyd Volume One
ed. by Martin Gardner
Dover Publications 1959
  • Hoop Snake p.15

More Mathematical Puzzles of Sam Loyd
ed. by Martin Gardner
Dover Publications 1960
  • The Switch Problem (shunting) p.18

536 Puzzles & Curious Problems
Henry Ernest Dudeney
1967 Charles Scribner's Sons
ISBN-10: 0684717557

Arithmetical and Algebraical Problems
  • Money Puzzles
  • Age Puzzles
  • Clock Puzzles
  • Speed and Distance Puzzles
  • Weight Puzzles
  • Digital Puzzles
  • Skeleton Puzzles
  • Cryptarithm Puzzles
  • Miscellaneous Puzzles
Geometrical Problems
  • Triangle, Square, and Other Polygon Puzzles
  • Circle Puzzles
  • Dividing-the-Plane Puzzles
  • Plane Geometry Puzzles
  • Solid Geometry Puzzles
  • Dissection Puzzles
  • Paper Folding Puzzles
  • Moving Counter Puzzles
Combinatorial and Topological Problems
  • Magic Square Puzzles
  • Magic Star Puzzles
  • Liquid Pouring Puzzles
  • Route and Network Puzzles
  • Point Alignment Puzzles
  • Map Coloring Puzzles
  • Miscellaneous Combinatorial Puzzles
Game Puzzles
Domino Puzzles
Match Puzzles
Unclassified Puzzles



The 1917 book Amusements in Mathematics by the noted British Puzzler Henry Ernest Dudeney is available online to read or for free download at Project Gutenberg.

I also have the softcover Dover edition, copyright 1970.

Many fascinating topics of potential interest to the mechanical puzzle afficionado.


Puzzles and Paradoxes
Thomas H. O'Beirne
Oxford University Press 1965
  1. One More River to Cross
  2. False Coins and Trial Balances
  3. New Weighs With False Coins
  4. Jug and Bottle Department
  5. A Gamut of Geometry from A to Y
  6. Race-Track Problems and Legal Fictions
  7. Cubism and Colour Arrangements
  8. Gamesman, Spare That Tree
  9. "Nim" You Say, and "Nim" It Is
  10. Ten Divisions Lead to Easter
  11. Problematic Lies and Unexpected Truths
  12. A Christmas Cracker With 100 Birds
Madachy's Mathematical Recreations
by Joseph S. Madachy, (c) 1966, 1979 - pub. by Dover, NY

Nice sections on geometric dissections, and chessboard placement problems.


Everybody's Illustrated Book of Puzzles - Seven Hundred and Ninety-four Rebuses, Puzzles, Enigmas, Etc., with Answers.
Don Lemon
Saxon 1890

Download this from The Internet Archive.

"Don Lemon" is a pseudonym of Eli Lemon Sheldon who, according to Greg Frederickson in Dissections: Plane & Fancy, was an American mortgage broker posted in London. Sheldon was born in Michigan in 1848 and died in London in 1892. Sheldon's wife, May French Sheldon, has a Wikipedia entry.

  • No. 33. - A Card Board Puzzle - (5-piece classic dissected cross)
  • No. 58. - Card Board Puzzle - (2-piece stair-step dissected rectangle)
  • No. 93. - The Grasping Landlord - (draw boundary to divide area)
  • No. 99. - Entangled Scissors - (classic loop through one handle on the other)
  • No. 105. - The Carpenter's Puzzle - (from a 3x3 square with holes at the grid points, cut a square 1/4 its size with no holes - incorrect answer given!?)
  • No. 127. - The Square and Circle Puzzle - (square dissection into four equal pieces, each containing 3 marks)
  • No. 140. - Cardboard Puzzle - (cut a 3x5 card so you can step through it)
  • No. 151. - The Three Jealous Husbands - (River crossing - get 3 couples across by twos so that no wife is with one or two men unless her husband is present - he credits Alcuin)
  • No. 167. - Problem of Money - (put 10 nickels in a row; pick up any one and place it on another, passing over 10 cents. Repeat until no single nickels left.)
    4->1, 7->3, 5->9, 2->6, 8->10
  • No. 175. - Octagon Puzzle - (dissect an octagon area with 12 marks - divide into four parts with 3 marks in each)
  • No. 180. - The Landlord Tricked - (Survivor problem - 21 people - count out every 7th - last pays bill)
    begin count at 6th from target
  • No. 202. - A Trick Puzzle - (sliding 15 piece)
  • No. 221. - Magic Squares - (arrange the numbers 1 to 81 into a magic square - rows, cols, diags same sum -remove marginal #s and still have a magic square, repeat until one number remains which will be the GCD of the sums of the several squares)
  • No. 229. - The Square Puzzle - (cut out 9 given irregular pieces and make a square)
  • No. 244. - A Mathematical Nut - (specify four weights that sum to 40 and can be used to weigh any integral weight from 1 to 40)
  • No. 251. - The Knight's Puzzle - (8x8 grid with syllables in each square - devise a knight's tour to spell out a verse of poetry)
  • No. 259. - The Divided Garden - (divide a square with square hole and 10 marks into 5 equal pieces, each containing 2 marks)
  • No. 275. - The Puzzle of Fourteen - (14 pieces to be cut out and formed into a rectangle)
  • No. 326. - The Yankee Square - (11 pieces to be cut out and formed into a square)
  • No. 350. - One Line - One Counter Puzzle - (6x6 queens)
  • No. 369. - The Maltese Cross Squared - (divide a Maltese Cross using two straight cuts into four pieces that can form a square - see Adam's Square and Cross in my Transformations section of Assembly puzzles)
  • No. 413. - Geometrical Puzzle - (square with 1 quadrant missing - divide into 4 equal parts - see The Land Puzzle in my Other Geometric Dissections section of Assembly puzzles)
  • No. 446. - The Puzzle Wall - (draw a boundary that excludes four points from the center)
  • No. 450. - Crossing the River - (missionaries & cannibals)
  • No. 464. - Crossette - (10 circles in a circle - start anywhere, count that 1, next 2, next in same direction 3, next 4. Cross off the one counted 4. Start again from any circle not crossed off. Count crossed off circles, too. Try to cross out all the circles)
  • No. 469. - The Ingenious Servant - (23 bottles are arranged in a square 2-5-2 / 5-5 / 2-5-2, i.e. 9 along a side; remove four and rearrange so there are still 9 along each side, then repeat)
  • No. 489. - The Crown Problem - (place ten checkers in a row; lift a man and pass over two men, crown the next man. Continue until all are kings. Same as No. 167? Diff. sol'n given)
    4->1, 6->9, 8->3, 2->5, 7->10
  • No. 497. - The Prisoners in the Tower - (use 2 baskets on one rope the height of the tower through a pulley to shuttle 4 weights (195,105,90,75 - first 3 are people) from the tower to the ground - ensure weight in descending basket with person cannot exceed ascending weight by more than 15 pounds; max two people or one person and chain in a basket)
  • No. 506. - A Trick for Clever Pencils - (unicursal figure)
  • No. 513. - The Card Square - (make a square from 16 given triangles)
  • No. 532. - The Magic Octagon - (same pieces as French boxed Jeu de l'Octogone)
  • No. 535. - The Puzzling Pearls - (same as "The Great American Ball Blue 9 Puzzle" shown in my Counting Puzzles section)
  • No. 542. - The Nine Digits - (3x3 magic square)
  • No. 563. - Transformation Puzzle - (6 squares with patterns - arrange to form words)
  • No. 610. - The Puzzle Board - (find tour of words on a 6x6 grid to make a familiar stanza of poetry)
  • No. 620. - The Parallelogram Puzzle - (same as No. 58!)
  • No. 652. - The Legacy - (divide 19 items among 3 such that the 1st gets 1/2, the 2nd gets 1/4, and the 3rd 1/5th)
  • No. 658. - Missing Letters - (what 2 letters appended to these words make other words? aught, one, edge, own, awl, ought)
  • No. 660. - The Philosopher's Puzzle - (halve the light from a yard square window - i.e. the area - while keeping it square and 1 yard tall by 1 yard wide)
  • No. 729. - A Cut Up Puzzle - (12 pieces form a square)
  • No. 792. - A Puzzling Problem - (survivor problem - 15A + 15B, count out by 10s - arrange so A's survive)


The Twentieth Century Standard Puzzle Book
1907 Routledge, London - A. Cyril Pearson


The Magician's Own Book
1862 - Arnold, George (1834-1865) & Cahill, Frank
I don't have a physical copy, but this book can be downloaded from www.archive.org.


Gibeciere Vol. 4, No. 2
A back issue of the journal of The Conjuring Arts Research Center - (website here)
This issue includes a complete translation of Pablo Minguet y Irol's 1733 book Engaños à Ojos Vistas which contains an early mention of a six-piece burr puzzle.
Engaños a Ojos Vistas - by Pablo Minguet E Irol
An 18th century book containing among other puzzles an early depiction of a six-piece burr.
A kind gift - thanks, Primitivo!

This section contains books that focus in detail on one particular sub-category of puzzle,
such as Sliding Block Puzzles, Polyominoes, Tangrams, Edgematching Puzzles, Keychain Puzzles, Tanglement Puzzles, Mazes,
and also some compendiums/surveys that are part of neither the Core Curriculum nor the Classics.
(Individual books focused on the Rubik's Cube category are numerous enough to warrant their own section.)


The Oxford University Press Recreations in Mathematics series edited by David Singmaster includes the following books (I have found copies of each of them):

  1. (1984) Mathematical Byways in Ayling, Beeling, and Ceiling - Hugh ApSimon
  2. (1985) The Ins and Outs of Peg Solitaire - John D. Beasley
  3. (1987) Rubik's Cubic Compendium - Erno Rubik, Tamas Varga, Gerszon Keri, Gyorgy Marx, Tamas Verkerdy
  4. (1986) Sliding Piece Puzzles - L.E. Hordern
  5. (1989) The Mathematics of Games - John D. Beasley
  6. (1990) The Puzzling World of Polyhedral Dissections - Stewart T. Coffin
  7. (1990) More Mathematical Byways - Hugh ApSimon

There was also a book called "Recreations in Mathematics" by H. E. Licks (Helix?) published in 1917 by Van Nostrand. It is available as a PDF for free download here. I found this link at The Online Books Page at the University of Pennsylvania. Subjects covered in the book include: The Fifteen Puzzle, Magic Squares, Geometric Fallacies (such as L'Echiquier Fantastique), Map Coloring, the Cells of the Honeybee, the Sun Dial, and the Diaphote hoax.

Here are other links to free online books on the topic of Mathematical Recreations.
Also take a look at free online books on Puzzles.

Solomon W. Golomb

Table of contents of the revised edition.

Read about polyominoes at Mathworld. More from Jan Kok.

Spiele mit Pentakuben
Ekkehard Kunzell

See Kunzell's website.

Pentomino Puzzles by Eric Harshbarger
Geometric Magic Squares - Lee Sallows 2013 Dover
See the Wikipedia article on Geometric Magic Square.
See Sallows' website.
I was reading about a puzzle called Cubic Matters exchanged at IPP34 by Yee-Dian Lee
and voted by James Dalgety as one of his best finds of 2014 -
this inspired me to read up more on Sallows' mathematical discoveries. Very interesting!
The set of pieces and the ways they can be combined to form cubes are shown in the diagram below.

