This book is the heavyweight champion of problems in recreational mathematics, containing a large number of very detailed problems in many areas. The presentation strategy is to develop the topic by using problems followed by an explanation followed by a detailed solution. The style is largely that of a textbook, which in fact is what it is designed to be. The authors developed the material as the main text for a course they teach in applied problem solving. The chapters are largely independent, so it is possible to pick and chose the topics for a course. Do not let the word recreational in the title lead you to believe that these problems are bunnies. I am a co-editor of Journal of Recreational Mathematics and I found myself thinking long and hard about some of these problems. Granted, many are straightforward, but there are enough of the head-scratching variety to satisfy every taste. The general topics are logic, basic number theory, graph theory and games, with a few other topics interspersed. With hundreds of problems, detailed solutions to the demonstrations and hints for most included, this is a resource unlike all others. If you teach a course in mathematical problem solving or beginning computer programming, you cannot help finding a problem in here that you can use to illustrate a topic or as a test question. I have already used a couple as the seeds for some programming exercises. Better yet, consider it as a textbook for your course in mathematical problem solving.
Published in Journal of Recreational Mathematics, reprinted with permission.
I bought this book on chance - the title inspired me - and what a surprise within the 450 or so pages absolutely packed with gems. Chapters include: *From words to equations (algebraic recreations) *Solve it with integers (number theory) * numbers, bases and cryptarithmetic (sic) *solve it with networks (graph theory) *games of strategy for 2 players *solitaire games and puzzles. The authors' enthusiasm spills through on every page although I prefer to dip in on a random basis. I hope the publishers, Dover, re-issue this excellent book