New topics: May 2016

Highlights
Recent releases
Silver anniversaries
New solutions
Our hot stuff online
Other news
Old but still good news

Click on the links for full descriptions. (Links open in new window.)

 


Highlights:

 
Gathering for Gardner 12
For the 12th biennial Gathering in Atlanta, GA, March 30-April 3, 2016, the theme was 12, so of course the 12 pentominoes were the significant standard bearers. Kate gave a 6-minute PowerPoint presentation on Twelveness in the form of a Fib verse, a poem of 12 lines representing in numbers of words the digits of a Fibonacci series: 1 1 2 3 5 8 13 21 34 55 89 144. Interesting that the 12th term is also 12 times 12. Here's just the poem, minus images. For the gift exchange, Kate provided copies of the latest Renaissance Festival catalog, composed in Shakespearean iambic pentameter and with a special page about the Celebration of Mind event we hosted, honoring Martin Gardner. The 11-hour drive each way followed the Florida turnpike along most of its length; Red Bull and listening to Patric Hale's magnificent singing helped keep Kate awake at the wheel.

 
The Florida tour is over...
Kate is returning from Miami to Maryland for the next season of shows on the road. Many thanks to Eric Bare and Meshele Merchant for their super help at over a dozen Florida shows this winter. Check our schedule to see where we'll be next. Fun part of the trip south was to stay entirely and only in the left lane the entire 1100-mile distance on I-95. Kate will try to make the return trip equally consistent. If you're near any of our shows, come see us!

 
Shakespearean Catalog
The Maryland Renaissance Festival celebrated its 39th season of 9 weekends, from August 29-October 25, 2015. We've updated the special Shakespearean version of our catalog, which now has 40 pages of iambic pentameter verses describing our products. You can order a copy for $4 or read the whole issue for free online (click on the miniature cover).

 
A special award we bestowed: GOPALS
The Gamepuzzles Originality, Perseverance and Leadership Salute is an occasional award we present to another game company for exceptional merit. This year we saluted ThinkFun, Inc., for their 30 years of excellence in bringing the world mind-challenging games. Their products have won hundreds of awards. We here honor the company and its founders. More...

 
2015 Doris Championships
The 5th Annual Festival of Mind and Doris Championships, organized by Zdravko Zivkovic, took place across 22 high schools in 10 countries, building creativity and featuring our Doris puzzle. The Grand Prize winner will also receive a custom Doris set from Kadon. See the Grand Finale ceremonies and winning designs.

 
New Children's Story... The Rainbow Cannon
This charming and touching tale by Robert Vermillion Jr. has just been added to our small collection of original children's literature offered on our website as a bonus for visitors. A delightful trip into fantasy about seven rabbits who create rain clouds, and seven other rabbits who make rainbows. Grown-ups may enjoy the subtle message of social ethics and conflict resolution. Robert has also contributed remarkable solutions to some of our thornier puzzle challenges, found here and there in this website.

 
Pentomino Pairs research published in Oz
The fascinating saga of our investigation of pentomino pairs became immortalized in an article Kate contributed to the Australian Game & Puzzle Design journal of the Queens University of Technology, published in Volume I, No. 1, June 2015, pp. 44-49. Read "Symmetrical Pentomino Pairs" here, courtesy of Cameron Browne, Editor-in-Chief.

 
The GAPE awards
Our Gamepuzzles Annual Pentomino Excellence prize for 2014 went to Double Entendre Pentominoes, an ingenious design by "Lord Minimal Impossible" of a pentomino rectangle solution that has a second and different solution painted on top. Scramble the pieces and try to reconstruct the painted pattern. His award went one better by having a different solution painted on both sides, requiring 4 solutions in all, and presented in a nice wood case, complete with formal certificate. The solution shown here is only a sample, not the real one. More...

 

Our presentation of the 2012 GAPE Award was much delayed by our desire to design a unique prize for an international team of 8 puzzlists for their Yin-Yang Pentominoes project. Finally we found the right results. Congrats to Elijah Allen for this fine solution. More...

 

Simply beautiful... Flashes of Life
We offer, as a small departure from physical puzzles, a book of breathtaking photography by Robert L. Steinberger, Ph.D., each image paired with a haiku by Kate Jones. Flashes of Life, The Flower Collection comprises over 100 pages of digital photography, poetic interpretations, and stories. It's the first in a series of volumes on different subjects by this great visionary whose legacy will live on in the "flashes of life" he captured during a lifetime of passionate photography. You can preview the whole book at the publisher's website, and you can also order it from us as a lifetime treasure, in the best archival quality and now also in a more moderately priced hardcover edition. More...

