I was recently cleaning up a storage space in our house. I came across some books which my son had used at different stages of his schooling. Some of those books I gave away to my maid for her children.
There were a few books of puzzles, which were not used and then there a couple of books specifically for mathematical puzzles.
I started working on some of the puzzles. I had known about SuDoku and I used to enjoy the simple and medium difficulty ones. So I started with those. But then there were others like Kakuro, Hutoshiki, Heyawake and Mashu.
I tried my hand at Mashu initially but I got so engrossed that I didn’t have the time to go to the others I have listed above.
Mashu is all about drawing a pattern with one line which does not cross itself. As a concept this is very simple. But when you get down to drawing using the constraints that have been placed, it is just mind boggling.
Maybe as adults we get so fixed with our ideas, we don’t think of other possibilities. We use the same parameters to solve all problems. But children don’t put limits, hence for some of them these puzzles are literally “child’s play”.
I have still not been able to solve a single Mashu puzzle on my own without referring to the solution to give me a starting point. That’s how tough it seems to me. But it has also made me more humble and made me think ata few more ways now than I used to.
If you are fed up of your daily routine, try using the time you have spare and start solving puzzles, it will help you open up to possibilities for solving problems that you are faced with.
Till next time then.