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ThinkFun Family Brainstorms Challenge of the Week

Each week we feature a new puzzle that you can print out in black and white on a single page and use as a black line master with your students. Schools have reported great success by encouraging families to work on the puzzles together at home. Print out the PDF file, file the solution page and make copies of the Challenge page to hand out to your students.
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 Name the Month by Martin Gardner It is said this set of strange symbols stands for a month. What should be the possible approach to break this "code" down and thus, decipher what month it can be? Will it be a forthright approach or more complicated? Download PDF Version
 The Triangular Grid by Peter Grabarchuk Arrange eight pieces to create a shape with a triangular pattern on it. Each piece is cut from a hexagon and includes a part of the pattern on it. The goal is to fit the pieces correctly within the board. Download PDF Version
 Hampton Court Maze Find the path through the most famous of all hedge mazes - Hampton Court Maze. It traces its roots back to 1702, being the oldest surviving maze of this kind in the World. Download PDF Version
 The Match Cross by Peter Grabarchuk Five identical squares form a cross. Three matchsticks can be moved so that six identical squares would appear. The only thing left is to find the spots for the matchsticks to be moved to. What are they? Download PDF Version
 Eight Checkered L's by Peter Grabarchuk Checkered capital L-shaped pieces have to create an ordinary 8x8 chessboard. Your goal is just to find their proper positions within it. Guess it will be easy? Download PDF Version
 Key Word after Martin Gardner When the four arrows on the four keys are replaced with some respective letters on them, a very familiar word can be typed with those keys. What word it could be? Download PDF Version
 Counting the Triangles by Henry E. Dudeney A pentagon divided with five lines proposes us a grid where several triangles are hidden. How fast can you count all of them? Is any method required to do this? Download PDF Version
 Shapes & Colors Every piece in this set has two parameters: shape and color. And they both are very important when you're placing the pieces within a square grid. You'll see why. Download PDF Version
 Three Squares after Lewis Carroll It almost doesn't cost a thing to draw three squares without taking a pencil off the paper and without crossing the line. Or does it? Download PDF Version
 The Rock Climber Maze by Helen Homa and Peter Grabarchuk Climb up a mountain in a little bit unusual way since all of the mountain's rocks are colored in one of the four colors and your route to the top depends on what color sequence you choose. Download PDF Version
 Get 4L Two containers: 3L and 5L. An immense supply of water. And a "weighted" question: how to get exactly 4L of water with all of this? Can it be solved at all?.. Yes, it can. Download PDF Version
 Sunny Walk after Lewis Carroll A special garden possesses a number of hemispherical stones with paths around them. The challenge is to walk through all the paths in the garden. Download PDF Version
 Fill-in-Words after Martin Gardner Complete six three-letter words with the missing middle letters in them so that except these words a new six-letter word which would be a name of a sea animal could appear. Download PDF Version
 Block Twins by The Grabarchuk Family Six shapes, each arranged of unit cubes, are duplicated into a twin-set. Definitely, the twin-set at first glance doesn't look like the original one, but it still contains the same shapes. The goal is to discover all six pairs. Download PDF Version
 Digits in the Square by Henry E. Dudeney This is a 3x3 square grid where the rows are the most important. Nine different digits to be arranged into three numbers observing a special rule. Take a look at it to see the rule... Download PDF Version
 The Three Squares A simple grid, made from several matches has to be changed into three squares, and only three moves are required. Can you find them? Download PDF Version
 The Earth Belt by Martin Gardner Imagine a steel belt is stretched tightly around a big planet. What things can be possibly slipped under the belt, if a meter of steel added to the belt raises it off the sphere's surface by the same distance all the way around? Download PDF Version
 Coin Squad by Serhiy Grabarchuk, Jr. Form a little coin squad, and change then its order by a simple slide the coins in pairs. It really doesn't require the military tactics. Download PDF Version
 Crazy Cut Suite after Martin Gardner Four shapes. It is said each of them can be divided into two identical pieces. The goal is to find the proper positions for the dividing cuts. How complicated the dissection challenges can be? Download PDF Version
