Matchstick Puzzles is an excellent book of puzzles using matches. When I was a kid, every household had a box of matches. The uses of matches have changed unbelievably in the last 50 years and are rapidly becoming obsolete. Every kitchen had a box of matches. These were fairly large, about 3″ long and came in a large box about 3 X 2 X 5 inches and held about 100-150 (a guess) matches. Today, I suspect that a large box of these “strike anywhere kitchen matches” wouldn’t be found in one out of several hundred kitchens and then it would probably be in the country. Butane lighters have virtually replaced these “kitchen matches” for lighting candles, BBQ’s, Fireplaces, camping and for smoking, etc. Then, pocket lighters became very common for lighting cigarettes and if those weren’t used smokers used safety paper matches in small matchbooks which would light only when scratched on a special surface on the package. These were often given away free or for a penny. They were so common and widespread that many people collected them from Restaurants, Hotels, etc. The type of boxes of matches referred to in this book were sometimes carried by smokers but never hugely popular are becoming almost extinct over the years. So, you will probably have to search around to find these small boxes of matches as described in the book, so good luck! As a substitute, I found that small, thin pretzel sticks worked fine. Or maybe you would like to chop up some plastic drinking straws or cut up some wooden sticks or dowels. Anyway, the choice is yours. Now to the book, it has an excellent selection of the old and popular “Matchstick Puzzles”. There are 82 puzzles ranging from Easy to Medium to Hard. The solution to some will jump out to you almost immediately and some will really “stump” you. Sometimes, too quickly reading the problem will hamper your solution and some thinking “outside the box” is necessary. There are solutions provided for all puzzles. The puzzles are printed, one to a page, in color and on good quality paper. In addition, there are 10 Tricks, Games and Magic to do with matches and/or matchboxes. This is a good selection of puzzles that will amuse and entertain. You can purchase this book at Amazon.
About the Author: Jerry Guild
Retired engineer who loves birds, puzzles and books. Has personal library of 7000 tomes.