Puzzle: Wikis


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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A puzzle is a problem or enigma that tests the ingenuity of the solver. In a basic puzzle, one is intended to piece together objects (puzzle pieces) in a logical way in order to come up with the desired shape, picture or 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.



The first jigsaw puzzle was made 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.

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 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.

A meta-puzzle is a puzzle which unites or incorporates elements of other puzzles. It is often found in puzzlehunts.


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

See also


  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

External links


1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010
(Redirected to Database error article)

From LoveToKnow 1911

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Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

See also puzzle



Puzzle n. (genitive Puzzles, plural Puzzles)

  1. puzzle (game)

Strategy wiki

Up to date as of January 23, 2010
(Redirected to Category:Puzzle article)

From StrategyWiki, the free strategy guide and walkthrough wiki

An entry about Puzzle games can be found at Wikipedia.

Pages in category "Puzzle"

The following 118 pages are in this category, out of 118 total.








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Up to date as of February 01, 2010

From Wikia Gaming, your source for walkthroughs, games, guides, and more!

Puzzle games is game genre that mainly focuses on the thinking skills instead of quick reflexes of the player. Puzzles games are those where you need to solve a puzzle (e.g. a jigsaw), however, action puzzle games are also included, such as falling blocks that must be arranged into either lines or patterns, as with the popular game Tetris.

Most puzzle games don't follow a story. They are often just graphics of blocks or icons or whatever the game uses. There are rarely any characters or bosses that you'd find in other games. A High score is often a goal.

It should be noted that most games include elements of puzzle games. Action games include puzzles every once in a while to break up the fighting, like God of War. Platformers like Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time make puzzles out of figuring out how to get from one part of the room to another. Adventure or RPG games like The Legend of Zelda incorporate what could just be a piece of a bigger puzzle game as an obstacle in a dungeon. sometimes if a player gets a puzzle wrong it may activate a trap.

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This article uses material from the "Puzzle" article on the Gaming wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.

Simple English


A puzzle is a problem to make the user think. They are often used for entertainment and can help logic skills. The user may need to recognise patterns to solve it, so those who have good logic are usually good with puzzles.

Puzzles, such as wordsearches, crosswords and Sudoku grids, are printed in newspapers and magazines, but puzzles can be with objects or even on a computer screen.


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