The Hinged Square & Other Puzzles (Mastermind Collection) is a great new book by one of the masters of Recreational Mathematics and Puzzles. This book will give hours of fun to puzzlers of all abilities and interests. Just to get warmed up, Ivan shows us how to construct triangles, squares, pentagons, pentagrams, hexagons, heptagons, hexagrams, octagons, heptagons, octagrams and nonagons, all with only a compass and a straight edge. Then he reminds us of something we’ve known since childhood that no two snowflakes are alike. He shows 5 designs and tells us about Bentley (1865-1931), who was the first to photograph one in 1885 and went on to photograph over 5000 in his lifetime, finding no two alike. When you try to imagine all the snowflakes that ever were or ever will be, all hexagonal but different and you start to see what infinity means. And you thought that the number of flakes last winter was a large number. It’s impossible to imagine all those designs and then denying a Supreme Creator. He also covers the Fibonacci series: 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, where each new number is the sum of the previous two in the series. By dividing a number by the one that precedes it, you’ll get 1.61538 and that the Golden Ratio phi of 0.618 and how closely related they are. He also rounds out this selection of puzzles with several other games involving circles, blocks, paths, hidden images, matchsticks, depth perception, mazes etc. The Hinged Square of Henry Dudeney, Miquel’s Theorem and the Six Circles Theorem show the fun and fascination with Recreational Mathematics. This is a great book for the amateur or seasoned puzzler. Also, it is a book that should not be overlooked by one who likes to construct puzzles or games. I don’t often comment on other reviews, but the Geek, his words not mine that scoffed at the book was way off base. The next time his mother buys him something, maybe a bottle of vinegar would be more suitable to such a sourpuss. This guy gives Geeks a bad image.
I’ve got a few more puzzle books by Moscovich that I can’t wait to dig into. The big gem he put out called 1000 Play Thinks, in my humble opinion is unmatched. See my review dated March 9, 2002 and November 15, 2003. You can purchase this book at Amazon.