Interesting Esoterica

Seven Puzzles You Think You Must Not Have Heard Correctly

Article by Peter Winkler
  • Published in 2006
  • Added on
In the collections
A typical mathematical puzzle sounds tricky but solvable — if not by you, then perhaps by the genius down the hall. But sometimes the task at hand is so obviously impossible that you are moved to ask whether you understood the problem correctly, and other times, the task seems so trivial that you are sure you must have missed something. Here, I have compiled seven puzzles which have often been greeted by words similar to “Wait a minute — I must not have heard that correctly.” Some seem too hard, some too easy; after you've worked on them for a while, you may find that the hard ones now seem easy and vice versa.

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BibTeX entry

@article{WinklerSevenPuzzles,
	title = {Seven Puzzles You Think You Must Not Have Heard Correctly},
	abstract = {A typical mathematical puzzle sounds tricky but solvable — if not by you, then perhaps by the
genius down the hall. But sometimes the task at hand is so obviously impossible that you are moved
to ask whether you understood the problem correctly, and other times, the task seems so trivial
that you are sure you must have missed something.
Here, I have compiled seven puzzles which have often been greeted by words similar to “Wait
a minute — I must not have heard that correctly.” Some seem too hard, some too easy; after you've
worked on them for a while, you may find that the hard ones now seem easy and vice versa.},
	url = {https://math.dartmouth.edu/{\~{}}pw/solutions.pdf},
	author = {Peter Winkler},
	comment = {},
	urldate = {2016-08-30},
	collections = {Attention-grabbing titles,Puzzles},
	year = 2006
}