150-Year-Old Chess Puzzle Solved

A mathematician from Harvard University named Michael Simkin has (basically) solved the n queens problem, a chess puzzle that’s some 150 years old. The mathematical challenge was created by chess composer Max Bezzel in 1848 and essentially asks “How many queens can you place on a chess board so that none are attacking each other?” Using complex linear algebra, the puzzle has been solved for …

“The Sunflower Quilting Bee at Arles” Puzzle

Faith Ringgold’s 1996 work “The Sunflower Quilting Bee at Arles” depicts eight iconic Black American women (Madam CJ Walker, Sojourner Truth, Ida Wells, Fannie Lou Hamer, Harriet Tubman, Rosa Parks, Mary McLeod Bethune and Ella Baker) as well as Vincent van Gogh and a fictional character named Willia Marie Simone (a frequent heroine of Ringgold’s quilt works, and perhaps her alter-ego). This piece honors and …

Castle Block Set

From the heirloom-quality South German toy brand Gluckskafer, the Castle Block Set is a vertical puzzle produced with wood from the Linden tree. The bright primary colors (drawn from non-toxic, water-based paint) lend each block—and the non-traditional, but still fairytale-like castle as a whole—an even more imaginative presence.