Polyominoes and Polycubes — Page 3 of  4

A Treasured Oldie from 1950, with 17,995 solutions

The ten acrylic pieces include all the shapes of 1, 2, and 3 squares in size, plus 3 each of the 4s and 5s. The three colors all have the same area, but it's tough to get them all to make the same shape—there are exactly 17 ways to do it. Or how about the four quads problem—to make 4 identical shapes of 9 units each has only 3 possibilities. Or try the enclosure challenge:  Each color can be enclosed by the other two. What is the shortest perimeter? How about the longest perimeter? Filling the 6x6 pattern in the 5.5" tray with color-matching and non-matching is just a small part of the countless other figures to solve, both easy and tough, including a pretty alphabet. Great for one to four players, ages 6 to adult. $32

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POCKET VEESTM   ... by Kate Jones

The 6 Vees are all unique, with one stepped-up square of white or black on each tile, each in a different position. They make lots of pleasing patterns (a few are shown at right), and you can create your own. Play the tricky two-player strategy game, Long Division, to get your three color squares in a straight line while keeping the other color divided. In pouch, great for travel. For 1 or 2 players, age 6 to adult. $12 (Shipping discount)

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Kate always wears this necklace at shows, and so many people kept asking for it that here it is, by popular demand. The 12 quint shape miniatures, .5 inch unit squares, in handcrafted wood attached to a gold-tone chain, actually fit together to form a rectangle (not while being worn, of course). Great conversation piece, always a big hit at conventions. One size fits all. Each is a different combination, until we run out of solutions that have no enclosed piece. $49 (Shipping discount)

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FILL-AGREETM ... created by Kate Jones

Something different...this one's full of holes—polyominoes sizes 2 through 4 with all the possible positions of two holes in the centers of their squares. Six single squares without holes complete the 10x10 tiling. Each size has its own color, so a fun and easy puzzle is to create interesting symmetrical patterns. A harder challenge is to arrange the pieces so every row, column and long diagonal contains exactly 5 holes. An even harder challenge is to get all the holes into a connected group. This two-dimensional set goes 3-D in the stacking puzzles, where in multiple levels holes go all the way through. Made in four combinations of transparent colors, like stained-glass, Fill-Agree comes with an easel for a light-catching display in its 11˝" tray. For ages 8 to adult, 1 or 2 players. $72

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The five squares of the 12 pentominoes have been stretched diagonally into diamonds, or rhombuses (rhombi, to you purists). Since you can stretch them in two directions—along the short and long diagonal—you get 20 shapes in all. Perfect for filling a 10x10 rhombus-shaped tray. We've colored the pieces strategically with only 3 colors to allow total color separation (unique solution shown here, verified by Brendan Owen's computer program) and total color grouping, and a fine spectrum of challenges besides. They make surprising shapes outside the tray as well, including color symmetries. Be forewarned that these can be quite hard for even the easiest assemblies and the most expert solver. Those angles can fool the eye and mind. Available in two color combinations, with its own display stand. For ages 16 to adult, 1 to 4 players. $72

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  • See a different set of rhombic pentominoes by László Nagy

  • RHOMBI JR.TM ... by Kate Jones

    The little brothers of Rhombiominoes—sizes 1 through 4 squares turned into rhombi, and each size gets its own vivid color. Originally made only as a limited-edition gift exchange for the International Puzzle Party of 2006, by name of Boston T-Party, this novel polyrhomb set has acquired permanent status and invites the building of hundreds of cool patterns, plus a fine spectrum of special challenges, including a handsome alphabet. You can also mix and match them with the Rhombiominoes set for larger constructions. Lasercut acrylic in 9x6" tray. For ages 6 to adult, 1 to 4 players. $45

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    ... created by George Sicherman, expanded by Kate Jones

    Winner of 2020 Prometheus Award, Kastellorizo puzzle competition

    For years, a search was on to find the fewest number of pieces, of whatever shape, that could form all 12 pentominoes and all 5 tetrominoes. Several world-class puzzlers attempted such a dissection, getting the number down to 9 and even 8 pieces. The 8 contained several duplicates, so were not entirely satisfactory. George Sicherman came up with 9 pieces, no duplicates, and won our Gamepuzzles Annual Pentomino Excellence award for 2019. We were thrilled to publish it with many other features added, such as convex, concave, symmetrical, and whimsical silhouette figures like the two shown at left, and 2 games. Its booklet contains a more detailed and fascinating history of dissection puzzles. Here's a little gallery of special challenges. Black tiles are supplied in pouch with a soft, gray velour 12x12" game grid. For 1 or 2 players, age 10-adult. $39

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    QUINTACHEX® designed by Kate Jones

    The uniquely checkerboarded, 2-sided pieces are the 12 pentominoes plus a 2x2 square. They fill the 8˝" tray as an 8x8 checkerboard in 1,294 ways and serve for dozens of other puzzles plus three games. Two of the more stubborn puzzles are "the longest river"—forming a single band of one color—and the "uncheckerboard", where you try to have no single squares of a color. The pieces are handfitted with 128 individually inlaid squares from laser-cut acrylic. For Quintachex's "second" silver anniversary in 2015, we gave them glistening silver colors: sizzling, hot, cool, and elegant. This set is suitable for 1 to 4 players, ages skilled 10 to adult. $95

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    Pocket Quintachex® — thin die-cut rigid vinyl, 1" squares, reversible green/white checks, 13 pieces in pouch. Limited supply, while they last, $12 (Shipping discount)

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    Deluxe 20" wood QUINTACHEX®
    inlaid 13-piece puzzle chessboard

    We crafted just one 25th Anniversary commemorative set (1988-2013). All wood, framed tray. Large 2.25-inch squares fit your grandest chess pieces. Sold out, but you can custom order more,  $325
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