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The 8 pieces in this diminutive set are four each of the P pentomino (5 squares in size) and the T tetromino (4 squares in size). It was by an amazing coincidence that these two puzzle pieces turned up to play together in creative ways. They were the shapes produced when we were commissioned by the University of Maryland's mathematics department in 2021 to design a special mathematical puzzle gift for their donors to celebrate pi day (March 14). Here is what that celebratory puzzle looked like:
The puzzle was made of the 12 pentominoes forming the letters p and i to spell pi, the infinite decimal that begins with 3.14 (as in March 14). Our design produced two spare parts from cutting out the opening in the p and the dot over the i. Toying with these extra pieces inspired us to give them their very own puzzle/art challenges. Here are some of the designs we've found:
Using all 8 tiles, solve and invent ever different patterns. Fit them together as if on a checkerboard or join them freestyle any way you like. The smallest areas you can fill are a 6x6 square and a 2x18, 4x9, and 3x12 rectangle. Symmetries are especially pretty to look at, and then use your imagination to build scenes and figures, birds and animals. It's a relaxing and satisfying activity. See if other players can guess the designs you’ve made.
Here's another challenge: create the shapes of all the letters of the alphabet. We show some to get you started: A B C O. Send us your solutions, and we'll share them.
Lasercut white acrylic in drawstring pouch makes a fun traveling set to entertain one or more players, ages 6 to adult. $12
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