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[The English word puzzle covers a broad range of meanings, alluding to everything from riddles and crosswords to Sudoku, optical illusions, and difficult conundrums in advanced mathematics. As a generic categorical label, it is a convenient one for classifying diverse manifestations of what is arguably a singular psychological phenomenon, which can be called the ludic mind, that is, a mind that grasps or models ideas through some form of creative intellectual play. The word puzzle was first used to describe a game in a forgotten book published by a certain Abram Kendall around 1595, titled The Voyage of Robert Dudley Afterwards Styled Earl of Warwick & Leicester and Duke of Northumberland (Warner 2015). It derives from the Middle English word poselen “to bewilder, confuse,” a definition that certainly can be applied to most of the classic mathematical puzzles.]
Published: Aug 12, 2018
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