Puzzles are a kind of enigma or a problem which tests the cleverness of the solver. Generally a standard puzzle requires a player to put together the pieces in some logical way and come up with an appropriate solution. Puzzles are frequently played as an entertainment form as well as a mode of intellectual exercise; however, they can also evolve from serious logistical or mathematical problems. In all such cases, resolving them successfully can also significantly contribute to mathematical research.

Solving puzzles may require proper recognition of patterns as well as creating a well defined order. People having a high level of inductive reasoning skills are believed to be more equipped at solving puzzles than others. The puzzles which are based on inquiry as well as discovery for completion may be solved quicker by those having good deduction skills.


History of Puzzles

British mapmaker and engraver named John Spilsbury first crafted the jigsaw puzzle around the year 1760. He placed a map on one wooden sheet and sawed around each of the individual countries. John Spilsbury used this to help in teaching geography. When the concept grew popular with the larger public, geographical studies became the main use of these jigsaw puzzles and remained so until about the year 1820.

By early twentieth century, newspapers and magazines discovered that their daily subscriptions could increase if they published puzzle contests in them. These puzzles also included shapes, numbers, letters and riddles.

Contemporary puzzles

Some of the most notable contemporary puzzle authors include names such as Boris Kordemsky, Henry Dudeney, Sam Loyd, David J. Bodycombe, Lloyd King, Martin Gardner and Will Shortz.

There are many organizations and events which cater to the puzzle enthusiasts around the world. These include the Ravenchase, the World Puzzle Championship, the National Puzzlers' League and the International Puzzle Party. There are also many Puzzlehunts such as the Rittenhouse Chronicles and the Maze of Games.

The Rubik's Cube as well as various combination puzzles are actually toys which are based on puzzles. They provide great mental stimulation and recreation to adults and kids alike. Puzzles can also be used for hiding or obscuring objects. A puzzle box that is used for hiding jewelry is a good example of such puzzles.

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