Since quite a few days, I have this stupendous urge to try my hands at some analytical or logical puzzles. Though am not a avid puzzle-lover, I do occassionally indulge in such stuff just for the fun of it! And I used to do 'em a lot during my prep for CAT but thatz another story. I mostly used to do Shakuntala Devi's Puzzles to Puzzle you and More Puzzles to Puzzle You. Also the series of Sherlock Holmes' Puzzles by Tom Bullimore. But all of those were Pen n Paper stuff…I wanted some 'physical' puzzles. So I hit upon Tangram.
Tangram is an ancient chinese puzzle which consists of seven pieces , usually made from plastic nowadays , which are in geometrical shapes. There are two big triangles, two small triangles, one square, one parallelogram and one medium-sized triangle. The objective of the game is to arrange the seven pieces in various alignments so that they do not overlap each other and form several interesting shapes n designs. There are more than 500 possible designs and it is quite fun to be able to do atleast most of'em. I had a set of Tans as the individual pieces are called and I used to spend long hours arranging and rearranging them to complete the designs that were provided in the booklet accompanying the set. But now almost all designs are done and over with and am not getting any new books for newer patterns!
So I shifted focus onto another classicak 'physical' puzzle – The Rubik's Cube. Invented in 1974 by a Hungarian professor Erno Rubik, it consists of a 3X3 cube whose six sides are coloured in six different colours. The smaller cubes can be rotated and re-oriented to disturb the colour arrangements and the aim of the game is to re-arrange the cube by twisting and turning groups of the smaller cubes either horizontally or vertically, and bring back the cube to its original state – with each side in the same color. Though it is very tough to explain the real intent & procedure, it is quite fun to work at and can be a real test of one's patience. The last time i tried my hand at one of those was way back in 9th grade and I remember i used to take 3-4 days to complete it! In fact, once I became so frustrated because I could not complete it, I jus' broke it apart and re-joined the pieces to make the full cube And now when I'm yearning to try it out all over again, i'm not getting that at any of the big stores out here in Hyderabad! I tried out Central, Lifestyle, Himalaya Book Depot, Odyssey and even a few Archies galleries and Hallmark galleries but to no avail! Methinks I have to wait that little bit more to get to lay my hands on it! Though there are online versions of both Tangram and Rubik's cube, the fun n patience levels involved in the real deal is difficult to recreate in an online version, IMHO! 😉