The Tangram Book
Jerry Slocum
The Anchor Puzzle Book
Jerry Slocum
I purchased a signed copy at IPP32.
The Eighth Book of Tan
Sam Loyd
The 15 Puzzle
Jerry Slocum
Romano-Celtic Mask Puzzle Padlocks - Slocum Sonneveld Romano-Celtic Mask Puzzle Padlocks -
by Jerry Slocum and Dic Sonneveld
The Puzzle Arcade
1996 Klutz
Jerry Slocum

A fun, portable, self-contained puzzle kit - including all the actual puzzles:

  • The Button-hole Killer Pencil
  • Playing Card Puzzle
  • Sam Loyd's Mules (get two riders on two mules)
  • The Richter Cross
  • The Wheel of Disappearing Pirates (Get Off the Earth)
  • Illusion Puzzles
  • The Wired Heart
  • The Pyramid
  • Heads & Tails Puzzle (Edge Matching)
  • Stick Puzzles (Matchstick figures & transformations)
  • The Bulldog (String through holes)
  • The Broken Heart (Ox-Yoke)
  • The Trapdoor Maze (clever multi-page maze with holes in pages)
  • Picture Puzzles
  • a bonus I-Spy-type puzzle inside the back cover

The World's Best Paper Puzzles
Jerry Slocum & Jack Botermans
Aug 2011 - Sterling Publishing
64 pp.
includes: Keyhole String Puzzle, and several cardboard punch-out puzzles -
Four Fit, Witch Hazel's Cats, White Rose 'T', Lox in Box II, Mysto Squares (14 pc. 8x8 checkerboard), Pythagoras Anchor puzzle (tangram)

    Forward and Introduction

  • Seal Brand Coffee 'T', Tangram tables p.7
  • White Swan 'T', Stewart Coffin Four Fit p.8
  • Kirill Grebnev Love Secret, The Gem Puzzle, College Toffee Boys vanish p.9
  • The Fun of Putting Things Together

  • The American Geometrical Puzzle (tangram - 1850 - Trentsensky and Myers), The Chequers Puzzle Beats the World (14 pc. 1889 John Lester - Feltham & Co. London), Willard-Johnson Prizefight Puzzle (1915), Petite Mère - p.11
  • The Tangram Puzzle p.12 - shapes on pp.13,14, Circular Puzzle (Anchor Kreis-Rätsel) pp.15,16
  • Tormentor (Anchor Quälgeist) pp.17,18
  • Lightning Conductor (Anchor Blitzableiter) pp.19,20
  • Anchor Pythagoras pp.21,22
  • French Puzzle Brain: A New Game - 1851 W. & S.B. Ives - Salem MA p.23
  • Edi Nagata's Cat Case, Polo Shirt Case p.24
  • The Sectional Checkerboard - Luers 1880 (15 pc. checkerboard), Baffel - A.C. Braden 1939 (14 pc. checkerboard) p.25
  • Mysto Squares - (14 pc. checkerboard) 1889 John Lester p.26
  • Zodiac Pentomino set - Sabu Oguro p.27, shapes to make w/ pentominoes p.28
  • Stewart Coffin - Four Fit (No. 217), Trap (No. 153) p.29
  • The Emblematical Puzzle (1788) p.30
  • Sam Loyd's Trick Mules Puzzle, Witch Hazel's Cats, Willard-Johnson Prizefight Puzzle p.31
  • Radcliffe's Magic Hexagon p.32
  • The Magic Star (L'Etoile Filante) - arrange numbers 1-12 on star pattern to sum 28 in each dir. - (1894 Herr von Charles Dearnley), Grandpa's Wonder Puzzle (1911 Rankin) p.33
  • White Rose 'T', Seal Brand 'T', White Swan 'T' - p.34
  • Lox in Box II p.35
    Untangle the Pieces

  • The Asian Face, Michelin Man, Teddy Bear p.36
  • Solomon's Seal (animal bones - Tumen-Ulzi) p.37
  • Pacioli's String Puzzles - Teddy Bear, Un Coeur en Peine, Asian Face (Vantine's Oriental Perfumes) p.38
  • Tennessee Jed Cowboy - Tip-Top Bread, Daily Inter-Ocean Lady in Red, Aunt Jemima, Friedman's Oleomargarine p.39
  • Michelin String Puzzle, Wit's End (patented by Robert Boomhower 1968) p.40
  • Michelin Man String Puzzle (Cherries), Sam Loyd's Buttonhole Puzzle p.41
  • Russian Love Secret and Step - Kirill Grebnev p.42
  • It's Moving Time!

  • The 15 Puzzle, A New Game (aka 8-Point - Darton 1819, 1830) pp.43,4,5
  • [Peg] Solitaire pp.46,7
  • The Great 13 Puzzle (patented Breitenbach 1899), modern version = Thinkfun's Hoppers (Nob) p.48
  • Hop-Over, Anglais & Boërs
  • Coronation Puzzle, Put Hitler in the Dog House p.50
  • Les Bourgeois Dupés, Aux Quatre Coins p.51
  • Tokyo Parking, Rush Hour, Frustr8tor p.52
  • Iwahiro's Jam Puzzles (Triangular Jam, Rectangular Jam, Pentangular Jam) p.53
  • Pike's Peak or Bust, The Eclipse (Myart Manufacturing Company 1936) p.54
  • Now You See It, Now You Don't

  • L'Incroyable (aka L'Echiquier Fantastique) p.55
  • College Toffee Boys, Au Bon Marche, The Disappearing Bicyclist, Great Baseball Puzzle (1912) p.56
  • Solutions pp.57-63
  • Index p.64

Matchstick Puzzles
Jack Botermans
A Century of Checkerboard Puzzles
Additional Checkerboard Puzzle Designs

Jacques Haubrich
Compendium of Card Matching Puzzles (volumes 1-3)
About, Beyond, and Behind Card Matching Puzzles
Jacques Haubrich
1995, 1996, 2002

Ap-Art - A Compendium of Puzzle Designs
Stewart Coffin

Puzzle Instructions and Ephemera
Stewart Coffin

R. Journet & Company. A Brief History of the Company & its Puzzles
James Dalgety

See the Journet section on my dexterity page.

Additional images inside this booklet:


Puzzle Master Solution Booklet for Wire Puzzles
Copyright 2004 Puzzle Master Inc.

Purchased in Montreal at Boutique Strategie.

  • King Cobra
  • Heart Breaker
  • Handcuffs
  • Iron Maiden
  • "A" Puzzle
  • Lion's Lair
  • Jester
  • Beetle Bug
  • Wedding Vows
  • The Rack
  • Scorpion
  • Mosquito
  • Silent E
  • Cupid's Dart
  • Cowboy's Hobble
  • Catacombs
  • Fantastic Five
  • Rat Race
  • Black Widow
  • Infinity
  • Blue Knight
  • Mirror Image
  • Annihilator
  • Sidewinder
  • Man-O-War
  • Anomaly
  • Derringer
  • Parallel Dimensions
  • Scorpion's Sting
  • Arrow Dynamics
  • Tree Puzzle
  • Missing:

  • Butterfly's Revenge
  • G Factor
  • The Yak
Compendium of Over 10500 Wire Puzzles
Seventh Edition Dec. 2003
Richard I. Hess
Ingenious Ring Puzzle Book by Chung-En Yu
Translation into English by Yenna Wu
Printing from IPP4 held in 1981
Les Casse-tete recreatifs a la "Belle Epoque" - by Genevieve Perrot and Francoise Mahy
A nice compendium documenting vintage French boxed puzzles of all types.
Purchased from the authors.
Compendium of French Boxed Puzzles 1860-1930 - by Dario Uri
Dario Uri of Italy has produced a beautiful compendium of French Boxed Puzzles.
Dario very kindly sent me a copy. Thanks very much, Dario!
The Glass Puzzle Answer Book
Toyo Glass

Contains solutions for the following Toyo Glass puzzles:

  • Pack the Plums
  • Pack the Rice Crackers
  • Pineapple Delight
  • A-Maize-Ing
  • Pack the Orange
  • Java Tea
  • On The Rocks
  • Hole in One
  • Cross Cross
  • Tongari-Kun and Roppongi
  • Super Cross
  • Assembling Puzzle
  • ... (I have omitted impossible object, tanglements, dexterity, solitaire, vanishes) ...
  • Red All Through
  • Checkers
  • Pile'Em Up (Six Pieces)
  • Starry Skies
  • Pile'Em Up Orange
  • Happy Hearts
  • Green Grocer
  • Animal Land
  • Bill Cutler's Bin Cross
  • Bottleneck
  • Magical Bottle Bolt & Nut
  • Magical Bottle Double Super
  • Sliding Puzzle Sixteen

Sadly, no solution for Packed in Tokyo or Peanuts.

The Collector's Guide to Cluster Puzzles of the 1960s and 1970s
Kelvin Palmer
Coin Games and Puzzles
Maxey Brooke
Dover Publications 1973
originally published as "Fun For the Money" by Charles Scribner's Sons in 1963
The Jigsaw Puzzle: Piecing Together a History
Anne D. Williams 2004 The Penguin Group
  • 1. Bringing Order Out of Chaos
  • 2. From Schoolroom to Playroom
  • 3. Grown-Ups Turn to Cut-Ups
  • 4. The Great Depression Mania
  • 5. The Forties and Beyond
  • 6. Luxury Puzzles
  • 7. Pieces of Marketing
  • 8. Collecting and Collections
  • 9. The Sum of All the Pieces
  • Appendix A: Making Jigsaw Puzzles for Fun or for Sale
  • Appendix B: Selected Websites for Puzzlers
  • Endnotes
  • Selected Bibliography
  • Index
Antologica Berrocal
George Hardy is an expert on Anchor Stone building blocks and puzzles.
You can download a copy of George's book Richter's Anchor Stone Building Sets, which includes some info about the Anchor puzzles, from ankerstein.de.
The Circle Puzzler's Manual
Doug Engel

Doug's Circle Puzzler's Manual is hosted online at Jaap's Puzzle Page.

Neo Sliding Block Puzzles
A spiral bound compendium (two parts combined into one booklet) I bought from Serhiy Grabarchuk at IPP28 in Prague
Toys That Shoot and Other Neat Stuff
James Dundas 1998

Has a section on keychain puzzles on pages 70 through 80. Dundas shows about 70 puzzles and suggests rarity and dollar values for them.

Compendium of Keychain Puzzles and Mini Plastic Interlocking Puzzles
Jerry Slocum, William Waite, and Contributors

First Edition - 465 Puzzles - August 2011
The Slocum Puzzle Foundation

Compendium of Keychain Puzzles and Mini Plastic Interlocking Puzzles
Jerry Slocum, William Waite, and Contributors

Second Edition - August 2015
I was able to contribute a couple of entries,
and the Compendium includes a link to
Rob's Puzzle Page Keychain Puzzles Page!

Impossible Folding With Allen Rolfs
Allen Rolfs
IPP 28 Prague 2008

The Amazing Book of Mazes
Adrian Fisher
Secrets of the Maze
Adrian Fisher

Mind Boggling Mazes and Loopy Labyrinths
Klaus Eid, et al
Extra Credit

This section contains books that explore mathematics and computer science topics,
and the theoretical underpinnings of the analysis of puzzles, solution strategies, and complexity.
It also contains collections of essays on puzzle topics.

Winning Ways for Your Mathematical Plays, Vol. 4, 2nd Ed.
Elwyn R. Berlekamp, John H. Conway, Richard K. Guy

Selected contents of interest to mechanical puzzlers...

