# Puzzle

Puzzle

A puzzle is a problem or enigma that tests the ingenuity of the solver. In a basic puzzle, one is intended to put together pieces in a logical way in order to come up with the desired solution. Puzzles are often contrived as a form of entertainment, but they can also stem from serious mathematical or logistical problems — in such cases, their successful resolution can be a significant contribution to mathematical research.[1]

Solutions to puzzles may require recognizing patterns and creating a particular order. People with a high inductive reasoning aptitude may be better at solving these puzzles than others. Puzzles based on the process of inquiry and discovery to complete may be solved faster by those with good deduction skills.

## History

The first jigsaw puzzle was created around 1760, when John Spilsbury, a British engraver and mapmaker, mounted a map on a sheet of wood that he then sawed around each individual country. Spilsbury used the product to aid in teaching geography. After catching on with the wider public, this remained the primary use of jigsaw puzzles until about 1820.[2]

By the early 20th century, magazines and newspapers found that they could increase their daily subscriptions by publishing puzzle contests. Puzzles may also include letters, numbers, shapes, and riddles.

## Contemporary puzzles

A sample of notable puzzle authors includes Sam Loyd, Henry Dudeney, Boris Kordemsky and, more recently, David J. Bodycombe, Will Shortz, Lloyd King and Martin Gardner.

There are organizations and events catering to puzzle enthusiasts such as Ravenchase, the International Puzzle Party, the World Puzzle Championship and the National Puzzlers' League. There are also Puzzlehunts like Maze of Games or the Rittenhouse Chronicles.

The Rubik's Cube and other combination puzzles are toys based on puzzles that can be stimulating toys for kids and are a recreational activity for adults. Puzzles can be used to hide or obscure objects. A good example is a puzzle box used to hide jewelry.

Games are often based on a puzzle. For example there are thousands of computer puzzle games and many letter games, word games and mathematical games which require solutions to puzzles as part of the gameplay. One of the most popular puzzle games is Tetris.

A chess problem is a puzzle that uses chess pieces on a chess board.

## Types of puzzles

The large number of puzzles that have been created can be divided into categories, for example a maze is a type of tour puzzle. Other categories include construction puzzles, stick puzzles, tiling puzzles, transport puzzles, disentanglement puzzles, jigsaw puzzles, lock puzzles, folding puzzles, combination puzzles and mechanical puzzles.

## Etymology

The 1989 edition of the Oxford English Dictionary dates the word puzzle (as a verb) to the end of the 16th century. That first documented use comes from a book called The Voyage of Robert Dudley...to the West Indies, 1594–95, narrated by Capt. Wyatt, by himself, and by Abram Kendall, master (published circa 1595).

Their research, based on the "chronology of the words, and still more the consideration of their sense-history, seem[s] to make it clear that the verb came first, and that the noun was its derivative."

## Related categories

• Category:Puzzle books
• Category:Puzzle designers
• Category:Puzzle video games

## References

1. ^ Kendall G., Parkes A. and Spoerer K. (2008) A Survey of NP-Complete Puzzles, International Computer Games Association Journal, 31(1), pp 13-34
2. ^ Puzzle History
• Creative Puzzles of the World, 1980, Plenary Publications International
• Denkspiele Der Welt, München 1977,1981, Heinrich Hugendubel Verlag

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### Look at other dictionaries:

• puzzle — [ pɶzl; pɶzɶl ] n. m. • 1909; mot angl. , de to puzzle « embarrasser » 1 ♦ Jeu de patience composé d éléments à assembler pour reconstituer un dessin. ⇒région. casse tête. Faire un puzzle. 2 ♦ Fig. Multiplicité d éléments qu un raisonnement… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

• puzzle — s.n. Joc de perspicacitate care constă în îmbinarea unor piese pentru a reconstitui un obiect, o imagine. [pr.: pazl] – cuv. engl. Trimis de ana zecheru, 27.04.2004. Sursa: DEX 98 ﻿ PUZZLE [pr.: pazl] n. Joc care constă în capacitatea de a îmbina …   Dicționar Român

• Puzzle — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Un puzzle o puzle puede referirse a: Un rompecabezas, un juego en el que hay que armar una figura. Un crucigrama o juego de palabras cruzadas. Un puzzle compacto es un autodefinido o crucigrama compacto. Un acertijo …   Wikipedia Español

• puzzle# — puzzle vb Puzzle, perplex, mystify, bewilder, distract, nonplus, confound, dumbfound are comparable when they mean to disturb and baffle mentally or throw into mental confusion. The first three words express various mental reactions to what is… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

• puzzle — (del inglés; pronunciamos puzle ) sustantivo masculino 1. Juego que consiste en reconstruir una figura dividida en piezas irregulares planas, combinando éstas después de haberlas desordenado: hacer un puzzle, un puzzle de mil piezas. Sinónimo:… …   Diccionario Salamanca de la Lengua Española

• puzzle — [puz′əl] vt. puzzled, puzzling [ME * poselen (inferred < pp. poselet), to bewilder, confuse < ?] to perplex; confuse; bewilder; nonplus vi. 1. to be perplexed, etc. 2. to exercise one s mind, as over the solution of a problem n. 1. the… …   English World dictionary

• Puzzle — Puz zle, v. i. 1. To be bewildered, or perplexed. [1913 Webster] A puzzling fool, that heeds nothing. L Estrange. [1913 Webster] 2. To work, as at a puzzle; as, to puzzle over a problem. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

• puzzle — puz zle, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {puzzled} (p[u^]z z ld); p. pr. & vb. n. {puzzling} (p[u^]z zl[i^]ng).] 1. To perplex; to confuse; to embarrass; to put to a stand; to nonplus. [1913 Webster] A very shrewd disputant in those points is dexterous in… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

• Puzzle — Sn (ein aus Einzelteilen zusammenzusetzendes Bild) erw. fach. (20. Jh.) Entlehnung. Entlehnt aus ne. (jigsaw) puzzle, letzteres eigentlich Verwirrung .    Ebenso nndl. puzzel, nfrz. puzzle, nschw. pussel. ✎ Rey Debove/Gagnon (1988), 805f.;… …   Etymologisches Wörterbuch der deutschen sprache

• Puzzle — Puzzle: Die Bezeichnung für das Geduldsspiel, bei dem aus vielen Einzelteilen ein Bild zusammenzusetzen ist, wurde im 20. Jh. aus engl. puzzle »Verwirrung; Rätsel, Geduldsspiel« entlehnt, dessen weitere Herkunft dunkel ist. – Abl.: puzzeln »ein… …   Das Herkunftswörterbuch

• puzzle — puz zle (p[u^]z z l), n. [For opposal, in the sense of problem. See {Oppose}, {Pose}, v.] 1. Something which perplexes or embarrasses; especially, a toy or a problem contrived for testing ingenuity; also, something exhibiting marvelous skill in… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English