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Customer reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
68
4.7 out of 5 stars
Einstein's Riddle: Riddles, Paradoxes and Conundrums to Stretch Your Mind
Format: Hardcover|Change
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on 28 February 2013
A lot of the riddles in this book have unsatisfying solutions. They're interesting but the "answers" are most often philosophical discussions on how the "riddle" could be answered given that there isn't really a right or wrong answer. Fine if you're expecting this kind of thing but not so much if you were hoping for more like Einstein's riddle. And it is short, too.
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on 30 July 2017
Excellent and fun
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on 29 November 2015
lovely just gotta read it now xx
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on 28 December 2009
I bought this as a stocking filler present but have ended up reading the entire book myself (cover to cover in one long sitting, I couldn't put it down). I don't write many book reviews but had to here, and I was enthralled by a thought provoking, engaging and intellectual riddle book; not at all a silly tea-time quiz book.

The puzzles are grouped into sections: "Logic & Probability", "When Reasoning Goes Wrong", "The Real World", "Motion, Infinity & Vagueness", "Philosophical Conundrums" and "Paradoxical All The Way Down" (i.e. stuff with no solution - yet). In each section there are quick fun quizzes you can read out, and also longer riddles which usually exemplify a well known (in mathematical or philosophical worlds) problem.

In the back, the solution to the problem is very clearly explained with examples and diagrams and, most interestingly for me, the historical or real-life context. For example: that Simpson's Paradox was demonstrated in and brought down a court case in 1973; that Sorites Paradox was first posed 2,000 years ago; or that a game destroyed 30 years of work or a well-known mathematician. From this I was able to further research things that interested me.

You might recognise some famous concepts (whether by name or not) such as the Prisoner's Dilemma, the Paradox of Deterrence (i.e. should we engage in arms races), which mystery box to pick in a gameshow (based on probability theory), and it hints at concepts I vaguely recall from my degree-level maths (concepts of infinity demonstrated by guests in a hotel, set theory demonstrated by a librarian cataloging books). There is also "The Gambler's Mistake" that Derren Brown recently used on TV (but this book is not nearly as annoying as him).

If you are have even a slight interest in fun maths or philospohy, this book is a great light but interesting read, even if you don't actually want to attempt the puzzles but flip straight to the answers at the back. However the complex stuff is only hinted at and the whole book is short, concise and fun. My whole (non-nerdy) family enjoyed dipping into these puzzles. The book gives you hints for approaching a solution and the solutions are very clearly explained - with digrams, examples, and real-life application. (As a hint for approaching Einstein's riddle, I suggest drawing an even bigger table with all possible options along each side and marking/crossing off combinations as you go.)

As a present, the book is slim but feels good quality with 144 glossy, neatly laid out pages, with nice pictures here and there. I also found the author very humorous, which makes the book more engaging still.
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on 9 December 2012
An eclectic mix of philsophical concepts and logic puzzles.

A good book to dip in and out of, and possibly to inspire a few discussions round the dinner table or fireside.

Complete with a helpful section at the end with an explanation/resolution of the problems.
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on 30 October 2009
This book is excellent and is recommended for anyone interested in brainteasers.
I haven't solved Einstein's riddle yet but I working on it!
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on 13 July 2009
I bought this after a quiz night with a riddle round. It's got logical problems mixed in with short brainteasers and a good mixture of philosophical reasoning and practical challenges - good for challenging friends or family out loud. I tried a couple of riddles on my boyfriend's family who are really good at that kind of lateral thinking, but they were stumped. Plus it's written in a light, humorous way, and the answers at the back show you how to work the problems out rather than just giving you the answer, which is a nice touch.
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on 15 September 2015
This is a very well written book which adults or children over the age of about 11 would enjoy. The puzzles range from quick questions which can be solved in your head to longer puzzles which need a pen and paper. Something to dip into rather than read cover to cover but good for a journey or wake up in the morning. I also like the fact that the solutions are not listed chronologically so that if you check the answer to one puzzle, you don't inadvertently see the answer to the next one.
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on 3 March 2013
This is a smashing little book of thought-provoking puzzles for adults. It was a stocking filler at Christmas for my son and was very well received. Service was excellent and condition of book on arrival was perfect
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on 15 June 2012
Gets the grey cells pumping, especially when you disagree with the suggested solutions! A mix of familiar puzzles and some that you probably won't have seen before and a perfect book to dip in and out of...but possibly not one to read before trying to nod off to sleep as your brain might be turning over for hours!
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