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The World's Best Paper Puzzles: Classic Puzzles to Bend Your Brain

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  • Posted September 22, 2011

    Slocum and Botermans have done it again!

    This is a beautiful book! Jerry Slocum and Jack Botermans are the world's best experts on puzzles and it shows in this book! This box set includes a beautifully illustrated 64 page paperback book crammed full mechanical paper puzzles both classic and new! Wonderfully, the set also includes 8 ready-to-solve puzzles! They are well-made of heavy chipboard and even on in leather! The puzzles includes classics like Keyhole String Puzzle and Sam Loyds's Witch Hazel's Cats Puzzle as well as new ones like Lox in Box II by Vesa Timonen and FourFit by Stewart Coffin (No 217). There's something for every puzzle lover in this box as well as those new to puzzles! A must have!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 18, 2011

    The World's Best Indeed!

    Andy Liu, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada.
    Everybody who is anybody in the puzzle field, or even a nobody, either knows Jerry Slocum or knows somebody who knows Jerry Slocum. Jerry is the proverbial fountain of knowledge and information on anything that has to do with puzzles, mechanical or otherwise. This latest offering from the maestro has something for everyone. The 64-page colourful paperback book comes inside a box which contains cut-out pieces for seven puzzles. Even the cover of the box features another one. Some of the puzzles are indeed classics, but always with a fresh twist. Others are superb modern puzzles which will become classics in time. They are classified into four categories. The first one, The Fun of Putting Things Together, takes up more than half of the book. The primary examples here are the Tangrams and Polyominoes. There are quite a few packing puzzles too, and my favourite is Lox in Box by the Finnish designer Vesa Timonen. There are two versions, and here the harder Version II is featured. Jerry has cleverly converted the cylindrical logs of the original puzzle into polygonal pieces, and this is one of the seven ready-to-use puzzles. The second category, Untangling the Pieces, consists of topological puzzles where various contraptions involving strings are to be transformed into certain desired states. One of the seven puzzles included is actually made out of leather. The third category, It's Moving Time, consists of peg solitaires and various sliding puzzles. The classic example is Sam Loyd's 14-15 Puzzle, and the modern example is Rush Hour by the late Japanese genius Nobiyuki Yoshigahara. This is now available from ThinkFun, a progressive company offering many outstanding mechanical puzzles. The last category, Now You See It, Now You Don't, consists of geometric vanishes. It took up only two pages, but the puzzle on the box, a variation of Sam Loyd's famous Get Off the Earth, belongs here. Sterling Innovations must be congratulated for putting out a magnificent package at a very attractive price. This book belongs in every school library and the personal library of anyone who appreciates American culture at its finest.

    1. Solomon Golomb, Polyominoes: Puzzles, Patterns, Problems and
    Packings, Princeton University Press, 1996.
    2. Jerry Slocum et al., The 15 Puzzle Book, Slocum Puzzle Foundation,
    3. Jerry Slocum et al., The Tangram Book, Sterling Innovation, 2004.
    4. Jerry Slocum, The Tao of Tangram, Barnes & Noble, 2007.

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  • Posted October 2, 2011

    Great Box of Fun!

    This is a box of fun! Let's start with the lid of the box. There is a pinwheel that rotates. Point the arrow at A and count 13 boys. Point the arrow at B and count 12 boys. This is known as a Vanishing puzzle and was developed by the great Sam Loyd.

    Inside the box is a 64 page book which shows classic puzzles such as tangrams. Also shown are modern classic puzzles from Vesa Timonen, Iwahiro, Stewart Coffin and Edi Nagata.

    Lastly, there are 8 cardboard cut-out 'ready to solve' puzzles. They are: FourFit, The T-Puzzle, Lox in Box II, Pythagoras Anchor Puzzle, Mysto Squares Puzzle, The Witch Hazel's Cats Puzzle, Keyhole String puzzle and of course the Disappearing Bicyclist puzzle on the cover.

    Full disclosure: Jerry Slocum is a friend of mine. (I have not met Jack Botermans.) I met Jerry in 2000 at the International Puzzle Party, which he founded. I also visited him at his home and saw his immense puzzle collection which at that time numbered over 40,000. Jerry is more than a puzzle collector. He is a scholar, researcher, and detective! Jerry's last book, The 15 Puzzle was a phenomenal work that debunked the myth/lie that Sam Loyd invented the 15 puzzle.

    Many years ago I was given a gift Puzzles Old & New: How to make and solve them. This book was written by Jerry Slocum and Jack Botermans. I have looked through this book dozens of times. It spurred my interest in mechanical puzzles.

    So, buy The World's Best Paper Puzzles! Actually, get 1 copy for yourself, and another as a gift.

    Tom Cutrofello, New York City
    Mechanical Puzzle Correspondent for Games Magazine

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  • Posted September 30, 2011

    An exciting collection of puzzles!!

    What more can I say;this is a collection of puzzles that will excite any lover of puzzles.Whether a novice or someone who has been doing puzzles for years. What a treat you are in for,when two of the world's most famous puzzle people,Jerry Slocum and Jack Botermans team up with the great publishers of puzzle books,Sterling Publishing,you can count on something very special. If you know anything about hand held or mechanical puzzles you have probably heard of these authors and even may have some of the excellent books they have written.Jerry Slocum has been collecting puzzles for many years and has assembled what is probably the world's greatest collection of puzzles.This collection of puzzles ,from over the centuries and around the world ,now resides at Indiana University's Lilly Library. In this book you will see over 40 of these classic puzzles.There are excellent colored photographs of puzzles from the collection,a history of each puzzle,when it was invented and by whom.If that isn't enough,you will also get 7 heavy cardboards from which you can "punch out" puzzles to enjoy.there is even an intriguing puzzle on the cover.There are also instructions for those who wish to try their hand at making their own versions of many puzzles from cardboard,wood,and other readily availble materials.Not only are the puzzles shown with beautiful photographs and illustrations,but also,you are given instructions and solutions for the puzzles.While some puzzles have only one solution;others such as Tangram,Tormentor,Lightning Conductor,Pythagoras,Mysto Squares,and others have many different challenges.So,this collection not only has over 40 puzzles to challenge you;but many,many more.String puzzles are always interesting and will immediately grab anyone's attention;and there is even one of those included.At the back of the book you will find a Bibliography;and if this book has entertained and given you a lot of challenges;check out some of these other books.If you think this book is good;wait till you see some of these. This "book' will be a real treasure for anyone who likes puzzles and as good as the concept is,the "packaging" is supurb.Here is where the excellent publishing skills of Sterling Publishing are really put to use.The quality of the paper,printing,color rendition,layout,sturdy construction,and puzzle cardboards are outstanding.And to complete the the product,it is all assembled in a sturdy box. It is nothing short of amazing that such an excellent product can be produced and sold at roughly the same price as a cheap paperback.Everyone involved is to be congratulated and anyone who gets this product will receive many hours of challenge and enjoyment. Whether you are a novice or expert in puzzles,young or old,a collector,or whatever,it's hard to imagine anyone who will not be impressed ,be it for yourself or a gift.

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