Tangram - The Puzzle That's Stumping Everyone!

Where did they come from, and why are they so darn difficult?

10 months ago   •   3 min read

By Mia

Do you love puzzles? If so, you'll love the tangram! The object of the game is to take the seven shapes and arrange them into a specific figure. Sounds easy enough, right? Wrong. These puzzles have been stumping people of all ages for centuries. Where did they come from, and why are they so darn difficult?

So the Tangram consists of seven pieces, called "tans". These tans are meant to be arranged into a specific shape, usually a square or rectangle. The catch is that the tans can't overlap, so the challenge is to figure out how to rearrange them into the correct shape using as few moves as possible.

While the Tangram is often viewed as a simple child's game, it can actually be quite challenging for adults. The puzzle requires both creative thinking and spatial reasoning, making it a great brainteaser for people of all ages.

It is reputed that Tangram puzzles have been invented in China sometime around the late 18th century and then carried over to America and Europe by trading ships shortly after.

Fast-forward to the present day, and Tangram puzzles are as popular as ever. They've been used as teaching tools in schools and as brainteasers in newspaper columns and books. But why are these puzzles so addictive?

There are actually several reasons. For one, they can be played by people of all ages and abilities. Unlike other puzzles that require mastery of certain skills (like Sudoku), anyone can pick up a Tangram set and start playing.

Additionally, there's an element of competition involved; once you solve one puzzle, you're immediately challenged to solve another one that's even more difficult. And lastly, they're just plain fun!

Now that you know a little bit about the history of Tangram puzzles, let's move on to the real challenge: actually solving them.

There are two main ways to solve Tangram puzzles: trial and error or mathematics and logic. With trial and error, you simply start rearranging the tans until you find a solution that works. With mathematics and logic, you use mathematical principles to deduce which arrangement of tans will work before you even start moving them around.

Whichever method you choose, making sure your solutions are valid is important; otherwise, you'll end up getting stuck in an endless loop!

Let's start with some basic tips:

• Always look for patterns when attempting to solve a puzzle – this will help narrow down the possibilities significantly.

• Be patient – take your time and try different approaches until you find one that works.

• Don't get too frustrated if it takes longer than expected; most people take multiple attempts before they can come up with an answer.

Spoiler alert: here's a tip that will help you quite a bit! One common way to solve the Tangram is to start by finding the two smallest tans and placing them in the corners of the square. This leaves five tans to fit into the remaining space. By using some trial and error, you can usually figure out how to arrange the remaining tans to complete the puzzle.

Final Words

Tangram puzzles may be centuries old, but they're still as popular as ever! With a little practice and some basic tips, you'll soon be an expert at solving these classic mind-benders.

So why not give yourself a little brain workout, and try tangram or other brain-teasing puzzles? Tap below to see some cool ones we have picked for you!

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