The Canterbury Puzzles (Dover Recreational Math)
There is really a practical utility in puzzle-solving, remarked English mathematician and puzzle creator Henry Dudeney. Regular exercise is supposed to be as necessary for the brain as for the body. Many of us are very apt to suffer from mental cobwebs, and there is nothing equal to the solving of puzzles and problems for sweeping them away. They keep the brain alert, stimulate the imagination and develop the reasoning faculties.
One of England's greatest composers of mathematical puzzles, Henry Dudeney (1847-1930) had a talent for finding solutions to problems that seemed unsolvable. With only a basic education as background, he began creating puzzles for a local paper when he was only nine years of age; later in life, he developed sophisticated mathematical problems requiring subtle skills.
This unique book for challenge-loving teenagers and veteran puzzle solvers of all ages presents more than 110 of Dudeney's puzzles -- not as individual problems but as incidents in connected stories. The first 31 problems are posed by the pilgrims in Chaucer's Canterbury Tales: additional puzzles are presented using different characters in other venues. Many require only the ability to exercise logical or visual skills; others, like the Ribbon Problem or The Riddle of St. Edmonsbury, offer a stimulating challenge to the mathematically advanced. In all cases, solutions are provided at the end.
An extremely ingenious book which abounds in problems that will keep the reader busy for hours. -- Manchester Guardian