Executive Tangrams

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<img src="http://isotropic.org/bangwiki/tangram.jpg" alt="tangram.jpg" />

A set of 43 tangram puzzles, one for each president. Teams are given two sets of tangrams so they can work in parallel. 8 of the puzzles are unsolvable: you'd need an extra small triangle to do them. The eight that can't be solved are:


  • Tyler
  • Hayes
  • Arthur
  • Taft
  • Coolidge
  • Hoover
  • Eisenhower
  • Reagan

The first letters of their names spell out THATCHER. Earlier versions of this puzzle played up prime numbers 7 and 43, and the "chief executive" text (eg, "prime" + "chief executive" = "Prime Minister Margaret THATCHER") but playtesters found that distracting. They thought solving the puzzle had something to do with prime numbers (eg, "maybe we need to look at just the prime-numbered puzzles").

Some other words we could have made: AMALGAM, ATTACHE, ATTACK, FARTHER, FLATTEN, PLATTER, WATCHER. We liked the presidents leading to a prime minister, though, and we liked having the longest word we could find (so teams would be more likely to hit on an unsolvable puzzle as they go through the list.)


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