Sunday, March 04, 2012

"Puzzles are the gateway drug of the world of mathematics"

--- Matt Parker, opening line of his review of The Puzzler's Dilemma by Derrick Niederman, New Scientist, 25 February 2012

In context:
Puzzles are the gateway drug of the world of mathematics, enjoyed by recreational users and hardcore mathematicians alike. And there is never a shortage of them, from sudoku in newspapers to mind-bending brain-teasers you can find online.

A constant stream of puzzle books is part of this trend. Most of them are just collections of discrete puzzles in a reference-book style, but every now and then someone feels the need to treat the puzzle book like a novel. In creating a narrative they aim to make their book readable in a continuous flow. In The Puzzler's Dilemma, Derrick Niederman has taken on this challenge.