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by Brian Gladman on December 3, 2015

New Scientist Enigma 321 – Going to Pieces

by Susan Denham

From Issue Number 1469, 15th August 1985

I have a puzzle consisting of eight jigsaw type pieces. Each sturdy piece has been cut from a piece of card 2 inches by 3 inches, by removing one or more of the six 1 inch by 1 inch squares into which it can be divided. For example, one of the pieces is as shown:


The card is the same on both sides and the pieces can be used either way up. For three-quarters of the pieces (like the one shown) this is no advantage, but the other pieces are different when turned over. No two pieces of the puzzle are the same.

The pieces can all be put together to form a large rectangle and, although this can be done by several different arrangements of the pieces, you can only get a large rectangle of one particular size.

What is the size of the large rectangular jigsaw which we can make?

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