9 Creative, bizarre and unexpected ways of using logic puzzlesTuesday, March 17, 2009
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Logic puzzles are sometimes more than just a brain game! Although most of us solve puzzles for fun or to exercise our brains, there are lots of weird ways to use them which most of us won't even think of when placing a number in another Sudoku or painting another square in new Pic-a-Pix. From an appetizing Sudoku Pizza to a whole Pic-a-Pix wooden sculpture exhibition, here are 9 creative, bizarre and somewhat unexpected ways of using logic puzzles.
This unexpected puzzle creation takes Sudoku a giant step forward: it is also very tasty, especially if you like your pizza with exactly 9 toppings arranged differently on each slice. So what’s the logic in this culinary invention? Well, this probably depends on how hungry you are but if you want to find out here are the 9 steps and the list of ingredients:
Stewed garden tomatoes with Italian herbs for the sauce, olives, fresh basil leaves, potato, onion, garlic, Italian Salami, zucchini, sausage, spinach for the 9 toppings, and of course some cheese and Pizza dough. Use a handy "All Purpose Kitchen Tool" to mark off your Sudoku squares. Bake to a golden brown. For more detailed instructions, high-res pictures and for Sudoku puzzles that use colors instead of numbers visit colordoku.com
Some things may seem bizarre in one place and totally normal in another. It’s all in the culture. Take this Mexican Bar for example, which offers wooden logic puzzles to its drunken visitors… perhaps to see if they are fit to drive or take the next train. This is not in Mexico of course but (only) in Tokyo, Japan.
Wooden Pixel Sculptures
If you can eat your puzzles, or solve them while drinking, why not use them for art? Yeshurun Barnea (67) is a son of a well-known Israeli sculptor and an avid craftsman in his own right. In the late nineties Barnea developed a new form of woodcraft he defines as "Pixel Sculpturing" - sculptures made of plywood carved and painted according to Conceptis’ picture-logic puzzle designs.
Barnea’s sculptures give new life to the pixel designs. The combination of square-based art together with colorfully painted plywood material produces an amazing three-dimensional effect of pixel sculptures never seen before.
Since he discovered this new sculptural concept, Barnea has been experimenting and creating hundreds of art works of various sizes and colors. Retired since 1989, Barnea lives in Israel with his wife Michal and works from his home in the city of Holon.
The above photos of Barnea's works were taken on Jan 14, 2006 at the Amalya Arbel Gallery in Yaffo and are published with permission of the artist.
Van Gogh Pic-a-Pix quilt
Here’s another application for puzzles, this time to keep us warm. Unlike some other great grandmothers (!), Sylvia Green (79) remains an active prodigious hobbyist and handcrafter with works ranging from sewing, quilting and patchwork to acrylic and oil paintings.
It was already in the late nineties when Green became an avid fan of picture-logic puzzle and realized how their designs are also perfect as quilting patterns. Above: Green with her Van Gogh quilt and some closer details. Van Gogh by Sylvia Green is sized 102x138 cm and is based on solution pattern of a B&W Pic-a-Pix by Conceptis. Right: Interactive version of the Van Gogh Pic-a-Pix.
Sudoku Confetti Quilt
Other than being a mother of three grown sons, a doll maker, a knitter, a crocheter, an embroiderer, a collector of craft supplies and running her own Etsy crafts shop Mary Pettit from Cicero, USA is also a talented quilter and a Sudoku fan.
Don't mistake the explosion of color in the above quilt by Pettit for anything random – it is based on a real Sudoku puzzle used as a reference. The confetti in the border is made of hand dyed fabric.
Bottle cap Sudoku magnets
What’s more natural than hanging your half-solved Sudoku puzzles in the refrigerator using bottle cap Sudoku magnets? Whatyoumacallits is a "mixed-up media" artist and designer from Perth, Australia who runs her own shop on Etsy and makes fantastic little charms from bottle caps. She created the above bottle cap magnets as a gift for one of her Sudokuholic friends. Below: detail.
Smart driving with Sudoku license plates
"I love it when fandom drives someone to make the license plate of their car Sudoku" says Joy Natsuko from Indiana USA, who managed to capture this license plate on camera. Other than being a quick and sharp-eyed photographer Joy also runs her own website about "making connections" at heartfulls.com and a game-dedicated blog at ieatgames.net.
CAPTCHA math puzzle
We've all come across those registration forms with curved, warped, almost unreadable letters you need to key in to prove you are human and not a spamming robot. They are called CAPTCHA ("Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart") and here is one particularly amusing implementation that uses math problems to make sure you qualify as human as you claim you are. If you don't believe this is real visit the Quantum Random Bit Generator Service sign up and see for yourself. Don't miss the "user-friendly" option in case you do not know the answer to the qualifying question...
Public pool sign... or Sudoku hallucination?
OK. We are not really sure if this was intentionally designed as a Sudoku grid but being who we are we couldn’t stop smiling at this public pool sign in Mallorca taken by Kees de Vos from The Netherlands. Our smiles turned into loud laughter when we read Vos’ interpretations titled “So what do you think these signs mean?". Here is what he says:
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Have a photo or a story about another creative, bizarre or otherwise unexpected way of using logic puzzles? Be sure to tell us all about it!