Disk in2 Ovals

 

by John Jackson

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The object of this puzzle is to divide the circular table top (disk) into certain number of pieces that could be rearranged into the seats of two oval stools with open handholds as shown in the illustration. What is the fewest number of pieces required to complete this task?

John Jackson proposed this puzzle in 1821 and his solution contained eight pieces. Eighty years later, in 1901, Sam Loyd demonstrated the solution which consisted of six pieces only. And recently, in 2004, more than a century later, when almost everyone thought Sam Loyd had brought the puzzle full circle, Serhiy Grabarchuk came up with an astounding solution, or even series of solutions, which consisted of five (!) pieces.

Which of these solutions can you discover?

More comprehensive research on this and similar dissection puzzles can be found in the Dissections: Plane & Fancy book by Greg Frederickson.

Last Updated: May 31, 2006
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