Notes from Puzzle Palace

Friday, March 23, 2012

winning moves game/puzzles

Has it been over a week since I posted?  With all good intentions, the time allowed for puzzling seems to be getting shorter and shorter.  Oh how I wish we had daylight savings time like you lovely lot back home.  I could have an extra hour for a few months.  Maybe then I could do all I wanted on top of all I need.....wishful thinking I know.  So here goes today's late review.                     Every time I have a testing day I bring puzzles along to play with.  I've been on this kick of playing with those I haven't touched before.  One condition I've made for myself  after my disappointment with that packing v's puzzle is that it has to 'look solvable' by someone with a simple brain such as myself within the 4 or 8 hour testing session. That has been good because it is limiting my more insane purchases from jumping in my bag, but not because I find myself with 3 puzzles very similar to each other in the bag.  Like this past weekend.  I have a set of puzzles here from Winning Moves.  
First up is a game called Puzz-Ominos.  This is a one or two player game depending on how you want to play it and whether you have a body with a brain handy.  When I'm engaged in testing oral proficiency of secondary students who are attempting to go study overseas because their academic scores don't qualify them to study in Hong Kong indicates that there is no second brain engageable.  Ok, so I can't play while testing anyway so I'll be nice.  
So there are 14 tiles in red and blue that have 5 squares each. The two player game is to place a tile adjacent to another of your color while attempting to block in your opponents colors.  Sounds interesting, and with all games like this, the rules are rather confusing.  So I flipped over the page and went to the puzzle aspect of this one.  Nice.  There are a few different challenges.  One is to make a 6x10 grid, a 8x8 grid and another that I can't remember off hand.  Easier said than done for the non-mathematical person that I am, but I got there in the end.  The two free space tiles (3 squares and 4 squares) need to be removed before play begins.   In the end, the 6x10 grid took around 25 minutes of trial and error.  That's pretty typical for me.  As I've said, I'm not the brightest spark when it comes to these.

Next up was a puzzle called square deal and as you can see it is a 5x5 grid.  There are probably many more solutions than the one I came up with, but to be honest, I found it to be a walk in the park.  I did that one within the amount of time it took me to turn the tiles over. Way to easy I thought. Or maybe I'm just a very visual person.  (My students just love the way I mark up their papers with 20+ colors of highlighter....ANAL :-) I'm sure.)

After that dud, I opened the box for the last puzzle-Pyramid Power, read the instructions having something to do with adding up numbers and promptly put it right back into the box.  Puzzling while working is one thing.  Puzzling and adding while working is quite another, and that is one I'm just not prepared to do.  Next week maybe.....


  1. Playing whilst working can be fun for everyone!!
    If I have a patient who I am doing with a spinal anaesthetic or plexus block and they stay awake for their operation, I often end up chatting about my hobby/habit. If they seem interested then I give them a puzzle to play with during their operation! Yesterday I had 2 in recovery playing and one in theatre also playing!! My surgeon loves it - his patients end up having such a great experience. He then plays whilst waiting for me to anaesthetise the next one!!!
    K x

  2. Remind me not to end up in your or. :)

    I have used puzzles in class for years. A couple of years ago I did a study using tangles in the classroom both at University and in a primary school. Not surprisingly, the students enjoyed it. the results??? Inconclusive really, but some seemed to benefit whilst others didn't-but all had fun....

    I'm always playing. When anyone comes into the department looking for me they are always directed to "the desk with the toys". And if Rox is in, she's usually got one in hand...Jing's Pyraminx has been my weapon of choice this past month. Never do anything with it, I just fiddle and there's nothing wrong with that now is there....

  3. I also use puzzles and games in the classroom with mixed results. The beauty of puzzles is that they are good for students that don't like to play in a group, if they are interested enough to engage with the puzzle that is.