  • Purging Pegs Properly - Peg Solitaire
  • Pursuing Puzzles Purposefully - Soma, Wire and String, Rubik's Cube, Sliding Block
  • What Is Life? - Conway's Game of Life
Winning Ways For Your Mathematical Plays, by Elwyn R. Berlekamp, John H. Conway, and Richard K. Guy, is divided into four volumes. I have those shown above.


Ancient Puzzles
Dominic Olivastro
1993 Bantam Books
ISBN 0553372971

  • Introduction
  • The First Etches
    • The Ishango Bone 9000/11000/20000BP
  • The Entrance Into All Obscure Secrets
    • The Rhind Papyrus 1800BC
  • On A Temple Roof
    • The Temple of Kurna 1400BC - Pentalpha, Mill
  • To Measure the Heavens
    • Nine Chapters - China 200BC
    • Bhaskara - Lilavati - Behold
    • Tangrams
  • On a Turtle Shell
    • Magic Square - Lo Shu - 400BC
    • Albrecht Durer - Melencolia I - 1514
    • Pandiagonal Squares
  • Speak, Who Can
    • Alcuin of York ca 800AD
    • river crossing problems 17,18,19
    • Tartaglia (Niccolo Fontana) - measuring wine 3,5,8 -> 4,4 - ca 1500AD
    • Leofric Bishop of Exeter - ribald riddles
  • I Was Regarded With Astonishment
    • Abu Kamil - Book of Precious Things - 900AD
    • al-Khowarezmi - Algebr w'al-Mugabala
    • Archimedes - The Number of the Cattle of the Sun
  • The Merhcants of Pisa and the Digits of the Hindus
    • Liber Abaci - Fibonacci 1202AD
    • coin weighing problems
  • Graphs and Puzzles
    • Bridges of Koenigsberg - Euler Walk
  • Postscript


The Greatest Puzzles of All Time
by Matthew J. Costello
Copyright 1988, Dover Publications Inc. NY, softcvr, 181pp.

A nice survey across most of the best-known and classic puzzles, with some nuggets about which I had not previously heard.

  • The First Puzzles
    • Magic Squares, carried by people as Amulets in China ca. 2400 B.C.
    • Riddles, word puzzles - ca. 2500 B.C.
    • William Hogarth, "Two Anglers by a River", engraving by Thomas Cook, for Brook Taylor frontispiece 1755
    • Bukhara Camel, 16th century
    • Rebuses
    • Tangrams
    • Don Lemon's Everybody's Illustrated Book of Puzzles
    • Missionaries & Cannibals
  • Birth of a Mania: The Invention of the Crossword Puzzle
  • Through the Looking Glass: The Puzzles of Lewis Carroll
  • Sam Loyd and the Vanishing Puzzle
    • The Quarrelsome Neighbors (connect 3 houses to 3 gates)
    • Trick Mules
    • The Pony Puzzle (Bucephale)
    • The 14-15 Puzzle
    • Get Off the Earth vanish
    • Mel Stover's Pencil Puzzle
    • Hoop Snake
    • Back From the Klondike (number/step maze)
  • Interlude I - About Henry Dudeney
  • Mazes - The Lure of the Labyrinth
  • Houdini, the Incredible Johnny Eck, and the Shadow
  • Interlude II - About Walter B. Gibson
  • ADFGX! Get Out Your Amazing Decoder Ring
  • Hoaxes, Hokum, and Real Horrors
    • Spot the Spot
  • The Road to Riches
  • Martin Gardner - The Dean of American Puzzlers
  • More than Meets the Eye
    • Currier & Ives
    • Norman Rockwell - Saturday Evening Post - April 3, 1943 cover
    • Peter Newell's Topsy Turvys
    • Anamorphosis pictures - Erhard Schön
    • other optical illusions
  • 3-D Puzzles
    • (meaning, mechanical puzzles - he refers to Jerry Slocum)
    • matchstick, coins, peg solitaire, tower of Hanoi, sectional checkerboard, Dudeney's Broken Chessboard (shows pieces), Hathaway's New H puzzle (6-piece dissected letter H), polyominoes, mentions Hordern's collection of sliding piece puzzles, Le Moulin Rouge, Sam Loyd's Moving Day, Dudeney's Four Frogs, Dudeney's Railway Puzzle, Don Rubin (like Rush Hour), sokoban, Rubik's cube, Nichol's cube, Rubik's Magic, Optical Conclusions, Jenga, Berrocal Richelieu, Cofanetto, Stewart Coffin's Jupiter
  • Murder and Mayhem
    • David Landau - Murder to Go
    • Hoyle - Crime Buster
    • Baffle Book 1929
  • New Puzzles and Puzzlers
    • Raymond Smullyan
    • Douglas St. P. Barnard

The Greatest Puzzles Ever Solved
by Tim Dedopulos
2009 Carlton Books Ltd.
Dissections: Plane & Fancy
Greg N. Frederickson
Cambridge University Press 1997
Hinged Dissections: Swinging & Twisting
Greg N. Frederickson
Cambridge University Press 2002
Geometric Dissections
Harry Lindgren

Games, Puzzles, & Computation
Hearn, Demaine
A K Peters 2009

[ Amazon link]

  • Introduction
  • I. Games in General
    • The Constraint-Logic Formalism
    • Constraint-Logic Games
    • Zero-Player Games (Simulations)
    • One-Player Games (Puzzles)
    • Two-Player Games
    • Team Games
    • Perspectives on Part I
  • II. Games in Particular
    • One-Player Games (Puzzles)
      • TipOver
      • Hitori
      • Sliding-Block Puzzles
      • The Warehouseman's Problem
      • Sliding-Coin Puzzles
      • Plank Puzzles
      • Sokoban
      • Push-2-F
      • Rush Hour
      • Triangular Rush Hour
      • Hinged Polygon Dissections
    • Two-Player Games
      • Amazons
      • Konane
      • Cross Purposes
    • Perspectives on Part II
    • Conclusions
  • Appendices
    • A Survey of Games and Their Complexities
      • Cellular Automata
      • Games of Block Manipulation
      • Games of Tokens on Graphs
      • Peg-Jumping Games
      • Connection Games
      • Other Board Games
      • Pencil Puzzles
      • Formula Games
      • Other Games
      • Constraint Logic
      • Open Problems
    • Computational Complexity Reference
    • Deterministic Constraint Logic Activation Sequences
    • Constraint-Logic Quick Reference

Selected Papers on Fun and Games
Famous Puzzles of Great Mathematicians
Miodrag S. Petkovic
Puzzles and Programming
Fadi Jabr
The New Turing Omnibus: Sixty-Six Excursions in Computer Science
A. K. Dewdney
1993 Owl Books
ISBN-10: 0805071660

1 Algorithms
2 Finite Automata
3 Systems of Logic
4 Simulation
5 Godel's Theorem
6 Game Trees
7 The Chomsky Hierarchy
8 Random Numbers
9 Mathematical Research
10 Program Correctness
11 Search Trees
12 Error-Corecting Codes
13 Boolean Logic
14 Regular Languages
15 Time and Space Complexity
16 Genetic Algorithms
17 The Random Access Machine
18 Spline Curves
19 Computer Vision
20 Karnaugh Maps
21 The Newton-Raphson Method
22 Minimum Spanning Trees
23 Generative Grammars
24 Recursion
25 Fast Multiplication
26 Nondeterminism
27 Perceptrons
28 Encoders and Multiplexers
29 CAT Scanning
30 The Partition Problem
31 Turing Machines
32 The Fast Fourier Transform
33 Analog Computing
34 Satisfiability
35 Sequential Sorting
36 Neural Networks That Learn
37 Public Key Cryptography
38 Sequential Cirucits
39 Noncomputerable Functions
40 Heaps and Merges
41 NP-Completeness
42 Number Systems for Computing
43 Storage by Hashing
44 Cellular Automata
45 Cook's Theorem
46 Self-Replicating Computers
47 Storing Images
48 The SCRAM
49 Shannon's Theory
50 Detecting Primes
51 Universal Turing Machines
52 Text Compression
53 Disk Operating Systems
54 NP-Complete Problems
55 Iteration and Recursion
56 VLSI Computers
57 Linear Programming
58 Predicate Calculus
59 The Halting Problem
60 Computer Viruses
61 Searching Strings
62 Parallel Computing
63 The Word Problem
64 Logic Programming
65 Relational Data Bases
66 Church's Thesis

The Tinkertoy Computer
A. K. Dewdney
1993 W. H. Freeman & Co.
ISBN-10: 071672491X
The First Six Books of the Elements of Euclid
This is the Taschen edition of the 1847 Pickering coloured edition by Oliver Byrne
The Math Book
Clifford Pickover
2009 Sterling
528 pp.

250 milestones in mathematics, each with a one-page writeup and one-page illustration.

Journey Through Genius - The Great Theorems of Mathematics
William Dunham
1990 John Wiley & Sons - Penguin Books
  1. Hippocrates' Quadrature of the Lune (ca. 440 B.C.)
  2. Euclid's Proof of the Pythagorean Theorem (ca. 300 B.C.)
  3. Euclid and the Infinitude of Primes (ca. 300 B.C.)
  4. Archimedes' Determination of Circular Area (ca. 225 B.C.)
  5. Heron's Formula for Triangular Area (ca. A.D. 75)
  6. Cardano and the Solution of the Cubic (1545)
  7. A Gem from Isaac Newton (Late 1660s)
  8. The Bernoullis and the Harmonic Series (1689)
  9. The Extraordinary Sums of Leonhard Euler (1734)
  10. A Sampler of Euler's Number Theory (1736)
  11. The Non-Denumerability of the Continuum (1874)
  12. Cantor and the Transfinite Realm (1891)
The Mathematical Universe - An Alphabetical Journey Through the Great Proofs, Problems, and Personalities
William Dunham
1994 John Wiley & Sons
Mathematics From the Birth of Numbers
Jan Gullberg
The Curse of the Voynich
Nick Pelling
This is a probing look into the history of the enigmatic Voynich Manuscript. Dated to the 1400s, the manuscript was discovered in 1912 by the antiquarian book dealer Wilfrid Voynich in an old trunk in a villa near Rome. Once thought to have been created by Roger Bacon, it has resisted all attempts at decipherment, and its true provenance remains shrouded in mystery. Its baffling text and strange illustrations continue to fascinate researchers. You can find purchase info about Pelling's exposé at Compelling Press. Check out Nick's website, Cipher Mysteries, for discussion about other uncracked historical ciphers.
Codebreaker - The History of Secret Communication
Stephen Pincock
3 books by Dr. Richard Hess -
Number-Crunching Math Puzzles - Puzzle Wright Press 2009,
Mental Gymnastics - Dover 2011,
and Golf on the Moon - Dover 2014.
The Gathering For Gardner Books

A series of books of articles by Gathering For Gardner (G4G) participants has been published by A.K. Peters. As of this writing, six books have been issued:

The Mathemagician and Pied Puzzler 1999
Puzzlers' Tribute - A Feast for the Mind 2002
Tribute to a Mathemagician 2005
A Lifetime of Puzzles - Honoring Martin Gardner 2008
Homage to a Pied Puzzler Feb. 2009
Mathematical Wizardry for a Gardner Apr. 2009

I own those shown below.

