Editors: Peter and Serhiy Grabarchuk

Publisher: Dover Publications Inc.

ISBN-10: 0486810046; ISBN-13: 978-0486810041

As colorful and imaginatively devised as ever, the Grabarchuk-edited Puzzle Box, Volume 1 is a cornucopia of mathematical and logical puzzles that should keep any puzzle lover entertained for hours, with its seventeen different types of challenges including a wide array of traditional pen-and-paper puzzles. Having to compete with the multiple action games that are currently available on the internet, as well as on mobile devices, can, surely, be no easy task. Small wonder, then, that the Grabarchuks have enlisted the help of eight other puzzle makers, each an expert in their own field, to ensure that this collection is a memorable and treasured one. The Grabarchuk family members who contributed to this volume of almost 300 puzzles are Helen Grabarchuk, who actively participates in developing puzzle apps, in publishing puzzle books, and in different puzzle projects; Tanya Grabarchuk, who is a professional game tester and levels creator; Peter Grabarchuk, who is a professional puzzle game designer; and Serhiy Grabarchuk, who is a metagrobologist and professional puzzle creator. Game and puzzle design clearly runs deep in the family, with the Grabarchuks seeming to be wired for such mind-blowing activity.

The other contributors to this volume are Andrea Gilbert, a software engineer and puzzle designer with a lifelong interest in route-finding puzzles and logic mazes; Donald Knuth, whose absolute domain is algorithms and their analysis, in keeping with his status as Professor Emeritus of The Art of Computer Programming at Stanford University; Erich Friedman, Associate Professor of Mathematics and ex-Chair of the Math and Computer Science Department at Stetson University, with a penchant for weightings and moving pieces, among others; Bram Cohen, whose skills as a computer programmer in no way contend with his active creative talent in devising puzzles in varying forms and genres and his participation in puzzle projects; Ed Pegg, Jr., who, in addition to working at Wolfram MathWorld and writing for the MAA online, is an expert on math puzzles and a recreational mathematician; Harry Nelson, who doesn’t allow his mathematical editing and computer programming skills to get in the way of his longtime interest in puzzles of all kinds, which has resulted in him becoming a devoted puzzle inventor; Richard Candy, whose lifelong interest in puzzle solving has recently inspired him to compose puzzles himself; and Shelly Hazard, whose skills as an accomplished hardware writer with a highly technical background have stood her in good stead in becoming an active creator of original logic and word puzzles, however disparate her interests might appear.

The puzzles contained in Puzzle Box, Volume 1 include 3D puzzles, chess puzzles, connections, dissections, folding, geometrical puzzles, logic problems, matchstick puzzles, mazes, moving pieces, number puzzles, put-togethers, strimko, sudoku, visual puzzles, weightings, and word puzzles. Each puzzle has its difficulty level indicated, with the range stretching from 2 to 5, though the most common puzzles are three-star. That many of these puzzles can constructively be used for time-out exercises in the average classroom is clear, so if you are a math educator, be well advised to get yourself a copy for when you wish to take a break from active teaching. Your students are just as likely as you are to appreciate the freshness of the diverse approaches to problem-solving that you encounter here!