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How to Solve The Canterbury Puzzles and Boost Your Brain Power

Dudeney Canterbury Puzzles Pdf Download: A Classic Collection of Mathematical and Logical Problems


If you love puzzles, you have probably heard of the Canterbury Puzzles, a famous collection of mathematical and logical problems created by Henry Dudeney, one of the greatest puzzle-makers of all time. But if you haven't, you are in for a treat!

Dudeney Canterbury Puzzles Pdf Download

The Canterbury Puzzles are not only entertaining and challenging, but also educational and historical. They are based on the Canterbury Tales, a classic work of English literature by Geoffrey Chaucer, which tells the stories of a group of pilgrims who travel from London to Canterbury in the 14th century. Each pilgrim tells a tale to pass the time, and each tale has a moral or a lesson.

Dudeney adapted this idea and created a series of puzzles that relate to the characters, events, and themes of the tales. Each puzzle has a story that sets up the problem, and a solution that reveals the answer. Some of the puzzles are easy, some are hard, some are old, some are new, but all of them are clever and fun.

But why should you care about these puzzles today? Well, there are many reasons. First of all, solving puzzles is good for your brain. It helps you develop your logical thinking, spatial reasoning, memory, concentration, creativity, and problem-solving skills. It also keeps your mind sharp and prevents mental decline as you age.

Secondly, solving puzzles is good for your mood. It gives you a sense of satisfaction, achievement, and joy when you find the solution. It also reduces stress, anxiety, boredom, and depression by providing you with a positive distraction and a mental challenge.

Thirdly, solving puzzles is good for your culture. It exposes you to different aspects of history, literature, art, science, philosophy, religion, geography, and more. It also enriches your vocabulary, knowledge, curiosity, and imagination.

So if you want to have fun, learn something new, and exercise your brain at the same time, you should definitely try out the Canterbury Puzzles. In this article, we will tell you everything you need to know about them, including their history, background, types, categories, examples, solutions, explanations, resources, and references. Let's get started!

The History and Background of the Canterbury Puzzles

The Canterbury Puzzles were created by Henry Ernest Dudeney (1857-1930), a British mathematician and author who specialized in recreational mathematics and puzzles. He was born in Mayfield, Sussex, and showed an early talent for numbers and logic. He taught himself algebra, geometry, trigonometry, calculus, and other branches of mathematics.

He also developed a passion for puzzles and games, especially chess. He invented many original puzzles and problems, some of which he published in various magazines and newspapers under the pseudonym of "Sphinx". He also wrote several books on puzzles and mathematics, such as The Strand Magazine Puzzle Book, Amusements in Mathematics, The World's Best Word Puzzles, and Modern Puzzles.

But his most famous and popular work was the Canterbury Puzzles, which he first published in 1907 as a series of articles in The Strand Magazine, a monthly magazine that also featured stories by Arthur Conan Doyle, H.G. Wells, Rudyard Kipling, and others. The articles were illustrated by Paul Hardy, a British artist who drew the portraits of the pilgrims and the scenes of the tales.

The articles were well received by the public and critics alike, who praised Dudeney's ingenuity, originality, humor, and variety. They also attracted the attention of Martin Gardner, a famous American mathematician and writer who specialized in recreational mathematics and puzzles. He wrote an introduction to the first American edition of the book in 1958, and later edited and revised it in 1961.

Dudeney himself revised and expanded the book several times over the years. The first edition had 114 puzzles, the second edition had 120 puzzles, the third edition had 125 puzzles, and the final edition had 130 puzzles. He also added more stories, explanations, hints, solutions, variations, and references to the puzzles. He also changed some of the names and details of the pilgrims to make them more consistent with Chaucer's original work.

The final edition of the book was published in 1929, a year before Dudeney's death. It is considered to be his masterpiece and one of the best collections of puzzles ever written. It has been translated into many languages and reprinted many times by different publishers. It is still widely available today in print and online formats.

The Types and Categories of the Canterbury Puzzles

The Canterbury Puzzles are divided into six main categories: arithmetical and algebraical problems; geometrical problems; chess problems; unclassified problems; magic squares problems; and mechanical problems. Each category has a different number of puzzles, ranging from 10 to 36.

The puzzles are also grouped according to their themes and topics, which are related to the Canterbury Tales. For example, there are puzzles about the Knight's Tale (a story of love and war between two cousins), the Miller's Tale (a story of adultery and trickery between a carpenter, his wife, a student, and a cleric), the Wife of Bath's Tale (a story of a knight who must find out what women really want), the Nun's Priest's Tale (a story of a cockerel who is deceived by a fox), and so on.

The puzzles vary in their difficulty level, from easy to hard. Some of them are old classics that have been known for centuries, such as the Tower of Hanoi puzzle or the Nine Men's Morris game. Some of them are new inventions that Dudeney created himself or adapted from other sources. Some of them are simple and straightforward, while others are complex and tricky.

The Solutions and Explanations of the Canterbury Puzzles

How can you find the solutions to the puzzles and what are the methods and techniques involved? Well, there is no single answer to this question. Different puzzles require different approaches and strategies. Some of them can be solved by trial and error, some of them can be solved by logic and deduction, some of them can be solved by algebra and geometry, some of them can be solved by intuition and insight.

But whatever the method, there are some general tips and tricks that can help you along the way. Here are some of them:

  • Read the puzzle carefully and understand the question and the conditions.

  • Draw a diagram or a sketch if possible to visualize the problem.

  • Look for patterns, symmetries, similarities, differences, or clues in the puzzle.

  • Break down the problem into smaller or simpler parts or cases.

  • Eliminate the impossible or unreasonable options or solutions.

  • Use common sense and check your assumptions and calculations.

  • Think outside the box and try different angles or perspectives.

  • If you get stuck, take a break and come back later with a fresh mind.

How can you check your answers and understand the reasoning behind them? Well, you can always refer to the solutions and explanations that Dudeney provided at the end of the book. He not only gave the correct answers to each puzzle, but also explained how he arrived at them, what principles or formulas he used, what difficulties or pitfalls he encountered, and what variations or extensions he suggested.

His solutions and explanations are clear, concise, elegant, and witty. They are also educational and informative. They teach you not only how to solve the puzzles, but also why they work and what they mean. They also show you how to apply your mathematical and logical skills to other problems and situations.

How can you learn from the solutions and improve your problem-solving abilities? Well, you can always try to solve the puzzles yourself before looking at the solutions. This way, you can test your own skills and challenge yourself. You can also compare your answers with Dudeney's answers and see where you went wrong or right. You can also try to find alternative or better solutions than Dudeney's solutions.