We recently attended a gathering of mathematics coordinators who, collectively, are responsible for the education about a half a million students. We begin every gathering with some sort of math fun. This puzzle was introduced to us by our friend Jon. At the time of the video, we hadn’t yet learned of its actual name or origin, so we are referred to it as Jon’s Puzzle. After recording, we reached out to Jon and learned that he was introduced to the puzzle by Richard Thiessen. At a conference in the 90’s, Richard stumbled upon the puzzle that had apparently been left behind. He and a friend discovered what could be done with the puzzle through play. A few years later he and his wife visited an antique shop which had a well-worn wooden version of the puzzle that was advertising horse blankets. Each piece had information about the blankets.
Cut out all the ten individual pieces. Arrange all ten without overlapping or gaps to form:
- A square
- A right triangle
Are there any other shapes that can be created with the ten pieces?