(Title inspired by Martin Gardner’s “Unexpected Hanging”)

presented by Kate Jones
to the attendees at Gathering for Gardner 11
March 19-23, 2014 — Atlanta, Georgia


  1. 11 Magic Cubes
  2. From Singularity to Infinity
  3. Evolution
  4. RunnuRound
  5. Matter and Energy
  6. Black Holes Rule
  7. Yipe, Solomon
  8. Iron Horses
  9. Replication
  10. Math and Myth
  11. JHC

1 — 11 Magic Cubes

The 11 hexominoes that can fold into a cube

11 ways hexominoes can fold into a cube and thus become
Construction blocks for further puzzling. Fill each row to sum
As sequenced integers. Solve 11 shapes below so each of their rows
All equal sums or consecutive totals shows.
Your gift pack has a working model you can cut and fold—
Good luck with solving all 11 shapes the magic cubes can hold.

Count every row: north/south, east/west, and all four vertical walls,
including all the numbers you can see, even the recessed ones.
First four figures have 11 totals, last seven have 10.
Rows containing only one square don't count.


2 — From Singularity to Infinity

Stuff combines, from one and onward, be they atoms or a cosmic cluster —
Or polyominoes to endless size. Now isn’t this one a brainbuster!


3 — Evolution

If it’s alive it grows, a continuum from cells to fancy creatures.
Complexity and mission creep are evolutionary features.
Nature plays with deviations, variations and mutations —

You never know what you will get, duds or intelligent creations.


4 — RunnuRoundTM

A mighty curious physicist we know—Joe Marasco is his name—
Likes exploring sequences where parts are different, or the same.
His latest gambit, RunnuRound, here makes its World Premiere,
With 11 tiles per color, parallel, where “Runs of 3” the records cheer.
Its custom tray and numbered tiles are really very nice.
You, too, can own a set, at a multiple-of-11 price.

5 — Matter and Energy

Blueprints, codes and templates preserve stuff in its status quo.
DNA makes us what we are, but the memes really run the show.
Memes are pockets of dark energy, coherent, willful, sly.
They’ll colonize your brain and heart; and make you laugh and cry.

L-SixteenTM is half matter, half holes, and the negative spaces matter.
Here they form a connected chain while four colors scatter.


6 — Black Holes Rule

The more stuff clumps together—tribe, village, city, nation, planet—
The more the politicians jam on rules. If it’s fun at all, let’s ban it.
The core of power, like gravity to hold all in its orbit,
At its totalitarian extreme collapses; let history absorb it.

The sole goal is to make up rules about enabled actions.
They may not contradict each other, though players try infractions.


7 — Yipe, Solomon!

We present to the patriarch of polyominoes, Solomon Golomb,
This award of 11 pieces—6 fives, 5 sixes—whose total sum
Fills 60 squares and celebrates the 60 years of fun
His puzzle has given to the world, in 1953 begun.
By sheer coincidence 11 letters spell out POLYOMINOES.
Now as for why he named them that, just ask Golomb—he knows!

See the full story and photo of the assembled award and how to play.
Print out the 11 pieces and try solving the entire array.


8 — Iron Horses

My daddy was a railroad man—in the 1930s he built coaches for aristocracy.
But did he know, I wonder, that the width of track—in veracity—
With no regard for style and comfort to please the moneyed classes—
Derived from Roman chariots that fit two horses’ asses?

Build tracks and loops that wind around and enclose islands.


9 — Replication

There’s comfort in the familiar, we like to keep things as they stand.
We replicate our genetic code and cling to customs of our land.
To change, or not to change, is the eternal anguish.
You can trace its progress through the rich inventiveness of language.
To serve our mutual needs to link, we build webs to connect us
We imitate and integrate and hope the system won't reject us.

Above left:   Cellphone frequency pattern.
Above right:   Hexmozaix Jr. colormatching hexagons.


10 — Math and Myth

The nature of being parallel, past Euclid’s tidy postulates,
The brain construes in parables, analogies and amulets.



Our language rife with metaphor and in allegories shrouded
Then builds beliefs whose clutter leaves logical judgment clouded.




11 — JHC

This dude inspired millennia of fans by allegedly
performing a number of wonders…


While this dude’s fame spread far and wide
for doing wonders with numbers.


The End, for now...

I hope what I’ve said in these little verses makes sense.
Even if not, I’ll continue it at G4G12, two years hence!

(Each numeral is to be solved with the 12 pentominoes.)



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