Summer Boredom Blaster: Get Your Feet Wet with Logic Puzzles

In this new series of SOLARO blog entries, we are going to explore some fun, exciting, and easy ways to ensure that students keep learning through the summer.  Over the next few months, SOLARO is going to publish one fun activity per week, taken from our vast pool of resources, which are usually only available to SOLARO subscribers. We believe our content is superior to all other online learning resources on the Internet; therefore, we are so excited to be able to share a little bit with our blog readers.

So stay tuned and get your kids involved in some brain-stimulating activities that are sure to drag them away from the video games. (At least for a while!)

Our SOLARO team has put together a fine assortment of boredom blasters so far this summer, but you’ve probably all been wondering where all the math fun has been hiding. This week, we’re going to show you how to solve GridWorksTM logic puzzles.

These puzzles, along with many other excellent logical reasoning puzzles, can be found at Puzzles.com, and they range from very easy to very difficult. GridWorksTM puzzles each consist of a 3-by-3 grid that needs to be completed using 9 tiles with 3 different shapes coloured yellow, blue, and green.

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Each puzzle includes clues to help decide which shape goes where. Each clue will give some information about the locations of the shapes. For example, in puzzle 31, there is one clue that gives the location of many of the shapes: 

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The clue can be copied directly into the grid. The rest of the puzzle can be solved using the simple rule that no shape is duplicated; each of the triangles, Xs, and circles is a different colour.

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More than one clue can be given for a puzzle. For example, there are five clues given to help solve puzzle 177.

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In this puzzle, some of the clues could go in a variety of different places on the grid. For example, clue 5 could go in the top left, top right, bottom left, or bottom right.

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To decide where it needs to go, start with clue 3. Because of its shape, it must go in the top left corner of the puzzle.

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Now, you can look to see where to put clue 5.

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It cannot go in the squares at the top left, because square 2 is already yellow, and it cannot be blue as well. For the same reason, clue 5 cannot go in the squares at the top right. It cannot go in the bottom left, because square 4 is already an X, and it cannot also be a circle.

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The only place to put clue 5 is in the squares at the bottom right.

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The only clues that are left are 1, 2, and 4. Clue 1 is the same shape as clue 5.

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It might also go in the same four places in the puzzle as clue 5. Not so fast, though. If you look at what is already there, you can see that it cannot go in the top right, because then the green triangle would have to go in square 2, which must contain a yellow shape.

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It cannot go in the bottom left, because the triangles would have to go in squares 4 and 5, which already contain an X and a circle, respectively.

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It cannot go in the bottom right because the green triangle would go in square 5, which already has a circle in it.

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The only place it can go is the top left.

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This leaves clues 2 and 4.

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These are some simple guidelines to get you started. Try puzzles 1–4, 6, 9, 10, 13, 15, 21, and 27 for some practice using these techniques. As you go through the website, you will probably notice that some clues are given on a blue background. These are negative clues, and our next blog will go over how to use those. You can also read more about negative clues and clues that rotate or reflect on the Clue Example page and the Extensions page. Good luck!

Images based on Gridworks puzzle images.