world without problems is an illusion, so is a world without
- G. Sarcone
Sarcone & Waeber’s
rules to puzzle solving
is as difficult as it looks.
• Nothing is as easy as it looks.
• Read the instructions carefully in order to avoid giving the right answer
to the wrong puzzle.
• Human languages were not 'designed' for logical clarity. Remember that
each topic within math (or within any field) has its own tricky phrases.
• Recognize clearly what you have to search for, what data is useful and
what are the relationships between the searched result and the data.
• Misdirection is very common in puzzles. Expert puzzle authors always
try to lead people's minds along false trails.
that appear to have no relevance may be fundamental and vice
• Omissions (what is not written or said) are sometimes as important as
the instructions given.
• Beware of subconscious restrictions and mental blocks, try to depart
from the norms and stereotypes and look beyond the boundaries of a problem.
• Break a complex puzzle into smaller, manageable parts.
• Ensure that the puzzle has been considered from all points of view.
• With logic, correlated elements or events are not necessarily related.
Some could be just coincidence.
• Likewise, correlated events may have a common cause. In fact, some correlations
may not be relations between cause and effect but represent two effects of some
• Either of two correlated events may cause the other.
• Sometimes, to understand a problem, you'll need to use collective
intelligence. Do not hesitate to ask someone else to help you.
• Use your intuition and deliberately try to find other ways to solve a
• Sometimes, the solution is what causes the problem. Avoid finding solutions
to nonexistent problems, and never fix what is not broken.
• Enjoy making mistakes. Regard them as important and fruitful stages on
the road to success.
• Be persistent, the joy of achievement is greater when it is preceded
by a tough creative effort!
• Puzzles always have one, several or no solutions.
fun and good luck!
Source: Puzzillusions, © Sarcone & Waeber,
Archimedes-lab.org, and Carlton Publishing.