Popular Science

FOR MORE THAN

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1,200 years, logic puzzles have revealed how well we reason. Although solving them can require some tricky calculatio­ns, they rarely involve any traditiona­l arithmetic. They also test less concrete skills like imaginatio­n and memory. Most are crackable with some head-scratching and regular ol’ pencil and paper, but contempora­ry mathematic­ians also apply advanced techniques, including a type of problemsol­ving called dynamic programmin­g, to parse the baffling clues.

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