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By Stewart T. Coffin

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[Preface]

One of the most frequent email requests I have received since the Puzzle World web site was begun last year has been for help in locating a copy of Stewart Coffin's The Puzzling World of Polyhedral Dissections. I have checked in at least a hundred bookstores during the past couple of years trying to find copies for fellow collectors. I have found only nine or ten copies. I contacted David Singmaster, the editor of the Oxford University Press Recreations in Mathematics series, of which Puzzling World is a member, to find out if a reprint was possible. Having remaindered hundreds of copies of the original printings, a reprint to meet the needs of a couple of hundred puzzle collectors is not going to happen. So, during a recent visit with Stewart, I asked him what he thought about publishing it on the Internet. I hope you are as happy as I am that he said, "go for it!"

One of the unexpected benefits of preparing Puzzling World for the Internet was the careful reading required when proofreading the text. There's a whole lot more here than just puzzle descriptions! If you are serious about puzzles and have ever had opinions or discussions about disclosing solutions, ownership of designs or what makes a "good" puzzle, you could also benefit from a careful reading.

The Puzzling World of Polyhedral Dissections was obviously not written by Stewart to get rich. Anyone who produces such works does it as a labor of love for a subject that is very dear to them. As puzzle collectors, we owe Stewart a huge debt of gratitude for sharing with us his knowledge about the mathematics, aesthetics and philosophy of geometric puzzles. If you enjoy it as much as I do, drop Stewart a line and thank him for his unselfish gesture.

Select [Preface], Contents, Search, Figures and Tables to begin. Select Help for tips on use and navigation.

John Rausch
Oregonia, Ohio 1998

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"The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious.
It is the source of all true art and science."
Albert Einstein, What I Believe (1930)

Full-size image of the introductory graphic.

Last updated on May 23, 2012

1990-2012 by Stewart T. Coffin
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