Today’s three challenges are from Han Dongkyu, a talented young puzzle maker from South Korea. The first two will warm you up for the third, which is probably the most amazing example of a dissection puzzle I’ve ever seen. Prepare to be amazed – and to have your brain twisted inside out.
1. The Librarian’s Nightmare, Part I
Divide the shape below, which looks like an open book, into two identical pieces. (In other words, if the shape was made of paper, how do you cut it to get two identical pieces without any additional material. The pieces can be turned over.)
Now divide the shape into three identical pieces.
2. The Librarian’s Nightmare, Part II
Divide the following shape (the book and the hands) into two identical pieces. Again, parts can be returned.
These first two were variations of puzzles that you may have seen before. The following takes the genre to the next level. It is an extremely ingenious approach to castling in chess. Marvel at his humor and elegance – and good luck!
Cut the first shape below into two pieces, so that you can rearrange them to form the second shape. Parts can be returned.
Isn’t that awesome? So smart.
If you would like to print a copy of these puzzles, on which to draw the cuts, this link is to a pdf. The pdf also contains some tips on how to solve them.
I’ll be back at 5pm in UK with the solutions. PLEASE NO SPOILS
Han Dongkyu is a student at Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology, majoring in computer science and engineering. His website is queuedlab.com
In other news from South Korea, on Saturday, October 9, the country celebrates Hangul Day, an annual holiday that celebrates Hangul (한글), the writing system used for the Korean language, which was designed in 15th century by a team of scholars and is widely distributed. lauded by linguists as the most perfect and scientific writing in common use in the world. I don’t know of any other country that celebrates its writing system with a holiday, so kudos to South Korea and Hangul! Forgive me for the blatant take, but if you’re interested in finding out why the script is so amazing, and tackling a puzzle in which you have to decipher a few common Korean words, you’ll find one in The Language Lover’s Puzzle Book, my most recent book, which came out in paperback this week.
I put a puzzle here every two weeks on a Monday. I am always on the lookout for great puzzles. If you want to suggest one, send me an email. I also give school lectures on math and riddles (restrictions allow). If your school is interested, contact us.