Boris A. Kordemsky

“Simply put, this is the best and most popular puzzle book that has ever been published in the territory formerly known as the Soviet Union. Since it was published for the first time in 1956, there have been a total of eight editions of it, in addition to translations from the original Russian text into Ukrainian, Estonian, Lettic, and Lithuanian. Only the Russian language edition has been published, but it has already sold almost a million copies.
The book contains a fantastically diverse assortment of brainteasers, ranging from easy “catch” riddles to challenging problems, which is one of the reasons why it has been so successful (none, however, requires advanced mathematics). The Western readers will find that many of the puzzles are brand new, while some of the more common problems have been recast in a new light. Most of the time, the riddles are told in the form of endearing stories that offer readers who are not fluent in important Russian insights into the way of life in modern Russia as well as its traditions. In addition, Martin Gardner, formerly the editor of the Mathematical Games Department at Scientific American, has clarified and simplified the book to make it as easy as possible for an English-reading public to comprehend and enjoy. In addition to this, he has ensured that nearly all of the original work’s vivacity, warmth, and humor have been preserved through his careful efforts.
This low-cost edition of the first English translation is lavishly illustrated with over 400 clear diagrams and humorous sketches, and it will provide weeks or even months’ worth of stimulating entertainment. It should be in the collection of any puzzle enthusiast or a person who enjoys recreational mathematics.”