The puzzle to the left is one example. You can see the figure, and you can see the pieces, and it’s up to you to put them together again.
(oh, and this an original puzzle, not copied from any source)
Tangrams of course deserve it’s own blog post. It is no doubt one of the most extensively published puzzles. One of the books I used to have (somehow got lost) had over a thousand figures. The square is dvided into several pieces, and should be re-assambled in any of the shapes published in the accompanying puzzle books.
Among puzzlers it is well known that American puzzlemaster Sam Loyd gave this puzzle the name Tangram. Its history has been researched in detail by acknowledged puzzle collector and puzzle master Jerry Slocum
Tangrams are not unique. There is a similar chinese puzzle in the Volkenkunde Museum in Leiden, composed of 14 pieces. The booklet has been preserved, but it’s 14 pieces are missing. On the left you see one illustration from the booklet that can be assembled with these pieces. I would like to thank the Volkenkunde Museum in Leiden for sending me a scan of this booklet.
This type of puzzle not only florished in China, but also in Japan. In 1742, a little book about a Japanese seven-piece puzzle was published under the pseudonym Ganreiken. The real name of the author is unknown. The title was “Sei Shonagon Chie-no-ita”, or the ingenious pieces of Sei Shonagon. Sei Shonagon was a court lady who lived approximately 966 -1017.
I intend to do a separate post on this puzzle.
You can check your solution to puzzle nr 1 here
A new puzzle is published every friday. The solution is generally published one week later. I welcome your reactions on these puzzles: are they too easy, too difficult, are there any multiple solutions? How long did you need to solve it?