The Mathemagician and Pied Puzzler
Ed. by Berlekamp and Rogers
A. K. Peters 1999

I have this as an e-book. You can get it free from the G4G4 site.

The contents are now available on the G4G Wiki site as individual PDF files.

A subset of the contents...

  • A Maze With Rules - Robert Abbott - Visit Abbott's website.
  • O'Beirne's Hexiamond - Richard K. Guy - describes a solution classification method (e.g. Tenyo #6)
  • The Japanese Tangram: The Sei Shonagon Pieces - Shigeo Takagi
  • Polly's Flagstones - Stewart Coffin
  • Those Peripatetic Pentominoes - Kate Jones
  • Self-Designing Tetraflexagons - Robert E. Neale
  • The Odyssey of the Figure Eight Puzzle - Stewart Coffin (aka Possibly Impossible)
  • Metagrobolizers of Wire - Rick Irby
  • Beautiful But Wrong: The Floating Hourglass Puzzle - Scot Morris
  • Cube Puzzles - Jeremiah Farrell
  • The Nine Color Puzzle - Sivy Fahri (see Kolor Kraze)
  • Twice: A Sliding Block Puzzle - Edward Hordern (invented by Dario Uri)
  • Planar Burrs - M. Oskar van Deventer (Nine and One-Half Moves - see Buffalo Nickel)
  • Block-Packing Jambalaya - Bill Cutler (also on Cutler's website)
  • Classification of Mechanical Puzzles and Physical Objects Related to Puzzles - James Dalgety and Edward Hordern
  • Hollow Mazes - M. Oskar van Deventer (Wedge of Wallis, see Oskar's Cube in the Route-Finding section)
Puzzlers' Tribute - A Feast for the Mind
David Wolfe, Tom Rodgers Eds.
A. K. Peters Ltd. 2002

A subset of the contents...

  • The Eng Coin Vise - Gary Foshee
  • David Klarner's Pentacube Towers - C. J. Bouwkamp
  • A Scrub Tile Puzzle - Tom Rodgers (Petersen graphs)
  • "Impossible Foldings" - Luc De Smet
  • Diabolical Puzzles from Japan - Nob Yoshigahara, Mineyuki Uyematsu, Minoru Abe (incl. Minoru's sliding block puzzles)
  • How to Outwit the Parity - Serhiy Grabarchuk
  • Inflated Pentominoes - Rudolfo Kurchan
  • Classic Six-Piece Burr Puzzle - Robert J. Lang (origami version of diagonal star)
  • A Classification of Burrs - Bill Cutler
  • Early Japanese Export Puzzles: 1860s to 1960s - Jerry Slocum and Rik van Grol
  • The Partridge Puzzles - Robert Wainwright (see an example in my Packing section)
  • The Sol LeWitt Puzzle: A Problem in 16 Squares - Barry Cipra
  • Shadows and Plugs - Gwen Roberts
  • Y2K Problem of Dominoes and Tatami Carpeting - Yoshiyuki Kotani
Tribute to a Mathemagician
Edited by Barry Cipra, Erik D. Demaine, Martin L. Demaine, and Tom Rodgers
A. K. Peters Ltd. 2005

A subset of the contents...

  • Nob Yoshigahara - Jerry Slocum (In Memoriam)
  • Chinese Ceramic Puzzle Vessels - Norman L. Sandfield
  • Mongolian Interlocking Puzzles - Jerry Slocum and Frans de Vreugd (see the Sphinx/Turtle puzzle in the Interlocking section)
  • Fold-and-Cut Magic - Erik D. Demaine and Martin L. Demaine
  • The Three-Legged Hourglass - M. Oskar van Deventer
  • Sliding-Coin Puzzles - Erik D. Demaine and Martin L. Demaine
  • A History of the Ten-Square - A. Ross Eckler (word squares - see the journal Word Ways)
  • Polyform Patterns - Ed Pegg, Jr.
  • Another Pentomino Problem - Solomon W. Golomb
  • Polyomino Number Theory (III) - Uldis Barbans, Andris Cibulis, Gilbert Lee, Andy Liu, Robert Wainwright
  • The Panex Puzzle - Mark Manasse, Danny Sleator, Victor K. Wei, Nick Baxter
  • The Complexity of Sliding-Block Puzzles and Plank Puzzles - Robert A. Hearn (PSPACE-completeness, sliding-block logic gates)
    also see another paper, by Hearn and Demaine (PDF)
    also see U.S. patent 3216558 - Marsh 1965, and Kagen Schaefer's Block Box
    also see ref. "Sliding Block Puzzles" in the Sixth Book of Mathematical Games from Scientific American by Martin Gardner
    also see this FAQ on the NP-completeness of Minesweeper
    also see David Eppstein's page on the Computational Complexity of Games and Puzzles
    also see the Wikipedia entry on Complexity Class
  • Hinged Dissections: Swingers, Twisters, Flappers - Greg N. Frederickson
  • Rolling Block Mazes - M. Oskar van Deventer
A Lifetime of Puzzles Honoring Martin Gardner
A K Peters 2008

  • I. Cast A Spell
    • Martin Gardner and His Influence on Magic
    • Martin Gardner - Encore!
    • Low-Down Triple Dealing
    • Products of Universal Cycles
  • II. In Hindsight
    • Tangram: The World's First Puzzle Craze
    • De Viribus Quantitatis by Luca Pacioli: The First Recreational Mathematics Book
    • Magic and Card Tricks in Luca Pacioli's De Viribus Quantitatis
  • III. Move It
    • Railway Mazes
    • Mechanical Mazes
    • Insanity Puzzles: Instant and On-the-Spot
    • The Adventures of Ant Alice
  • IV. Fitting In
    • Simplicity
    • Extreme Puzzles
    • Satterfield's Tomb
    • Computer-Assisted Seashell Mosaics
  • V. Speak To Me
    • Memories and Inconsistencies
    • A Bouquet for Gardner
    • NetWords: A Fascinating New Pencil-Paper Game
    • The Wizard is Always In
  • VI. Making Arrangements
    • Symmetric Graphs in Mathematical Puzzles
    • Martin Gardenr and Ticktacktoe
    • Scheduling Tennis Doubles Competitions
    • When Multiplication Mixes Up Digits
    • Magic, Antimagic, and Talisman Squares
    • Rectangle Arithmetic: Another Slant on Fractions

Shop Class

This section contains books that are intended to help you build puzzles from various materials.

A Compendium of Cube-Assembly Puzzles using Polycube Shapes
Kevin Holmes, Rik van Grol

This great little book catalogues the designs of various puzzle cubes assembled from polycube pieces. With a set of LiveCube and this book, one can have fun for months!

There are 40 3^3, 81 4^3, 16 5^3, and 20 6^3 puzzles described.

You can find this book and others at Frank Potts' site Potty Puzzles.

Selected contents below...

  • The Diabolical Cube
  • The Nine Tricubes (9 non-convex tricubes)
  • Conway's Cube - 6x 1x2x2 + 3x 1x1x1
  • Mikusinski's Cube (aka the Steinhaus Cube)
  • Nob's Cube
  • Stewart Coffin's Half Hour Cube
  • Coffin's Quartet
  • Piet Hein's The Soma Cube
  • The Impuzzables
  • Cotway's Cube - 6x N-tetracube + 3x 1x1x1
  • Adrian Fisher's The Minotaur Cube
  • Coffin's Quintet
  • Kolor Kraze
  • Twice Dice
  • The Spots Cube
  • 4^3

  • Trevor Wood's Holey Squares Cube
  • Stewart Coffin's Convolution
  • The Bedlam Cube
  • Mayer's Cube No. 1 (model 9B)
  • Mayer's Cube No. 2 (model 7B)
  • Mayer's Cube No. 3 (model 10C)
  • King's Court
  • Two sets of the eight tetracubes
  • Martin Watson's The Dutch Cubist
  • Abraxis
  • The Tetrepeat Cube - Holmes
  • The Eclecticube - Holmes

  • Conway's 17-piece packing cube
  • Conway's Blocks in a Box
  • 25 Y pentacubes
  • 25 N pentacubes
  • Stewart Coffin's Wookey Hole
  • Pfaffinger No. 208
  • Pfaffinger No. 646
  • Watson's Wormhole
  • 6^3

  • Bill Cutler's Splitting Headache
  • Cubic Equation No. 1 - (similar to Pentangle's 3456 Pythagoras Revisited)
  • 54 N-tetracubes
  • 54 T-tetracubes
  • The full set of 35 planar hexacubes plus one additional planar hexacube assmble to a 6^3. Not every planar hexacube can serve as the extra.

Crafting Wood Logic Puzzles
Self & Lensch
Wooden Puzzles - Menold Wooden Puzzles: 20 Handmade Puzzles and Brain Teasers
Brian Menold
176 pp.
Nov. 2016 Taunton Press ISBN 1631863606
New Wood Puzzle Designs
James W. Follette

Here is a link to an article on Follette at woodcentral.com, with some nice photos.

Making Working Wooden Locks
Tim Detwieler

All Screwed Up
John Berkeley
Rose and Twinkleberry's Guide to Building Your Own Puzzles Using Lego Building Blocks
Doug Walker
  • Put-Together - Polyominoes, Checkerboard, ...
  • Sequential Movement - Sliding Block, Peg Solitaire, ...
The Puzzle Action Pack
3D Puzzles - 10 Classic-Style Sculptural Puzzles to Cut and Construct & Solve
Alan Robbins
Paper Capers
Jack Botermans
1986 Henry Holt
ISBN-10: 0805001395

See some folded cards here.

Fast & Funny Paper Toys You Can Make
E. Richard Churchill
M.C. Escher Kaleidocycles
Doris Schattschneider and Wallace Walker

I actually have a folio which includes the 1977 edition and the cardboard sheets.

Here is a link to a nice website about Kaleidocycles.

Magic Arrow Tile Puzzles
Ivan Moscovich
Puzzling Reflections
Ivan Moscovich
1990 Tarquin Publications
The Mirror Puzzle Book
Marion Walter
Tarquin 1986
ISBN 0906212391

Puzzle Craft - Plans for Making and Solving 40 Puzzles
Ed. by Lynn Rohrbough
Cooperative Recreation Service Delaware Ohio, 1930, 1932

    Wire Puzzles
  • A Clever One (double trapeze)
  • Double Stirrup (double trapeze)
  • Open Heart (heart on single trapeze)
  • Spiral Square
  • String Puzzles

  • Buttonholer
  • Heart Puzzle
  • Scissors
  • Strips
  • Yoke Puzzle
  • Piece Puzzles

  • Greek Cross
  • Checker Board (14 pc dissection)
  • Dice Puzzle
  • Five Piece Cross (3 z's & 2 L's)
  • H Puzzle
  • Letter E
  • Square T
  • Tangram
  • Shifting Puzzles

  • French Solitaire
  • Jump Two
  • Migration (Fore & Aft peg solitaire)
  • Nine Block (sliding piece)
  • Pyramid (Towers of Hanoi)
  • Reversible Frogs
  • Shuttle Puzzle (mountain goats)
    Puzzles of Computation
  • Wolf & Goat
  • Ba Gwa
  • Count Four
  • Mathematical Squares
  • Star Puzzle
  • Manipulation Puzzles

  • The Bamboo Puzzle
  • Devil's Needle (Patience)
  • Indian Windmill (propeller rotates when rubbing notched stick)
  • Triangle (peg solitaire, side-5)
  • Attention Puzzles

  • Circling Dots (for triangle of dots, draw a circle around every dot without lifting pen)
  • Japanese Corn Game (Nim)
  • Color Squares
  • Eight Checkers
  • Houdini Puzzle (6 queens)
  • Six Nails

Psych. 101

This section contains books about optical illusions, magic, and psychology.

