By Stewart T. Coffin

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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.

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

John Rausch
Oregonia, Ohio 1998


"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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