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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.
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Oregonia, Ohio 1998
"The most beautiful thing we can experience
is the mysterious.
Last updated on June 1, 2012
|©1990-2012 by Stewart T. Coffin
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