The Paradoxicon
Nicholas Falletta
The Paradox Box
Patrick Hughes
ISBN: 1870003616 (Redstone)
ISBN-10: 0877739412 (Shambala 1993)
ISBN-10: 1570625123 (Shambala 1999)

Redstone Press (Julian Rothenstein), with Shambala Publications

I have the box with cards.

Can You Believe Your Eyes
J. Richard Block and Harold Yuker
Great Book of Optical Illusions
More Optical Illusions
Masters of Deception
Ambiguous Optical Illusions
Al Seckel

Visit Al Seckel's home page.

It's not Seckel's site, but you have to check out the "Rotating Snakes" illusion on Akiyoshi Kitaoka's page. It is by far the best rotational movement illusion I have seen!

Visual Illusions
James Kingston
2009 TAJ Books International LLC
The Magic Show
Mark Setteducati, Anne Benkovitz
Workman Publishing N.Y.

Check out Mark's site.

Optical Trix 'n' Kicks
Red Bird Publishing Ltd.

A large folio containing several optical illusions and curiosities.

  • instruction booklet
  • 2 pairs of red/green 3-d glasses
  • a poster with 3-d image of midtown Manhattan, and a dinsoaur
  • 8 two-sided cards of invertible heads
  • a flip-book
  • 4 cards to make pencil-tops
  • 21 optical illusion cards
  • a pair of the classic "which is bigger" arcs
  • a pair of finger-tip balancing butterflies
  • seat-the-riders
  • a 3-piece vanish puzzle
  • a 16-card never-ending mural
  • a booklet of hand-shadow puppets
  • 4 large mazes
  • 9 3-d mazes, including a jigsaw
Five Star Mind
Tom Wujec

This section contains books about Rubik's Cube and Friends, including solution guides.

The Simple Solutions to Cubic Puzzles
James G. Nourse
  • Pyraminx
  • Missing Link
  • Barrel
  • Rubik's Magic Snake
  • Picture Cube
  • Octagon
  • Ranking the Puzzles
  • Other Puzzles (e.g. Whip-It, Varikon)
Puzzle It Out
The Simple Solution to Rubik's Cube
James G. Nourse
The Winning Solution
Minh Thai
How To Solve Rubik's Revenge
Jeffrey Adams
The Official Solution to Alexander's Star
Adam Alexander
Unscrambling The Cube
M. Razid Black and Herbert Taylor
Inside Rubik's Cube and Beyond
Christoph Bandelow
  • Other Magic Polyhedrons
  • Meffert's Pyraminx
Notes on Rubik's Magic Cube
David Singmaster
Adventures in Group Theory
David Joyner
Rubik's Puzzles
Albie Fiore
The Cube
Black Dog & Leventhal 2009
Jerry Slocum, et. al.
Metamagical Themas
Basic Books 1985
Douglas Hofstadter

A collection of 33 chapters or essays, including 26 of Hofstadter's "Metamagical Themas" columns from Scientific American during January 1981 to July 1983. Hofstadter succeeded Martin Gardner and Martin's "Mathematical Games" column.

Section IV: Structure and Strangeness contains two chapters of interest to Cubers, written during the heyday of the Rubik's Cube craze and discussing analysis and solution techniques, Uwe Meffert's Pyraminx and plans to issue many varied twisty puzzles, and the Skewb. Also commentary on the Rubik's Cube bust that followed.

  • Chapter 14: Magic Cubology (appeared in SA Mar. 1981) [Google Books]
  • Chapter 15: On Crossing the Rubicon (appeared in the July 1982 issue as "Beyond Rubik's Cube")

A table of contents can be found at cut-the-knot.org.

Cube Index: A Visual Guide to Mechanical Puzzles
Limited Edition #17/1000
2018 Brian Kaplan
Cube Index Kickstarter Campaign was funded in May 2017
Additional Reading

Other books that might be of interest to the mechanical puzzler, including collections of graphical, logic, and word puzzles, as well as some games.

Professor Stewart's Cabinet of Mathematical Curiosities
Ian Stewart
Professor Stewart's Hoard of Mathematical Puzzles
Ian Stewart
The Curious Book of Mind-Boggling Teasers, Tricks, Puzzles & Games
Charles Barry Townsend
The World's Biggest Puzzle Book
Charles Barry Townsend
The Tokyo Puzzles
Kobon Fujimura - Ed. by Martin Gardner
The Moscow Puzzles
Boris A. Kordemsky - ed. by Martin Gardner
1972 Charles Scribner's Sons
Riddles in Mathematics
Eugene P. Northrop
1945 - The English Universities Press Ltd. London
Dictionary of Mathematical Games, Puzzles, and Amusements
Harry Edwin Eiss
Copyright 1988 Greenwood Press
The Puzzle Instinct
Marcel Danesi
Copyright 2002 Indiana University Press
The Puzzle Universe
by Ivan Moscovich

1000 Play Thinks
Ivan Moscovich
2001 Workman Publishing Co. Inc. NY
large format, spiral bound, 420 pp.

Nick Baxter proofread the book and has an errata sheet online.

The book contains 1000 puzzles (surprised?) - I will mention some below as I run across those that I believe may be of particular interest to mechanical puzzlers...

  • #8 - Consecutive Rectangle Squares
  • #12 - Arrow Number Boxes; see #416 for the inversion of this
  • #52 - Colored Dodecagons (edgematching)
  • #55 - Convex Tangrams
  • #56 - Domino Patterns
  • #61 - Fault-Free Square
  • #205,206 - The Tree Game
  • #219 - Serpent
  • #227 - (= Mattel Profound Round)
  • #231 - Crescents of Hippocrates - This brings to mind a potential dissection puzzle - can the two crescents be dissected into pieces that can be re-assembled into the triangle? According to Greg Frederickson, it's not possible because of the curves.
  • #283 - Packing Box
  • #348 - Fitting Shapes
  • #386 - Mathemagic - In the section that covers magic, Latin, and Greco-Latin squares. I've seen this as a physical puzzle - I don't have it but it's easy to try on paper. Arrange the eight numbered blocks in the tray so that no consecutive numbers adjoin each other orthogonally or diagonally. The picture does not show a solution.

  • #389 - Strip Tease - equal to More Madness and Bird's Puzzle
  • #397 - Magic Triangle I
  • #400 - Magic Color Shapes - a special problem using Bali Buttons
  • p.155 - Order-10 Greco-Latin Square
  • #414 - Octopuzzle 2 - like Mattel Block Shock
  • #417 - Cubes in Perspective 2 - a 25-tile edgematching
  • #425 - Color Triangles 1 - MacMahon
  • #432 - Hexagons 1 - edgematch like Adams
  • #435 - Abdul Wefa's 9-piece three squares to one dissection
  • #437 - Square Dissected 20 - Mystic Wedge
  • #439 - 6-piece three squares to one
  • #470 - Perigal's Puzzle - prove the Pythagorean Theorem
  • #470 - Pythagorino
  • #477 - Rectangling Circle - sand-dollar to rectangle
  • p.182 - Packing Unit Squares
The Think Tank
Ivan Moscovich

Ivan Moscovich
Knotty Number Problems
Ivan Moscovich
The New Puzzle Classics
Serhiy Grabarchuk
Sterling 2005
ISBN 1402717420
The Big, Big, Big Book of Brainteasers
by the Grabarchuk family
More PuzzleGrams
Lab Mice Puzzles Volumes 1 & 2
Tom Cutrofello

Check out Tom Cutrofello's new website, Gotta Solve It, home of Lab Mice puzzles. (Try some samples.) Tom organizes the annual New York Puzzle Party.

Martin Watson made me aware of this online puzzle called 3D Logic which I think is a kind of 3D version of the Lab Mice idea.

Amazing Backseat Book-a-ma-thing
Klutz Staff
Scholastic U.S. 1998
Collector's Digest Dexterity Games 1995
L-W Book Sales 1995
Merlin's Puzzle Pastimes
Charles Barry Townsend
After Dinner Tricks and Puzzles
Toys and Games From Times Past... and Still Enjoyed Today
George Rice

Historical Folk Toys 2004

I bought this as a souvenir from our visit to Old Newgate Prison and Copper Mine.

New Media Puzzle Workout
Scott Kim
More Puzzles, Paradoxes, and Brain Teasers
Stan Gibilisco
Even More Puzzicles
Alan Robbins
The Ultimate Book of Puzzles, Mathematical Diversions, and Brainteasers
Erwin Brecher
Second Miscellany of Puzzles Mathematical and Otherwise
Stephen Barr
The Macmillan Company 1969 First Printing
Puzzles, Perplexities & Obfuscations
George Hardy
Dr. Broth and Ollie's Brain-Boggling Search for the Lost Luggage
Michael Abrams, Jeffrey Winters
The Lady or the Tiger?
Raymond Smullyan
Kit Williams

There have been several "books as puzzles" - this and the following three are some of the better-known (surely not the only?) ones.

Here is a link to a page-by-page solution.

The Eleventh Hour
Graeme Base

Wikipedia entry

Clues here

The Egyptian Jukebox
Nick Bantock
Maze - Solve the World's Most Challenging Puzzle
Christopher Manson

Play the Maze book on-line.

Another on-line version, with better illustrations.

And here is another (but with the small pix).

The solution is given on Wikipedia.

Here is a review with which I agree, citing the overly inscrutable riddles.

The Rails I Tote
Christopher Manson

Decipher a series of 45 illustrated spoonerisms. E.g. "keys and parrots" -> peas and carrots, "better Nate than lever" -> better late than never.

Graeme Base

A lavishly illustrated abecediary. The pictures took 3 years to complete. Each contains numerous, and often hard-to-spot, items whose names begin with the letter in question. An "I-Spy" type puzzle for each letter, but with no list of items - you'll be discovering new ones with each re-reading - either with your kids or on your own. In addition, a boy hides in each picture - pre-dating the less-artistic "Where's Waldo."

MENSA Logic Puzzles
John Langdon
Hobby Games - The 100 Best
Edited by James Lowder

See info at the publisher's site, greenronin.com.
See a "companion guide" by Matt Tarbit.
Also read some interesting factoids compiled by Alan De Smet.

Family Games - The 100 Best
Edited by James Lowder

See info at the publisher's site, greenronin.com.

Dice Games Properly Explained
Reiner Knizia

Gorey Games
Larry Evans 1979

Puzzle Patterns written and illustrated by Larry Kettelkamp.
William Morrow & Company 1963
A compendium of various brainteasers, aimed at grade-school kids.
New Book of 200 Puzzles No. 1
Wehman Bros.
Word Winks 2004 Mindware - illus. by Tess Zimmer
The Boardgame Book
R. C. Bell
Copyright 1979 by Marshall Cavendish Ltd.
Published in the USA in 1979 by The Knapp Press ISBN 0895350076
I have the version in the slipcase.

Bell discusses over 70 games, including Fox and Geese, and the two puzzles Pentalpha and [Peg] Solitaire

The Story of Keys and Locks
by John Stephen, illus. by Terry Maloney
Copyright 1962, Sterling Publishing Co. Inc. NY, Hdcvr, 48pp.

