New York Times: They’re Taking Jigsaws to Infinity and Beyond

New York Times: They’re Taking Jigsaws to Infinity and Beyond. “Ms. Rosenkrantz and Mr. Louis-Rosenberg are algorithmic artists who make laser-cut wooden jigsaw puzzles — among other curios — at their design studio, Nervous System, in Palenville, N.Y. Inspired by how shapes and forms emerge in nature, they write custom software to ‘grow’ intertwining puzzle pieces. Their signature puzzle cuts have names like dendrite, amoeba, maze and wave.”

ReviewGeek: The 6 Best ‘Wordle’ Alternatives

ReviewGeek: The 6 Best ‘Wordle’ Alternatives. “As you’d probably expect, you’ve got more than a few copycat options to choose from. However, we recommend diving into some of the more … creative alternatives, as they keep the original game mechanics but offer a few new features and rules as well. We’re sure you’ll find one (or several) new fun alternatives to help you fill the hours in between your daily Wordle puzzle!”

New York Times: How Word Lists Help — or Hurt — Crossword Puzzles

New York Times: How Word Lists Help — or Hurt — Crossword Puzzles. “If we were to go by the New York Times Crossword, Lake ERIE would be the most dazzling body of water on Earth. Mining ORE would be the most lucrative business venture. According to xwordinfo.com, ERIE is the third most popular word in the New York Times Crossword. It has appeared over 1,350 times. ORE is seventh, with over 1,200 appearances. ORE and ERIE are examples of crosswordese, words that appear often in crossword puzzles but rarely in day-to-day conversation.”

New York Times: Is This Some Kind of Code? You Can Solve the …

New York Times: Is This Some Kind of Code? You Can Solve the …. “In a 2015 paper, ‘Fun With Fonts: Algorithmic Typography,’ the Demaines explained their motivations: ‘Scientists use fonts every day to express their research through the written word. But what if the font itself communicated (the spirit of) the research? What if the way text is written, and not just the text itself, engages the reader in the science?’ Inspired by theorems or open problems, the fonts — and the messages they compose — can usually be read only after solving the related puzzle or series of puzzles.”

BBC: ‘I was terrible at crosswords so I built an AI to do them’

BBC: ‘I was terrible at crosswords so I built an AI to do them’. “Matt Ginsberg is good at a lot of things – he is an AI scientist, author, playwright, magician and stunt plane pilot. But he isn’t very good at crosswords. In fact, despite writing them for the New York Times, he says that when they are published, he often cannot solve his own. So when he was sitting in a hotel ballroom losing yet again in a major US crossword competition, he decided to do something about it.”

Washington Post: I invented the Rubik’s Cube. It can teach us about facing problems like covid.

Washington Post: I invented the Rubik’s Cube. It can teach us about facing problems like covid.. “The Cube contains more than 43 quintillion possible combinations, but only one is the starting, or solved, position. The sheer scope can make you feel paralyzed. Anyone who has ever received a new Cube finds it a perfectly ordered object with each side a single color. But it doesn’t take much — one turn, then another — to transform that tranquil landscape into a chaotic, multicolored jumble. Making matters worse, trying to see the puzzle in its entirety is hopeless, and yet you need to know what is going on with all the sides to solve it. Order can’t just be imposed, and the more we try to force it, the less likely we are to succeed. A scrambled Cube can elicit frustration, anger, anxiety and the sinking feeling of being lost. In this […]

EurekAlert: UCI researchers’ deep learning algorithm solves Rubik’s Cube faster than any human

EurekAlert: UCI researchers’ deep learning algorithm solves Rubik’s Cube faster than any human. “Since its invention by a Hungarian architect in 1974, the Rubik’s Cube has furrowed the brows of many who have tried to solve it, but the 3D logic puzzle is no match for an artificial intelligence system created by researchers at the University of California, Irvine.”

Mental Floss: Inside the World’s Only Public Collection of Mechanical Puzzles

New-to-me: a database of mechanical puzzles. “The collection is named after Jerry Slocum, a Chicago-area native who started donating his personal collection of puzzles to the library in 2006. The library now has over 34,000 mechanical puzzles, which, unlike jigsaw and crossword puzzles, tend to feature interconnected pieces that must be physically manipulated in order to solve the problem…. An online database of the collection lets users search by the puzzle’s date of creation, designer, maker, or classification.”