"Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high; Where knowledge is free; Where the world has not been broken up into fragments by narrow domestic walls; Where words come from the depth of truth; Where tireless striving stretches its arms toward perfection; Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way into the dreary desert sand of dead habit; Into that heaven of freedom it should be our intent. ( my adaption from Rabindranath Tagores famous lines)

Saturday, December 06, 2008


This is an ancient Chinese Shapes Game where the puzzle is posed as an integrated image and one has to solve the puzzle with all the pieces of different shapes given. This is very much like a jigsaw puzzle except that it always has the same pieces and all of the same color. In other words the picture puzzles themselves have been made by fitting together all the pieces in several different ways. Standardization is that the BASIC STRUCTURE is a square cut into seven pieces as shown here. These are 2 identical large triangles, one medium sized, another 2 identical smaller triangle, a square and a parallelogram. The 2-D picture-puzzles are usually of humans, animals and birds (many in motion) and other common objects like houses, boats, constructions and sometimes plain geometric shapes. The basic STRUCTURE is shown in Fig.A.

Two examples of a puzzle and their solutions are shown here. They are taken from the bird series and marked as Puzzle A and Puzzle B. These Tangram puzzles have engaged the attentions of mathematician like author Lewis Carroll, and puzzle makers Henry Dudeney and Sam Loyd. No wonder the game in Chinese is called "Seven-Board Game of Cunning". It has also been claimed that the famous theorem of Pythagoras was solved by the Chinese using this basis. The animations shown here is a result of the puzzles taken from a book by Joost Elffers called "Tangram" and published by Penguin Books which has over 500 puzzles with their solutions. (Fig B)

However I having played with this game many times I wish to make a color animation to promote this hobby.


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