 
World's best music... The Caranza Collection
Caranza is the stage name of Patric Hale, a phenomenal Meistersinger who has achieved both tenor and baritone mastery of 12 genres of music in 7 languages, with moving emotional sensitivity and blow-you-away power of delivery. He has a repertoire of over 400 recorded songs, available on over 22 CDs, ranging from Elvis, Sinatra, Tom Jones and Billy Joel to Broadway tunes, German songs, Italian and German opera, and more. Here are links to four audios to give you a start. Order his CDs and enrich every day of your life.

           



Recent releases:

 
MiniMatch-Ifour colors dance merrily
This little set surprised us at every turn with the variety, intricacy and pretty patterns to which just 9 tiles can lend themselves and has become the newest member of our edgematching family. More....

 

Trio-in-a-TrayTiny Tans combo
For their 25th anniversary, we gave our three 4-piece mini-puzzles a single tray, with lots of new challenges plus all the classic symmetries. They're tucked in together in an octagonal frame, each in its own color. The Tantalizing T, Square and Fair, and U Can Do It, all collaborate in creating delightful new fancies. More....

 

RunnuRound and wrap-around
What are the chances that in rows of randomly scrambled ten numbers, a run of three will turn up, in forward or backward order? Or even wrapping around from one end of the row to the other? Find 'em fast, outguess other players. Suspense builds as tiles flip. Unique bidding feature for bonus points. More....

 

Brace deluxe wood gameboard
After 15 years, our fascinating strategy game, Brace, originally produced as a jazzy wallhanging tapestry, now has a wonderful new look as a large wooden board, beautifully finished, laser-engraved and handpainted. Matching wood cylinders serve for 5 different games for two players plus a variety of interesting solitaires. Invented by Alan Kross-Vinson and developed by Kate Jones, Brace was a Games 100 selection in 1998. More....

 

Chasing Squares virtuoso tiling puzzle
Looks so simple and innocent and pretty, yet from the mind of our friend Jerry Farrell, an extraordinary puzzle inventor, Chasing Squares becomes a never-ending joy and surprise. The underlying geometry recalls tangrams, and our own Tiny Tans and Triangoes—8 isosceles right triangles and 8 "sheds" form positive and negative squares, promote ingenuity. Can you top 24 squares and win a prize? More....

 
L-Sixteen, where the holes mean a lot
This little brother to our Fill-Agree uses L-tetrominoes with every combination of 0 to 4 holes.You wouldn't believe what they can do with patterns of holes. Easy to extremely hard challenges make this a nice sequel to our very popular Vee-21. More....

 

Special edition... Octiamond Stack
We're offering a special and very limited edition of the 66 octiamonds, styled as 6 separate "petals" that stack, each in a little tray. Only while they last. And only for the hardiest puzzle lovers and collectors—this one's a doozy, even with millions of possibilities. More...

 



Silver Anniversaries!

We're celebrating these games on the 25th anniversary of our first publishing them. They have all been continuously in print, 1991-2016. See more of their stories in our historical notes, Happy marriages, and watch for special features about them all year.

  • GallopTM — a race across the board with powerful horses.
  • KalikoTM — our own production of this beloved game.
  • Lewis Carroll's Chess WordgameTM — move letters like queens to form words.
  • Oskar's DisksTM — two disks that interlink with graceful rotations.
  • Throw a FitTM — 10 color cubes to match by chance or build with wits.



New solutions:


Marvelous wrap-arounds for MiniMatch-I
See colormatched solutions with wrap-around edges and one or even two enclosed colors. The solution at right wraps both left to right and top to bottom and has full symmetry of the colors as well.     More...

 

Enclosed colors for Ten-Yen
See color groups of Ten-Yen completely enclosed by the other two colors, with shortest perimeter.     More...

 

Connected colors for Rhombiominoes
See George Sicherman's gorgeous color groupings newly discovered for Rhombiominoes     More...

 

Newest designs for Rombix Jr.
See our latest collection of cool new patterns created by young visitors to our booth and by our own booth hostess, Meshele.There's no end to the pretty variations you can create with this versatile puzzle.     More...

 

The amazing designs for Trio-in-a-Tray
Who would have thought that our venerable mini-puzzles, the Tiny Tans, would emerge for their 25th anniversary as a Trio with such amazing variety and beauty. It surprises us with every new pattern we find. That's playable art!     More...

