# Puzzles, situation puzzles and recreational mathematics.

## Neuron juice.

The important thing is not to stop questioning. (Albert Einstein.)

## Logic Games

This is a little selection of situation puzzles that you can make by yourself easily and using easy-to-find materials.

The first ones, the Come-Cocon's pyramids series, are really special for me and I recommend you to build them. Their difficulty is progressive ―the more layers the puzzle has, the harder it is to find the solution. That's why you should begin with the first one and then continue adding more rings.

More situation puzzles at my puzzle collection.

Materials: Wood.
Category: Board.
Number of pieces:
Difficulty:

Description:

Mancala (from the Arabic word naqala (نقلة) meaning literally 'to move') is a family of board games mainly African and Asian that share a series of characteristics:

1. The board is formed by a series of receptacles (that can be holes on the ground or on a piece of wood) arranged into lines.
2. These receptacles have pieces in them (seeds, pebbles, marbles) that are the movable elements in the game.
3. The basic movement is that known as 'sowing'. It consist in taking all the seed from one receptacle and dropping them one-by-one into subsequent holes.

Using these general characteristics there is a number of rules that make up other games.

The number of lines of receptacles lets us make a basic clasification of these games:

1. Two-line mancala (such as wari): in these games, each player owns a line. Sowing movement takes the seeds from one line to another. Players can only take seeds from their own line, capture takes place (in different ways, depending on the game) and, at the end of the game, the winner is the one that has captured more seeds.
2. Four-line mancala (such as bao): in these games, each player owns two consecutive lines. Sowing movement keeps the seeds in the two lines owned by the player moving, but under certain circumstances they can take seeds from a receptacle owned by the opponent and join them to their own seeds. At the end of the game, the winner is the one that has more seeds in their two lines.
3. Odd-line mancala: These are versions  with one (solitaire game) or three lines.

### Source:

Wikipedia contributors. Mancala [online]. Wikipedia, The free encyclopedia, 2007 [date of query: May 11, 2007]. Available at <http://es.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Mancala&oldid=8705149>.

Materials: Wood.
Category: Sequential moves.
Number of pieces:
Difficulty: Medium.

Description:

Wikipedia defines it:

The Tower of Hanoi is a mathematical game or puzzle.  It consists of three rods, and a number of disks of different sizes which can slide onto any rod. The puzzle starts with the disks in a neat stack in ascending order of size on one rod, the smallest at the top, thus making a conical shape. The objective of the puzzle is to move the entire stack to another rod, obeying the following simple rules:

Only one disk can be moved at a time. Each move consists of taking the upper disk from one of the stacks and placing it on top of another stack i.e. a disk can only be moved if it is the uppermost disk on a stack. No disk may be placed on top of a smaller disk.

You can visit the article.

Materials: Several.
Category: Sequential moves.
Number of pieces:
Difficulty: Hard.

Description:

This is the reference puzzle in the field of sequential move. Its difficulty depends on the number of rings that compose the puzzle.

It might be the situation puzzle with the highest number of versions —even if you know the solution you can still spend hours having fun with it.

Materials: Metal.
Category: Assembling.
Number of pieces: 4
Difficulty: Medium.

Description:

The puzzle ring is mostly a very popular jewel in Turkey. It is a wedding ring formed by 4 interconnected rings that, if removed from the finger, would break into separate rings. Then it is necessary to reassemble its 4 pieces to wear it again.

Materials: Plastic.
Category: Arrange.
Number of pieces:
Difficulty: Easy.

Description:

It shows a really original style. In each face of the puzzle there are 4 buttons connected through an elastic band to another button from the opposite face. This puzzle's objective is to arrange the buttons so the elastic band are straight.

Javier Santos has a very complete study in his web site 'El Ocho Tumbado' that is worth visiting. You can do it using this link.

Brainstring official site

Materials: Plastic.
Category: Arrange.
Number of pieces:
Difficulty: Hard.

Description:

A variation of the popular Rubik's Cube.

If you have already solved its big brother, you will have no problem solving this one —the solution is the same one as the corners of the original 3x3 cube. If you haven't been able to solve the original one yet, this is a good way of starting to analyze the solution.