Written for children but an informative little book - I learned about ancient Egyptian wooden locks (see a good illustration of one here), the Royal Travelling Lock, Record-Keeping Locks, Jeremiah Chubb's Detector Lock (never picked!), and anti-blowtorch safes.

Path Puzzles by Rod Kimball
Given a grid of cells with various
interconnections at the NSEW sides,
and numbers indicating the cells used
in the corresponding row and column,
find a path from entrance to exit
that satisfies the numeric constraints.
Solvable using deduction.
Meanwhile - Shiga Meanwhile by Jason Shiga.
Harry N. Abrams 2010
A form of "choose your own adventure" book, but with a complex design and interesting mechanical implementation using tabbed pages.
Journal 29 Journal 29 - an intriguing puzzle book
Solve various puzzles and submit answers online
to get keys in order to further progress.
Buried Blueprints - Lorenz & Schleh Buried Blueprints: Maps and Sketches of Lost Worlds and Mysterious Places by Albert Lorenz and Joy Schleh
Harry N. Abrams 1999
14 detailed fold-out illustrations
Dubious Documents - Nick Bantock - Chronicle Books 2018
ISBN-10: 9781452166032
The Librarian's Almanaq - Roy Leban - Almanaq 2015
ISBN-10: 0996256806
The Art of Point+Click Adventure Games - from Bitmap Books
For fellow adventure game lovers.
  Puzzle Galleries and Puzzle Fields - by Serhiy Grabarchuk
Serhiy kindly sent me copies - Thanks, Serhiy!
Souvenir Books, Exhibitions, Catalogues, & Compendiums
Souvenir Books from the International Puzzle Party (IPP)
(Those I have attended.)

IPP26 Boston, IPP28 Prague, IPP29 San Francisco, IPP31 Berlin, IPP32 Washington D.C., IPP35 Ottawa, IPP37 Paris

ARMJ English Newsletter July 2017 ARMJ English Newsletter July 2017 -
issued by the Academy of Recreational Mathematics, Japan
The Art of the Puzzle
A catalogue from a past exhibition at the Katonah Museum of Art
Chinese Puzzles: Games for the Hands and Mind
On Saturday Feb. 12, 2011, I attended the 2011 New York Puzzle Party hosted by Tom Cutrofello, in Manhattan at the Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA). MOCA was housing the exhibition "Chinese Puzzles: Games for the Hands and Mind" curated by Wei Zhang and Peter Rasmussen. This is the exhibition catalogue.
Jerry Slocum's Directory of Puzzle Collectors & Puzzle Sellers
5th Ed. June 2003
Jerry Slocum
Puzzletts Saga 1
Puzzletts (Mike Green)
Puzzles from Catel's Cabinet and Bestelmeier's Magazine 1785 to 1823
Jerry Slocum and Dieter Gebhardt
Compendium of Mechanical Puzzles from Catalogs 1785 to 1946
Jerry Slocum
First Ed. Sept. 1977, Corrected and Revised 2006
46 pp.
  • Put-Together
    • Cross, Mysterious Cross, Five Block, Zany, FourAce, Katzenjammer, Allies Flag, Combination Lock, Diabolical Dice, Eclipse, Puzzle Ring
  • Take-Apart
    • various Hoffmann, Indian Ball, Imp Bottle, Dice Barrel, Takitapart, Hello, White City Pail
  • Interlocking
  • Disentanglement
    • Cast: Star and Garter, Lucky Star, Tango, Snake and Scissors, Salmon and Grid, Three Snakes, Ring and Plate, Keys, Loop the Loop, Faith/Hope/Charity, Elk, Hearts, Three Nags, Aeroplane, ABC, Fire Irons, Anchor, Sandow
    • Wire: Stars and Crescent, Bootlegger, Triangle (F029), Button Hook (F024), Claws, C and U, Three Witches, Doggie, Heart and String, Teddy Bear, Chinese Ladder, Jolly Ni**er
  • Sequential Movement
    • Peg Solitaire, 15, Humdinger, Bramah, Automobile, Perplexity, Bootlegger and His Flask, Boo Bogey Mans
  • Dexterity
    • Journet, Trench Football, Query, Mountain Climber, Bughouse, Ring Pin, Quintuplets
  • Miscellaneous
  • Boxes of Assorted Puzzles
  • Catalog References

1929 Johnson Smith & Co. Catalogue
Reproduction hardcover in slipcase, by Chelsea House Publishers 1970

The catalogue contains a zillion different novelty items and provides an interesting perspective on life during the early part of the 20th century. There are many puzzles offered for sale (163 by my count)...

  • p.25 No. 3096 The Tennis Racquet Puzzle - 15 cents (DEX - pick it out)
  • p.170 No. 2578 White City Puzzle Time Lock Safe #326 - $1 (OPN)
  • p.170 No. 2579 White City Puzzle Safe #10 - $1.25 (OPN)
  • p.170 No. 2580 Puzzle Pail Bank - 75 cents (OPN)
  • p.171 No. 2577 New Puzzle Basket Bank - $1.50 (OPN)
  • P.171 No. 2586 Automatic Dime Bank - 15 cents (OPN)
  • p.174 No. 3055 Lovers Link - 10 cents (OPN - eq. to Chinese Finger Trap)
  • p.188 No. 3667 The Three Nags Puzzle - 15 cents (TNG)
  • p.191 No. 3631 The Arcade Keyless Lock - 50 cents (OPN)
  • p.191 No. 3632 The Clinch Keyless Lock - 25 cents (OPN)
  • p.199 No. 3035 The Mysterious Cross - 15 cents (ASM - 5 pieces)
  • p.221 No. 3027 The Bootlegger Hand Puzzle - 15 cents (TNG)
  • p.221 No. 3053 Combination Lock Puzzle - 15 cents (PAT - 4 dials, align to total 40 in all 16 columns)
  • p.222 No. 3662 Heart and String Puzzle - 10 cents (TNG)
  • p.226 No. 3060 The Great Nail Puzzle - 12 cents (TNG)
  • p.228 No. 3099 Puzzle Picture Mirror - 10 cents (DEX - balls into holes)
  • p.233 No. 3097 Nut and Bolt Puzzle - 35 cents (OPN)
  • p.236 No. 3033 Checker Puzzle - 25 cents (ASM - aka Bug House)
  • p.237 No. 3041 The Enchanted Bottle - 10 cents (Imp Bottle trick - will not lie down)
  • p.238 No. 3341 Gravity Ball - 15 cents (DEX - blow into tube)
  • p.241 No. 3051 Jockey Key Puzzle - 50 cents (OPN - get ring off key)
  • p.241 No. 3044 Gordian Knots - 25 cents (INT - a multi-piece burr)
  • p.244 No. 3073 Spider's Web Puzzle - 12 cents (TNG - ring in plate step maze)
  • p.247 No. 3675 Pyramids Puzzle - 65 cents (SEQ - Gray Code - Towers of Hanoi)
  • p.247 No. 3679 The Spoophem Puzzle - 10 cents (DEX)
  • p.247 No. 3676 Faith, Hope, & Charity Puzzle - 15 cents(TNG)
  • p.247 No. 3677 Spider & Flies Puzzle - 65 cents (DEX)
  • p.247 No. 3678 See-Saw Puzzle - 65 cents
  • p.248 No. 3688 Goofy Bugs - 35 cents (DEX)
  • p.248 No. 3689 Goofy Hill - 35 cents (DEX)
  • p.248 No. 3690 Goofy Cats - 35 cents (DEX)
  • p.248 No. 3691 Goofy Spider - 35 cents (DEX)
  • p.248 No. 3692 Goofy Golf - 35 cents (DEX)
  • p.248 No. 3693 Goofy Luke - 35 cents (DEX)
  • p.248 No. 3695 Zulu Chief Puzzle - 15 cents (DEX)
  • p.249 No. 3670 The Clock Puzzle - 15 cents (DEX - 70-74 under celluloid dome)
  • p.249 No. 3671 The Whirl Dice - 15 cents (DEX)
  • p.249 No. 3672 Pigs in Clover - 15 cents (DEX)
  • p.249 No. 3673 The Spiral - 15 cents (DEX)
  • p.249 No. 3674 The Ring Pin - 15 cents (DEX)
  • p.249 No. 3003 The Four Ball Puzzle - 20 cents (DEX - get a ball in each corner)
  • p.250 No. 3650 Star and Garter - 15 cents (TNG)
  • p.250 No. 3651 The Snake Puzzle - 15 cents (TNG - cast 3 snakes)
  • p.250 No. 3652 The Anchor Puzzle - 15 cents (TNG - cast anchors)
  • p.250 No. 3653 Lucky Star - 15 cents (TNG - cast horseshoes w/ star)
  • p.250 No. 3654 Fire Irons - 15 cents (TNG)
  • (No. 3655 The Hearts Puzzle (cast hearts) appears on p.442)
  • p.250 No. 3656 Salmon and Grid - 15 cents (TNG)
  • p.250 No. 3657 Snake and Scissors - 15 cents (TNG)
  • p.250 No. 3658 Sandow - 15 cents (TNG)
  • p.250 No. 3659 Tango - 15 cents (TNG)
  • p.251 No. 3023 Cabinet of 8 Puzzles - 65 cents (TNG - compendium)
  • p.251 No. 3024 Cabinet of 15 Puzzles - $1 (TNG - compendium)
  • p.251 No. 3168 Puzzle Barrel of Dice - 50 cents (OPN)
  • p.252 Nos. 1-22 Collection of Wire Puzzles No. 1 - 12 cents each or all 22 for $2.50 (TNG)
    • No. 1 Plate metal Horseshoes w/ 3rd shoe
    • No. 2 Devil's Keys
    • No. 3 Stars and Crescent
    • No. 4 wire horseshoes - lightbulb loops
    • No. 5 scissors (wire monkey)
    • No. 6 (Le Bon Geolier design)
    • No. 7 (TJ Conestoga Playmate design)
    • No. 8 (The Lance design)
    • No. 9 wire horseshoes - large loops
    • No. 10 heart on trapeze
    • No. 11 F017 G's
    • No. 12 D023 Fooler design
    • No. 13 3 witches (?)
    • No. 14 F079 Over the Top
    • No. 15 linked hearts
    • No. 16 ring and 2 clips
    • No. 17
    • No. 18
    • No. 19
    • No. 20 Elks
    • No. 21 Devil's Claws
    • No. 22 F069 double rings with straight handles

  • p.253 Collection of Wire Puzzles No. 2 - 12 cents each or all 22 for $2.50 (TNG)
    • No. 3005 wire monkey
    • No. 3010 heart on trapeze
    • No. 3011 2 G's
    • No. 3012 Le Bon Geolier design
    • No. 3014 Over the Top
    • No. 3021 Devil's Claws
    • No. 3022 F002 Pig Tail
    • No. 3037 La Croix du Sud design
    • No. 3038 horseshoes var.
    • No. 3039
    • No. 3046
    • No. 3047 Stilts
    • No. 3048
    • No. 3049 jacob's ladder chain (?)
    • No. 3050 Porte Veine
    • No. 3062 double trapeze
    • No. 3065 ring on spring
    • No. 3067
    • No. 3068 Bicycle
    • No. 3069 ring and fetters
    • No. 3070 C and U
    • No. 3074 wire 3 snakes

