The first thing you notice about the photo of this puzzle is that it’s been enhanced to make sure you cannot see the lines of the pieces and how they fit together to make the letter T. Sorry. But if we didn’t do that then you wouldn’t get the enjoyment of puzzling over this one!
This letter dissection puzzle has just 4 pieces. In fact, there’s a sheet enclosed showing 101 shapes you can make with those 4 pieces. The letter T is the main object of this puzzle. But there are another 100 shapes to puzzle over once you solve that. Everything from a diamond, to an arrow, and even a letter L as well!
With only four pieces, the T puzzle is deceivingly simple. Few people are able to solve it in less than 5 minutes and many people take half an hour or more. Lots say it cannot be done! Even the famous American maths and science author Martin Gardner was quoted as saying “I know of no polygon-dissection puzzle with as few pieces that is so intractable.”
The main problem people face trying to solve this one relates to what is called functional fixedness. This is a cognitive bias that limits how people will place the pieces based on a pre-conceived idea of how they would normally be used. In reality the polar opposite to thinking outside the box, or in this case the T.
It seems about 100 years ago the T puzzle was recommended as a good puzzle from kids to work on. Many paper and cardboard versions were made by companies as advertising. And the puzzle has remained popular ever since. It’s been used many times in advertising including White Rose Ceylon Tea in 1903. There was even a version made in the 1980’s featuring Mr T from the popular TV program the A-Team who’s packaging read “I pity the poor fool who can’t solve Mr T’s puzzle”. Who’s old enough to remember that?
The puzzle is made from Thai Monkey Pod wood.
Size: The height of the T is 112mm and width is 85mm
The puzzle is shrink wrapped and the solution to all 101 shapes is enclosed.