BoingBoing has an article about the author's experience with an extremely expensive, extremely disappointing physical metal puzzle called Isis I that may or may not be a marketplace scam to amass a mailing list filled with rich people.
Midway through the article, while bemoaning the way the puzzle works (or doesn't), the author provides a helpful list of rules that he feels make for a good puzzle:
- The objective has to be clear and easy to understand without special training.
- The rules under which the objective is to be achieved have to be clear and understandable without special training.
- The challenge presented by a puzzle must be primarily intellectual in nature, not physical. Juggling, for example, is challenging, has a clear objective, and operates under clear rules. But it's not a puzzle.
- The challenge must arise as a direct result of the structure of the puzzle and not from some obscured secret.
Find out the myriad ways in which the Isis I breaks these rules by reading the full article:
- Read Isis Adventure: Worst. Puzzle. Ever. - BoingBoing - BoingBoing
What's the worst puzzle you've ever tried to solve, and what made it bad? Tell us all about it in the comments!