  • p.254 No. 3075 (6 piece burr) - 15 cents (INT)
  • p.254 No. 3076 burr - 35 cents (INT)
  • p.254 No. 3077 burr bank - 35 cents (INT)
  • p.254 No. 3078 burr - 50 cents (INT)
  • p.254 No. 3079 burr - 75 cents (INT)
  • p.254 No. 3080 burr - 75 cents (INT)
  • p.254 No. 3081 kumiki cube - $1 (INT - Kumiki)
  • p.254 No. 3082 kumiki sphere - $1 (INT - Kumiki)
  • p.254 No. 3083 kumiki egg - $1 (INT - Kumiki)
  • p.254 No. 3084 kumiki apple - $1.50 (INT - Kumiki)
  • p.254 No. 3085 double burr - 35 cents (INT)
  • p.254 No. 3086 burr table - $1.50 (INT)
  • p.254 No. 3087 burr - $1 (INT)
  • p.254 No. 3088 burr - $1 (INT)
  • p.254 No. 3089 burr (like Fancy Square design) - $1 (INT)
  • p.254 No. 3090 kumiki coffee pot - (INT - Kumiki)
  • p.254 No. 3091 burr - 75 cents (INT)
  • p.254 No. 3092 burr - 75 cents (INT)
  • p.254 No. 3093 kumiki pear - $1.50 (INT - Kumiki)
  • p.254 No. 3094 kumiki barrel - $1.50 (INT - Kumiki)
  • p.254 No. 3095 burr - 75 cents (INT)
  • p.256 No. 3061 Max and Fritz (linked keys) - 10 cents (TNG)
  • p.256 No. 3043 Lucky Horseshoe - 10 cents (TNG)
  • p.256 No. 3071 Stars and Crescent - 10 cents (TNG)
  • p.256 No. 3032 Centrifugal Puzzle - 10 cents (DEX)
  • p.256 No. 3664 cast ABC - 15 cents (TNG)
  • p.256 No. 3668 The Twin Links (ring and 2 clips) - 10 cents (TNG)
  • p.256 No. 3666 Aeroplane Puzzle - 15 cents (TNG)
  • p.257 No. 3681 Shamrock Puzzle (3 wire snakes) - 10 cents (TNG)
  • p.257 No. 3683 Button Hook Puzzle (F024) - 10 cents (TNG)
  • p.257 No. 3684 The Chain Puzzle (chain on spiral) - 10 cents (TNG)
  • p.257 No. 3682 Devil's Keys (F026 Offset Keys) - 10 cents (TNG)
  • p.257 No. 3020 Elk Horn Puzzle - 12 cents (TNG)
  • p.257 No. 3687 The Chilian Puzzle - 15 cents (TNG)
  • p.257 No. 3685 The Three Witches - 10 cents (TNG)
  • p.257 No. 3662 Heart and String - 10 cents (TNG)
  • p.257 No. 3686 The Triangle Puzzle (F029 Triangle and key) - 10 cents (TNG)
  • p.258 No. 2042 The Fifteen Puzzle - 15 cents (SEQ - Sliding)
  • p.258 No. 3056,7,8 Puzzle Money Box - .5,.75,$1 (OPN)
  • p.275 No. 3662 Heart and String - 10 cents (TNG)
  • p.277 No. 3028 Teddy Bear Puzzle - 10 cents (TNG)
  • p.277 No. 3031 Automobile Puzzle - 20 cents (SEQ - Sliding)
  • p.281 No. 3003 Four Ball Puzzle - 20 cents (DEX)
  • P.312 No. 3171 Egg of Columbus - 15 cents (DEX - balancing ovoid)
  • P.312 No. 3036 Chinese Ring Bar Puzzle (patience) - 15 cents (SEQ - Gray Code)
  • p.399 No. 1031 New Book of 200 Puzzles - 10 cents (EPH - Book)
  • p.427 No. 3029 Humdinger Puzzle - 25 cents (SEQ - Sliding)
  • p.433 No. 3665 The Four Ace Puzzle - 30 cents (PAT - Inst Insanity family)
  • p.442 No. 3655 The Hearts Puzzle (cast hearts) - 15 cents (TNG)
  • p.442 No. 3660 Mutt and Jeff - 10 cents (TNG)
  • p.442 No. 3661 Over the Top - 10 cents (TNG)
  • p.442 No. 3663 The Three Rings Puzzle (F010) - 10 cents (TNG)
  • p.456 No. 4543 Flexible Key Ring - 15 cents (OPN)
  • p.465 No. 3040 Diabolical Dice - 25 cents (ASM - dissected die)
  • p.472 No. 2282 The Fakir Who Swallows Eggs - 25 cents (EPH - mechanical card)
  • p.474 No. 3649 Furniture Puzzle - 35 cents (ASM - dissected block)
  • p.475 No. 3065 Spiral Ring Puzzle (ring on spring) - 10 cents (TNG)
  • p.476 No. 3664 cast ABC - 15 cents (TNG)
  • p.476 No. 3668 The Twin Links - 10 cents (TNG)
  • p.476 No. 3669 Puzzle Ring - 35 cents (TNG - puzzle ring)
  • p.490 No. 3072 Pea and Pot Puzzle - 20 cents (DEX)
  • p.573 No. 3064 Perplexity Puzzle - 20 cents (SEQ - Sliding)
  • p.586 No. 3000 Rat Trap Puzzle - 15 cents (DEX)
  • p.589 No. 2293 Puzzle Peg (cross solitaire) - 55 cents (SEQ - solitaire)
  • p.595 No. 3066 Tantalizing Puzzle (F020 pat. Deck 1903)- 12 cents (TNG)
  • p.599 No. 2585 The Dime Registering Bank - 35 cents (OPN)
  • p.599 No. 3052 Jolly Ni**er Puzzle - 15 cents (DEX - pick it out)
  • p.630 No. 2835 Puzzle Scissors - 35 cents (OPN)
  • p.638 No. 2851 Miniature Golf Game - 35 cents (DEX)
  • According to Slocum, I missed the following:
    • No. 3063 Puzzle Padlock (OPN)
    • No. 2943 Chinese Puzzle Purse (OPN)
    • No. 3645 Puzzle Milk Bottle (OPN)
    • No. 3030 Magnetic Puzzle (PAT)

Foreign Language Studies


Het Ultieme Puzzleboek (The Ultimate Puzzle Book)

By Jerry Slocum and Jack Botermans - 2007 - Terra Lannoo B.V.

This hardcover was issued in the Netherlands, in Dutch.

  • Two- and Three- Dimensional Mathematical Puzzles
    • Furniture Set
    • The Chequers Puzzle
    • Petite Mere (La Cocotte)
    • American Geometric Puzzle of 1850 created by Trentsensky and Myers (Tangram)
    • Soma
    • The Colored Egg Puzzle
    • The Ultimate Hex Convertible Puzzle by Harold Cataquet (Trevor Wood's version here)
      10 checkered hexacubes plus a checkered tetracube make a 4x4x4 and a checkerboard
    • Tangram - Kreisratsel, Qualgeist, Blitzableiter, Pythagoras, French Puzzle Brain
    • Edi Nagata - Cat Case, Shirt Case
    • Checkerboard Puzzles - The Sectional Checkerboard, Baffel, Mysto Squares, Sam Loyd Battle Royal
    • Zodiac Pentomino Deluxe by Sabu Oguro
    • Coffin's Four Fit (#217), Coffin's Trap (#153)
    • The Emblematical Puzzle of 1788 (based on the Egyptian Puzzle described in Les Amusements in 1749)
    • Sam Loyd Trick Mules, Willard-Johnson Prizefight
    • Radcliffe's Magic Hexagon, L'Etoile Filante (Shooting Star), Symington's
    • The T Puzzle (White Rose, Chase & Sanborn, White Swan), Lox in Box II by Vesa Timonen
    • Soma, Coffin's Ball Room (#197A), Coffin's Boxed LUV (#189), The Cursed Pyramid by Torsten Silke
    • Dice Puzzle, Mayblox, Mystic Eight
    • Scrambled Eggs, also jigsaw Cross, Rabbit, Broken Heart, Bear, Elephant, Furniture
    • Puzzle Food - incl. Something Fishy, Fickle Pickles, Toyo
    • Puzzle Rings
    • The Pyramid Puzzle (2-piece, 4-piece)
  • Disassembly Puzzles
    • Rocky Chiaro's Toe-Key-Yo
    • Yarger's Stickman #2 (Gear Box)
    • Hoffmann Puzzles - by John Berkeley
    • Hungarian Bookcase Puzzle, Puzzle Chest, Michael Hipple's Box, Yuma Prison Box, Russian Boxes, Akio Kamei and the Karakuri Creation Group
    • Kagen Schaefer, Hiroshi Iwahara, Allan Boardman, Chinese Boxes, Snuff Boxes, Trick Coins
    • Puzzle Locks
  • Construction Puzzles
    • Kagen Schaefer's Maze Burr, 150-piece Chuck Burr, George Hart's Six Pentagons, Lee Krasnow's Merkaba
    • Vaclav Obsivac's Sphere Icosahedrons
    • Josef Pelikan puzzles - incl. Yin Yang, George Yagorvch
    • Mongolian Chess Set, Mongolian Zodiac Puzzles, Kumiki Puzzles, Shackman Figures
    • Keychain Puzzles
    • Four-piece Jigsaw Puzzle
    • Stewart Coffin - Jupiter, Design 72, Triumph, Not-Broken Sticks, Hexagonal Prism, Siamese Locked Nest, Three-Piece Block
    • Wayne Daniel's All Five, Yashirou Kuwayama's Polyhedron 32
  • Wire, Rope, and Knot Puzzles
    • Gilbert set, Oskar's Chain, The Clown in a Barrel, Horseshoes, Heart, Devil, Hobbles
    • French Wire, ABC, Vintage Cast puzzles, Solomon's Seal, Mongolian Talus
    • Chinese Rings, Rings "O" 7, Kirill Grebnev, various Paper & String Tangles incl. Aunt Jemima, Michelin Man
  • Move Problems
    • 15, A New Game (eq. Eight Point), Draught Board, Peg Solitaire
    • The Great 13 Puzzle, Thinkfun Hoppers, Hop-Over
    • Les Bourgeois Dupes, Aux Quatre Coins, Long Live the King, Put Hitler in the Dog House
    • Tokyo Parking and Rush Hour, Frustr8tor
    • Iwahiro's Jam Puzzles
    • Rubik's Cube variants
    • Oskar's Maze Key, Markus Goetz's Culax, Pike's Peak or Bust, The Eclipse by Myart Manufacturing Co. of 1936
    • Towers of Hanoi
  • Puzzle Jars and Pots
  • Dexterity Puzzles
  • Vanishing Puzzles
    • Great Baseball Puzzle, L'Incroyable
  • Impossible Objects


This beautiful Czech book is an expanded edition based on Slocum and Botermans' Puzzles Old and New.

My World of Mechanical Puzzles - Krasnoukhov My World of Mechanical Puzzles -
by Vladimir Krasnoukhov
Casse-Tete et Jeux Magiques by Daniel Picon
Petits Jeux et Casse Tete de la Belle Epoque (Small Games and Puzzles of the Golden Age)
Yves Rifaux
Haute - Savoie
ISBN 2910067173

Seems to be available from Amazon France.