 

The dazzling variety of Chasing Squares
With the simplicity of just two shapes in two colors comes a deluge of eye-pleasing symmetries, easy to construct yet always new and surprising. Here is a whole gallery of designs found by some of the visitors to our booth, and by our crew who can't resist toying with this one for new apparitions. More....


 


Our hot stuff online:


Great app! Blockout for Windows Phone
Paul Thomann in Switzerland has written a great new program to play classic Blockout on the new Windows Phone, versions 7.5 and up. Get your copy from the Windows store, Blockout for Windows Phone, under license from Kadon.

 
Gamepuzzles on Facebook!
Kadon has its own Facebook page for wider contact with our friends and fans. It's warm and fuzzy to see how many "likes" are coming our way. Have you "liked" us yet? Please do. And we're able to share things there that don't have a place in our formal website. Check in now and then to see what other folks say. Our thanks to Elijah Allen for launching the page and helping to administer it.

So come and talk to us there! The permanent link is on the homepage (look for the blue button). Any questions about our puzzles, praise and kudos are happily received. Join the conversation and look for special features from time to time. There will be no selling, only telling, in our Facebook lounge. For ordering please come to this main gamepuzzles site, where you'll find everything we make and an easy-to-use, secure shopping cart.

 
Now you can play The Game of Y free online
Thanks to Anand Babu Periasamy and his skillful programming, there is now a creative commons facility for playing this fine connection game online at the Hyperbotics site. Let us know how you like it! Then come back and order the beautiful deluxe wood set for hands-on enjoyment.

 
We have an applet to play Proteus!
A Proteus fan, Paul Nord, put his genius to work creating an app for your mobile devices so you can play our Proteus meta-game against a fairly smart computer. Get it now at the Apple store for under a dollar:   Michael Waitsman's Proteus — then enjoy this superb strategy game even when you don't have a worthy human opponent available. Paul's program looks beautiful and works great.

 
Pentacube Videos on YouTube!
Our friend and fellow polyomino lover, Donald Kern, has created four delightful, and impressive, videos showing the "complete" set (35 one-sided pieces) of pentacubes forming amazing and difficult solutions by Don. You'll want to see these more than once:

Regular 5x5x7 Block
Two-Sided Staircase
Jagged-Edge Block
Chichen Itza Pyramid

 


Other news:

A highly condensed printable catalog has been updated and is available online as three .pdf files. It has 24 standard pages plus an order form, in full color, although it works just fine printed in gray. Feel free to download as much of it as you want, and you're welcome to print it out for Web-deprived friends, too. This catalog can also be viewed online with flippable pages:


  Our flip catalog!
Now you can view our condensed 24-page print catalog with flippable pages or even as a slide show. The Flash program lets you zoom in, turn pages, and print out any page you like. Get an instant overview. Just click on the little cover page thumbnail at right. To print out selected pages or your own full copy, go to our print catalog file (.pdf). For special categories and cross-references, see the Search Us index.

 
Archives expanded
If you've missed previous announcements or mailings, you can still track back to see what's been happening with us by browsing through our archives, especially the annual newsletters that sum up our year's doings. Here's the Archives index.


 


Old but still good news:

Check out unsolved tough challenges on the Contests page. Open to the world, with prizes to be won. Happy puzzling!

We own four very cool domain aliases. Each is just a title page ("splash page") and links to the respective major sections of the official gamepuzzles website. Take a look; they're jazzy.

Our Hexdominoes set is now a registered trademark and has its own independent website and domain name, with additional materials not found in our main website, such as the entire rule book and actual-size grids to print out for use with special figures. We plan to offer new challenges there eventually and maybe even some play-online features. A new little logo for it is on the bottom of the homepage. And check out the awesome new designs we've found for this amazing set.

If you would like to receive copies of our very rarely issued bulletins or newsletters, please send us your email address and we'll add you to our confidential mailing list. We never give out our list; your privacy is safe with us. You can also subscribe and advise us of any address changes through the Contact Us page.

Here's a recap of all the gamepuzzles added to our website recently and in the past year, in case you missed their first announcement.   Tangramion .... Octiamond Stack .... StarHex-II .... Chasing Squares .... L-Sixteen .... RunnuRound .... Trio in a Tray .... MiniMatch-I ....

Blooper Bounty — This is a standing offer:  we'll send a small prize to the first person who advises us of a mistake in this website, whether a typo, broken link or other goof. Each blooper gets a separate prize. Email us and provide your ground address, so we can mail you your prize. And thanks!

Our hot-link icons are listed, along with some surprises and hidden prizes, for those of you who care to read directions for getting around this place. For the others, there's always logic, intuition and serendipity.

This update page is overhauled monthly and updated momentarily.



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