Ancient Puzzles: Classic Brainteasers and Other Timeless by Dominic Olivastro

By Dominic Olivastro

Match wits with the nice minds of the world’s maximum civilizations during this interesting selection of historical conundrums, brainteasers, and mind-benders.
 
• What do prehistoric bone markings and smooth laptop technological know-how have in common?
• What is the secret of pi that stumped generations of old mathematicians?
• What are the traditional puzzle origins of well known video games corresponding to tic-tac-toe and chess?
• Can you clear up the puzzles posed to emperor Charlemagne by way of Alcuin of York?
• What’s the key lore at the back of magic squares that captured the mind's eye of chinese language emperors, Persian mystics, and Benjamin Franklin?
 
Dominic Olivastro provides a well-liked heritage of arithmetic through concentrating on the puzzles that civilizations posed for his or her personal schooling and leisure. listed below are vintage “puzzle difficulties” from old Africa, Egypt, Persia, China, and Greece and from cultures and texts spanning the center a while and the Renaissance the entire method to the present.
 
every one puzzle is associated with insightful people and clinical heritage that is helping make clear the mysterious function and beginning of the matter. attention-grabbing clues for knowing solutions draw on smooth problem-solving ideas and result in historical secrets and techniques that, prior to now, have infrequently been understood. no matter if you decipher them for his or her historic importance, classical knowledge, or simply for the sheer, maddening enjoyable of it, those pleasant puzzles supply a distinct, wonderful, and enlightening advisor to the evolution of the human brain.

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Ancient Puzzles: Classic Brainteasers and Other Timeless Mathematical Games of the Last Ten Centuries

Fit wits with the nice minds of the world’s maximum civilizations during this attention-grabbing choice of historic conundrums, brainteasers, and mind-benders.   • What do prehistoric bone markings and glossy computing device technology have in universal? • What is the secret of pi that stumped generations of historical mathematicians?

Extra resources for Ancient Puzzles: Classic Brainteasers and Other Timeless Mathematical Games of the Last Ten Centuries

Example text

What Ahmes has done is assume that the heap, or unknown quantity, is equal to 7, apparently because this will allow him to find the 1/7th part very easily. He quickly discovers, however, that 7 is incorrect, since 7 + (1/7-7) is only equal to 8, not 19 as called for in the problem. ) This is why in the last sentence he multiplies 7 by 19/8, and arrives at the correct answer. This type of solution is sometimes called regulafalsi or false position, a mixture of trial and error and proportional corrections.

In this way, the notches appear to keep track of various phases of the moon. The results are in Figure 12. 000 , -7- . 0 7 113 1121 Figure 12. The Ishango bone as a calendar (Reprinted from Marshack. 1971) 12 5 0 o0 D 7 7--7 12 5 , 8 -- 17 7 712 19 19 9 5 *7 5= 0 I i;0 3 6 4 8 10 Notice that different segments of notches appear to begin and end with different phases of the moon, although sometimes it is necessary to think of one segment of notches as two. This, however, is never done THE FIRST unless there is some reason for doing so on the bone itself, as when the notches appear to change shape or angle.

Then I had to sit with my hands in manacles, and by this means, my limbs were tamed. Three months I bore them and sat locked up in the temple. My father and my mother were in the field and my brothers as well. But when I became free of the manacles, then I surpassed everything I had done before and became the best in the class and outshone the others in the art of writing. Now do as I say, and you will prosper, and soon you will find that you have no rival. Further evidence of the high esteem given to scribes is found in the Teachings of someone named Tuauf.

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