Mathematical Recreations

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The previous topics are:

January 2010Airplane on a Treadmill
March 2009Sudoku Variants
December 2003Area of a Polygon
July 2003Duck Hunt
March 2003High Card Wins
January 2003Interstellar Travel
June 2002Crossing the Street ("dimensionless" equations and Poisson statistics)
May 2002The Integers
April 2002The Memory Game (Concentration)
March 2002Patterns in a2 + b2 = c2
February 2002Generalized Wigner-Seitz Cells
January 2002Tic-Tac-Toe
December 2001The Massive Spring
November 2001K7 on the Torus
October 2001Distribution of Smarties

If you're itching for more, then I have some suggestions:

  • Come up with a problem and send it to me at my email address is mathrec at this domain. I have run through much of my backlog of topics that I want to write about. I want to know what other people find interesting.
  • Visit Michael Shackleford's site at I've done the first 120 problems on that site, so feel free to e-mail me about any of them.
  • Visit NRICH. They are an educational organization, and have a wide variety of content appropriate for grade school through high school (and into college). In addition, they have a number of puzzles worthy of adults with math degrees. If you are an educator, you might want to note that you can browse NRICH by topic, such as Algebra/Inequalities/Quadratic. If you are simply looking for puzzles, they have a variety of problems each month for different educational levels. (Look in the index for the current magazine for the link labeled "Problems".) The problems in the 15+ Challenges section are often challenging and enlightening.
  • If you enjoy problems that are best solved with programming techniques, the Euler Project at offers some fairly challenging problems with numerical answers. The main site has a library of problems requiring high school mathematics and also a collection of cipher challenges.
  • Visit Nick's Mathematical Puzzles. This is another well-constructed site with a variety of puzzles with solutions.
  • Try some of Paul Hsieh's puzzles. He has a variety, including classic paradoxes and some true puzzlers I haven't seen elsewhere. He gives hints, but not answers.

Please send responses to my email address is mathrec at this domain