The Puzzle Instinct: The Meaning of Puzzles in Human Life

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Indiana University Press, 2004 - Mathematics - 288 pages
5 Reviews

"Humans are the only animals who create and solve puzzles—for the sheer pleasure of it—and there is no obvious genetic reason why we would do this. Marcel Danesi explores the psychology of puzzles and puzzling, with scores of classic examples. His pioneering book is both entertaining and enlightening." —Will Shortz, Crossword Editor, The New York Times

"... Puzzle fanatics will enjoy the many riddles, illusions, cryptograms and other mind-benders offered for analysis." —Psychology Today

"... a bristlingly clear... always intriguing survey of the history and rationale of puzzles.... [A] splendid study...." —Knight Ridder Newspapers


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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - mschaefer - LibraryThing

Despite the title more of an attempt to give a systematic overview of puzzles with some history thrown in. The puzzles and their presentation are rarely original or insightful, worse, there are many ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - bluetyson - LibraryThing

This is an overview of the origins of the puzzle in human history, as well as a more detailed look at the various types in existence, complete with some examples. It also mentions some of the famous puzzle makers of history, and the influence of puzzles on mathematics and science and vice versa. Read full review


Why Puzzles?
Puzzling Language
Puzzling Pictures
Puzzling Logic
Puzzling Numbers
Puzzling Games m
The Puzzle ol Lile
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Page 256 - GAMES, ANCIENT AND ORIENTAL, AND How TO PLAY THEM. Being the Games of the Ancient Egyptians, the Hiera Gramme of the Greeks, the Ludus Latrunculorum of the Romans, and the Oriental Games of Chess, Draughts, Backgammon, and Magic Squares.

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About the author (2004)

Marcel Danesi is Professor of Semiotics and Anthropology at the University of Toronto and Director of the Program in Semiotics and Communication Theory. His books include Increase Your Puzzle IQ and Of Cigarettes, High Heels, and Other Interesting Things: An Introduction to Semiotics. He lives in Toronto.

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