Rob's Reviews > My Best Mathematical and Logic Puzzles

My Best Mathematical and Logic Puzzles by Martin Gardner
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's review
Apr 09, 11

bookshelves: math-and-stats, library-books, 2011, games-and-puzzles
Read in March, 2011

Many of the conundrums in this collection also appear in Dr. Gardner's Aha. Of the puzzles I hadn't seen, I was able to solve a few in my head, and a fair number were straightforward with pencil and paper. Many, however, require a profound insight of the "wouldn't get that in a million years" variety—one that I didn't feel at all ashamed for not finding. (Disclaimer: I have a BA in math and am a statistician by trade.)

Regardless of the difficulty, the puzzles in this book are fair tests of intellect for anyone with a good grasp of algebra and geometry. There are no cheap shots that require an unreasonable, universe-spanning leap of logic like you find in some "mindbender" puzzle collections. You know, the kind that expect you to postulate the existence of a hedgehog wearing a leather skirt at the side of the road, or something even less likely, and then make you feel stupid when you give up in disgust. Those aren't puzzles—they're mind-reading exercises. I hate that shit.

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