A softcover book with black and white pictures (pictures are poor photocopy quality). Devoted to a listing of over 130 French boxed puzzles of several varieties which were manufactured during the period from 1878 to 1914, most of them by the five Paris-based firms:

  • [Charles]Watilliaux
  • Mauclair et Dacier
  • Nicolas et Keller
  • Simonin Cuny
  • Revenez et Tabernat
Also mentions the firms: Fernand Nathan, N. K. Atlas, Saussine, Jeux et Jouets Francais, Wogue et Levy, Perret, Delhaye Freres, Villard et Weill, and L. Baudot.

Accompanied by four loose addendum sheets dated June 1990, December 1993, June 1996, and January 2000, which bring the total number of puzzles covered to over 200. Also accompanied by four cards printed with cut-out puzzles including: Fend-L'Air et Pegase (seat two riders on two mules), Le President Loubet, Les Quatre Vagabonds, and Un Sage dans les Nuages.

Rifaux categorizes the puzzles into eight basic classes, and also assigns some to "combination" classes:

  • A - dexterity puzzles (Jeux d'Adresse) - by far the largest class
  • I - logic puzzles (Casse-Tete Intellectuels)
  • FM - wire puzzles (Casse-Tete en fil de fer)
  • T - tactical problems, e.g. sequential movement (Problemes de tactique)
  • D - prediction/divination games
  • C - games of chance
  • E - educational games
  • AM - unclassifiable diversions

Mechanical Puzzles 130
pub. 2006 by "Three Guess Corp." and Kodansha
ISBN 4063171647

I ordered mine from the Yamanaka Kumiki Works.
Amazon Japan also has it.

  • Part 1. 組み合わせパズル - Put-together Puzzles
  • Part 2. 開けるパズル - Take-apart Puzzles
  • Part 3. はずして組むパズル - Interlocking Puzzles
  • Part 4. ほどくパズル - Hodoku Pazuru - Disentanglement Puzzles
  • Part 5. ー連の動きのパズル - Sequential Movement Puzzles
  • Part 6. その他のパズル - Impossible Objects and Miscellanies

cover; inside cover 2pp - Hanayama cast ad;
brain exercise ad - www.be-en.co.jp - rice cake, sandwich, star, apple
p4 - contents
p5 (5 spans 2 physical pages) - intro
pictured: patience, trick cup, tangram, ball in cage, cast elk, handcuffs, cast ring,
buttonhole puzzle, various small tangles, Rectangular Jam, Pencil Case, Rubik's 3x3x3, 15,
karakuri small secret box, cast duet, Abe's Block 10, Cast Radix, Pack the Plums, Tenyo pentominoes rectangle 6x10, Block House by Kuozi Kitashima - woodpecker
p6 - intro
p7 - intro - uneasy checkerboard 5x5 Mine Uematsu - Woodpecker
p8 - intro
p9 - Cast Radix, burr, Lunar Lockout, Cast Dolce
p10 - intro (categories?)
p11 - 3x3x3 assembly cube (which design?), cast chain, Lunar Lockout, Cast Heart, folding triangles, Oskar's Cube (maze)

p12 - *************** PART 1 - PUT TOGETHER ************** - cat case
p13 - tangram, lucky puzzle, blue 4-piece (?)
p14 - shape by shape, Block House torito.jp/shopping/_house.shtml, Cross II torito.jp/shopping/_cross2.shtml
p15 - Sato Manabu - 3 dissections; classic T dissection; wooden dissection (?)
p16,17 - pencil case, arrow case, shirt case, cup case, cat case
p18 - pentominoes
p19 - Block by Block, Uneasy Checkerboard 5x5, Unique Cube II (polycube assembly)
p20, 21 - Toyo packing - Plums, Beans, Peanuts, Pineapple, Beer, Pudding
p22 - Hexahedroom, Osho's Packing puzzle
p23 - Hide the Animal (= Thinkfun Cover Your Tracks) - Lixy, Sheep Puzzle torito.jp/shopping/_sheep-puzzle.shtml, Janken (hands edgematching)
p24, 25 - puzzle finger rings - Cast Ring, Cast Ring II, others
p26 - Dorobo 5-cube inst. insanity, Kinato, Tantrix Discovery

p27 - ************** PART 2 - TAKE APART ************** - Cast NEWS
p28,29 - Cast Cage, Flag, Star (& Garter), Cuby
p30 - secret boxes (only 3)

p31 - *************** PART 3 - INTERLOCKING *************** - pagoda
p32,33 - ball in cage, burrs
p34 - Yamanaka burr set, kumiki group, Framed Burr 2x2
p35 - TIC 3x3x3 (polycube), Cast Spiral, trick dovetails illustration
p36 - CD case versions of Nagata's "case" series
p37 - shaped food
p38 - Karakuri small boxes list of 1-6
p39 - twisted sushi
p40 - czech animals in cage
p41 - burr sushi
p42,43,44 - Lilly Library / Slocum collection

p45 - ***************** PART 4 - DISENTANGLEMENT *********************
p46,47 - Cast ABC, Cast W-U, Cast Bicycle, Cast Horse, Laby, Key, Hoffmann Book PO&N
p48 - various wire tangles
p49 - Euro, Saturn, Nail the Giant, other wire
p50,51 - Akio Yamamoto's World - Cast Radix, Cast Baroq
p52,53 - Cast Violon, Cast Cricket, Cast S&S, Elk, Heart, Plate, Devil
p54,55 - Cast Enigma, Chain, Duet, Keyring
p56 - Cast Dolce, Amour, Sofa Problem
p57 - Hikimi tangles, Buttonhole puzzle

p58,59 - **************** PART 5 - SEQUENTIAL MOVEMENT *******************
Patience, Cast Disks, 15, Huarong Path, 5x6 sliding, Loyd's Moving 2x3 5-piece
p60,61 - Lunar Lockout, Stormy Seas, Rush Hour, Hoppers, Flip It, River Crossing
p62,63 - Oskar van Deventer's Space - Oskar's Cube, Cast O'Gear, Cast Disk, L'Oeuf
p64 - Abe's Block 10, Pentangular Jam, Rectangular Jam
p65 - Chinese Rings / Patience
p66 - folding; Chameleon (Chiroriangemusofuto Research)
p67 - ring onto chain, and trick snapper
p68 - javascript code (?), staples cube
p69 - paper links, cabbage/sheep/wolf, dissected square packing

p70,71,72,73,74 - **************** PUZZLE SHOP GUIDE ****************
- Jyuta, Torito, puzzlein

p75 - web sites
p76 - books
p77 - quiz?
p78,79 - ************** index? with web links ********************
p80 - masthead

p81 - ******************* Rubik's Cube group ***************** - 3x3x3
p82,83 - 2x2x2, 4x4x4, 5x5x5, Platypus, Snake, Pyraminx, Olympic cubes, golden cube (in sidebar)

p84,85 - ***************** impossible objects and misc ********************* - greedy cup
p86 - mirror cube puzzles (Setteducati type)
p87 - rattle-back, cube-in-cube
p88 - Dalgety-Hordern classification
p89 - Slocum classification
p90,91 - interviews? Edi Nagata, Akio Yamamoto, Kohfuh
p92,93 - Kohfuh folding puzzle - "flat chain weather changer"
p94 Kohfuh Snowy
p95 Kohfuh Cloudy
p96 - torito ad
inside back cover - What is Law ad
back cover

Cube Puzzle Reader
Pub. 2004 by New Era Corp.
ISBN 4775302841

Amazon Japan has it.

  1. ways to flatten a cube; cube cross-sections; dice; magic squares; The Mystic Eight puzzle; shortest path; cube penetrations; sugar cubes; resistor networks
  2. The Diabolical Cube; chart of #'s of n-ominoes, tri-ominoes, tetrominoes; Slothouber-Graatsma puzzle; Mikusinski Cube; Kev's Cubic Equation; The Spots Puzzle; colored cubes; Instant Insanity; The Allies Flag puzzle; MacMahon's Colored Cubes; Conway's matrix
  3. jigsaws; magnetic globe jigsaw; chinese zigzag puzzle; Mag-Nif; chart of #'s of planar polyominoes; pentominoes; Back in the Box; checkerboard puzzles; Tangram; Soma; The 15 puzzle; Piet Hein's Qrazy Qube and other 3-D sliding block puzzles; picture slice and cube puzzles; edge-matching puzzles; Knot So Easy, Perplexing Python; Mazes
  4. assembly puzzles (woody cube? hook cube?); Mine's Cube in Cage 333; Rubik's Bricks; Dean Hoffman's Sugar Cube puzzle; Anti-Slide; rolling cube puzzles; eight queens; paper chains; flexagons; Ivan Moskovich's Puzzling Reflections
  5. split cubies; Pieces of Eight; Nob's Neverending; Naef Gemini; platonic solids
  6. six-piece burr; kumiki burrs; cage burrs; Synergistics Kiss and Love cubes; Happy Cubes; Snafooz; Crazy Cube; velcro cubes; cube snakes; Happy Cubes (Adult Games); secret boxes; log stacking / crossed sticks
  7. matchstick assembly; plate burrs; staples cube; unit Origami; weaving; string lattices; Hiroshi Endoh Gadget Box
  8. Rubik's Cube & relations
  9. folding cubes; kaleidoform; stacking nested boxes; inside-out sponge figures; snap-open cubes; impossible illusion bank; Juno's spinner (like Hoberman); impossible objects
Picture and Shape Puzzle Reader
Pub. 2005 by New Era Corp.
ISBN 4775304127

Amazon Japan has it.

Tanglements Reader aka Puzzle Ring Reader
Pub. 2003 by New Era Corp.
ISBN 4775301705

Amazon Japan has it.

Super Difficult Mathematical Puzzles
Nobuyuki Yoshigahara
Pub. 2002 by Kodansha
ISBN 4062573776

Amazon Japan has it.

An English-language translation called Puzzles 101 - A Puzzlemaster's Challenge is available.

Happiness Cube
Pub. 2006 by New Wind Building
ISBN 4797437995

Amazon Japan has it.

See many Happiness Cube designs at Yukiyasu Sekoguchi's website.

50 Puzzles - Chinese wire puzzle book.
Illustrated solutions to many common designs.
ISBN 7-5441-2864-4
No English, but illustrations are self-explanatory.

Purchased from Mr. Puzzle Australia.

The Amazing Rope-Rings - Illustrative Designs of 50 Intellectual Rope-Ring Toys
Wang Zong Yi
Shenyang Press 2003
ISBN 7-5441-2256-5
Includes English translations.

Purchased from Mr. Puzzle Australia.
Cover price $18US.

Classical Chinese Puzzles: Ingenious Rings
Yu Chong En and Wei Zhang
1999 China Children's Publishing House Beijing
ISBN 7-5007-5002-1/G.3794
Sparse English captions.

Purchased at the Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA).

Books from the Karakuri Club:


In early 2017 I was asked to act as a consultant on mechanical puzzles for a new publication sponsored by the Rubik's brand - a series of magazine plus puzzle devoted to mechanical and logic puzzles. The first issue is piloting in France.

Puzzle Magazine Puzzle Magazine Puzzle Magazine Puzzle Magazine

Martin Gardner

Martin Gardner merits his own section. Though I never had the opportunity to meet him, for me, as I am sure is the case for many others,
Gardner's writings were a source of entertainment and inspiration during my formative years,
instilling a sense of wonder and curiosity that shaped my life.
Rest in Peace, Martin.

There are a lot of web resources devoted to Gardner:

Books I own by Martin Gardner:


All of Martin Gardner's Recreational Mathematics columns are available on a CD-ROM.

Some Flexagon resources:

More Puzzle Book Lists Out in the Aether...