 Nob's Dozen by Nob Yoshigahara Dividing the grid, adding the numbers, comparing the results. One more brilliant brainteaser coming from the great Nob Yoshigahara's puzzle legacy. Download PDF Version
 Counting the Squares after Martin Gardner There are several squares of different sizes hidden in a simple shape. You goal is just to identify the exact number of them, not overlooking even a little single square. Download PDF Version
 10-in-5-Rows Which template for an orchard do you have to use when you want to plant ten trees in five straight rows of four trees each? Is there any template at all? Download PDF Version
 Nob's Phuslulp by Nob Yoshigahara How many puzzling occasions are we exposed to in our daily routine? This puzzle is one of such occasions when even a minor observation can be converted into a nimble connotation. Download PDF Version
 The Five Pennies by Henry E. Dudeney Maybe it is easy to place four coins in such a way that each coin touches every other one. But what would you say about five coins? Yes, it is possible too. Download PDF Version
 The Two Queen Question A minimax problem: find the maximum and the minimum number of attacked vacant cells of a standard chessboard when there are only two chess queens on it. Download PDF Version
 The Rule by Martin Gardner It is known there is a rule connecting different patterns in each given row of their array. The challenge is to figure out what is the rule and then properly applying it complete the last row of them. Download PDF Version
 Switch the Cars Exchange the positions of two cars and after that return the engine to its initial position. And the exchange should be done with the smallest number of couplings and uncouplings. Download PDF Version
 Six Numbers by Martin Gardner Solving this puzzle you can circle with a feeling that you're one step before your goal or... one step behind. Is there any kind of joke to get exactly on it? Download PDF Version
 Sphere Between Cubes by Peter Grabarchuk A cube is inscribed in, and a cube is circumscribed outside the same sphere. What are their relative volumes? Any ideas how to calculate them? Download PDF Version
 Rose Garden 2 after Henry E. Dudeney A nobleman has complicated for his gardener the task of planting ten roses in the garden into five lines with four roses in every line. See what the complication really is... Download PDF Version
 Nob's H-2-O by Nob Yoshigahara The title of the puzzle describes it quite well. The additional information is that the letters are made of coins and there is a limit on the moves. Go right to the rules to find out more! Download PDF Version
 Painting A Cube after Lewis Carroll Suppose you have an immense supply of wooden cubes and several paint tins each containing a different color of paint. How many differently painted cubes would you be able to produce with such a toolkit? Download PDF Version
 Toy Strip Origami by Peter Grabarchuk Three colored strips have to be folded into three colored letters. The key idea is to keep the number of the performed folds as low as possible. Is it a challenge that would be TOY to you? Download PDF Version
 Patchwork Quilts by Henry E. Dudeney It is claimed the two patchwork quilts can be successfully joined together in a new one with cutting along the stitches in no more than four pieces in total. Would you dare to complete such a needlework challenge? Download PDF Version
 Bugs' Traffic after Martin Gardner The four bugs standing in the corners of a square start to crawl one toward each other. Here comes the question: How far does each bug travel before they all meet? Download PDF Version
 In Ancient Greece by Sam Loyd Make your own virtual travel to discover the secret of an ancient symbol. The main thing is to make the journey as straight as possible. Download PDF Version
 How Many Squares? after Professor Louis Hoffmann It's the visual one but it's not an illusion. Count how many dot-per-corner squares are hidden in the given figure and don't let the answer square your error. Download PDF Version
 Five Routes after Sam Loyd Help each of the five men to reach their respective houses without crossing the routes of the rest four. Finding the proper routes leading to the aim is always a good challenge itself. Download PDF Version
 Hole in the Sphere by Samuel I. Jones It is known that a cylindrical hole six inches long is drilled straight through the center of a solid sphere. Is this information sufficient for calculating the exact volume remaining in the sphere? Download PDF Version
 Square Skate by Peter Grabarchuk This little "skate" can be divided into four identical parts which can form a perfect square. The only task is to find these four parts... Download PDF Version
 The Four Queens after Martin Gardner Development of the chess queen theme. This time it's in the little shift that no queen can attack another - simply let 'em live in peace on a small chessboard. Download PDF Version
