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The Puzzle Instinct: The Meaning of Puzzles in Human Life
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The Puzzle Instinct: The Meaning of Puzzles in Human Life

3.11 of 5 stars 3.11  ·  rating details  ·  19 ratings  ·  5 reviews
"Humans are the only animals who create and solve puzzles--for the sheer pleasure of it--and there is no obvious genetic reason why we would do this. Marcel Danesi explores the psychology of puzzles and puzzling, with scores of classic examples. His pioneering book is both entertaining and enlightening." --Will Shortz, Crossword Editor, The New York Times

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Paperback, 288 pages
Published February 1st 2004 by Indiana University Press (first published April 30th 2002)
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Michael Scott
[TO EXPAND. Strong points: humans have an innate puzzle instinct; interesting take on the psychology of solving puzzles; excellent review of ancient puzzles; nice set of discussed and left as "todo" puzzles; nice collection of trivia. Weak points: insufficient coverage of the puzzle development (industry) since the 1970s; author too biased in proving the main idea--defines puzzles as, essentially, all the quizzes we use for education purposes; some trivial examples are explained in too much deta ...more
Wei Jen
The concept of the book was interesting, unfortunately the writing style left much to be desired. It read a lot more like a thesis or an academic textbook.
Kip
useful stuff about why our brains are kinked for suoku, kenken, crossword puzzles, games in general.
Captain Curmudgeon
Weak. Good bibliography.
bluetyson
isbn,original
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Marcel Danesi (b. Marcello Danesi, 1946) is a current Professor of Semiotics and Linguistic Anthropology at the University of Toronto. He is known for his work in language, communications, and semiotics; being Director of the Program in Semiotics and Communication Theory. He has also held positions at Rutgers University (1972), The University of Rome "La Sapienza" (1988), the Catholic University o ...more
More about Marcel Danesi...
Of Cigarettes, High Heels, and Other Interesting Things: An Introduction to Semiotics Learn Italian the Fast and Fun Way [With Italian/English English/Italian Paperback Dict] Complete Italian Grammar The Total Brain Workout: 450 Puzzles to Sharpen Your Mind, Improve Your Memory & Keep Your Brain Fit The Liar Paradox and the Towers of Hanoi: The 10 Greatest Math Puzzles of All Time

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