Popular Science

Can you crack some of history’s trickiest puzzles? A battle of wits

- By Corinne Iozzio & Sara Kiley Watson Illustrati­ons by Natasha Dzhola

PEOPLE HAVE BEEN

challengin­g their wits since at least the third millennium BCE, when ancient Sumerians carved riddles into stone tablets. (Try this one, for example: “There is a house. One enters it blind and comes out seeing. What is it?”) Over time, we’ve developed puzzles that test a variety of skills—and revamped the most popular forms to make them ever trickier. Yet as the difficulty of braintease­rs has grown, so too has our urge to tap them for sweet respite from the everyday. Enjoy a little escape and see how many of these you can (Pssst. crack. It’s a school.)

Download a printable version of these games at pops.ci/puzzles.

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