 The Mars Tour by Sam Loyd Travel through all the cities on the Mars' surface so that you can spell a complete English sentence at the end of your trip. There are some doubts if such a trip is ever possible. What would you say? Download PDF Version
 Route of the Six Stops by Sam Loyd The Postman's route runs through a dozen of houses, but this day he only needs to visit half of them. The challenge for him is to choose the shortest route. Can you help the Postman with that? Download PDF Version
 Choco Fits after Boris Kordemsky One of the proposed seven chocolate pieces can be copied six times in order to fit them into a rectangular chocolate bar. The key questions are what piece is it and what the final chocolate bar should look like? Download PDF Version
 A Simple Cryptarithm by Henry E. Dudeney A "cryptarithm" stands for a puzzle where you have to reveal the hidden numbers to make some calculations correct. Try this simple classic one. Download PDF Version
 The Testa by Henry E. Dudeney It consists of nine rectangles, it uses five colors, and it reminds you of the "different-colors-in-rows-and-columns" challenge all the way. Download PDF Version
 Bridge Puzzle It is required to dissect an obtuse triangle into acute triangles only. The first question is whether it is possible at all? If the answer is "Yes", then the next question would be "How?" Download PDF Version
 Acute Dissection It is required to dissect an obtuse triangle into acute triangles only. The first question is whether it is possible at all? If the answer is "Yes", then the next question would be "How?" Download PDF Version
 Crazy Cut The only cut has to be done to divide this strange figure into two identical parts. The question is where it should go through? Download PDF Version
 The Bat Make the match bat flying away in another direction. What do you think, how many moves will you need to do this? Just three right moves... Download PDF Version
 Coin Distances Two distances are associated with three coins. Could you find a certain position of the coins so that the distances are equal? Is there any way how the moving coins can distract you from the mission? Download PDF Version
 Starry Sky Unite the sixteen stars in the sky in a single constellation with just six connected straight lines. It is not required to be an expert astronomer to complete this starry task. Download PDF Version
 The Checkered Six The three-in-one puzzle set. It contains a chessboard and two chess Six's. Every shape has to be composed of the entire set of 12 pieces. And... don't forget to alternate the dark and light cells. Download PDF Version
 Magic Triangle 3X The six numbers from 1 to 6 have to be placed along the sides of a triangle so that to create some magic sum along each of its sides. What magic sums can be there? Download PDF Version
 Magic Proportions The circus is in town! Four families got tickets for a day of fun under the big top. Each family brought a different number of children and each family had a different favorite act of the day. Determine the full name of each couple, how many children each had, and what each family's favorite act was. Download PDF Version
 Cover the Red Circle Cover a big circle entirely with the five smaller circles. But keep in mind: when a smaller circle is placed on the big one you aren't allowed to move it anymore. Download PDF Version
 The Egg of Columbus Break the Egg apart and arrange it in the other way to complete a few extra figures. Explore on your own and invent new shapes! Download PDF Version
 The Mutilated Chessboard Another classic puzzle gem that should bring you an "aha!" no matter, if you solve it by yourself or go right to the solution page. Enjoy the beauty of the logical proof! Download PDF Version
 How Many Squares? It's the visual one but it's not an illusion. Count how many dot-per-corner squares are hidden in the given figure and don't let the answer square your error. Download PDF Version
 Nine Points Nine points, four lines, a pencil and... possibly an eraser. Go through all the points not lifting a pencil off the paper. Download PDF Version)
 Trapezoidal Tangram A trapezium is divided into five simple pieces. It is stated several more shapes can be created when the pieces are rearranged. What are these shapes? Can you create all of them? Download PDF Version
 Four Circles The four intersecting circles have to be drawn in the traditional way - neither taking a pencil off the paper, nor going over any part of the line twice. Download PDF Version
 The Six Pennies Transform the two rows of coins into a perfect hexagon simply sliding them. And there is only one additional spec for the sliding... Download PDF Version
 Silhouettes If several silhouettes are superimposed in a pile in some certain way a silhouette of a rabbit can appear. Moreover two different rabbit's silhouettes can be obtained. Can you find them both? Download PDF Version
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 Last Updated: September 12, 2013 top