Tangram: This is an old Chinese puzzle in which the players compete to make pictures from a selection of seven pieces which, originally, form a square. Jailbreak: This game is still played in Thailand, though it originates in the old Kingdom of Siam. A shallow tray is filled at random with variously sized geometrical pieces. One large square piece is inserted at the top of the tray and then, by sliding the pieces back and forth, the player has to manipulate it down to the bottom. Pentominoes: An American mathematician called Solomon G. Golomb came up with this game many years ago. Each pentomino consists of five square pieces joined together in a different way. There are twelve possible ways to join the pieces and therefore a complete set of pentominoes consists of 12 shapes. Chinese metal puzzle: At one time it would have been hard to find a child who did not own one of these ingenious little devices. The puzzle is made from thick wire and is twisted together to form an intricate shape. Matchstick puzzles: All puzzlers are familiar with matchstick problems and here we have a collection of the very best. They range in difficulty from simple to mind-boggling and call for a range of skills from basic maths to the ability to handle complex spatial relationships. Coin puzzles: Coins are another favourite prop of the demon puzzle-setter and here we have a collection of coin puzzles that will keep the reader's ingenuity fully scretched. For those with a penchant for spatial problems these will provide many hours of amusement. Board games: The pack contains a two-sided game board. One side is used for a variety of chess problems. The other side of the board is devoted to that old favourite Solitaire. Crosswords: The book contains both British and American style crosswords as well as general knowledge puzzles and quick crosswords suitable for filling time on those boring journeys.
Robert Allen. is CEO of the Mensa Foundation for Gifted Children. He was formerly Editorial Director of Mensa Publications and Director of Mensa Psychometrics. He has written many Mensa puzzle and game books including The Ultimate Mental Challenge, Mind Mazes for Kids, Secret Codes for Kids, and the Mensa Family Quiz Book. He lives in Cambridge, England, with his wife and two children.