(I published earlier and slightly different versions of this review on Triond's Quazen website on 8 May 2012 and on May 9 2012 on Expertscolumn)
The members of the Grabarchuk family, for those unfamiliar with them, make puzzles for Puzzles.com. "Trilogy 303 Puzzle Quizzes" collects into one omnibus volume their three previous Kindle books : "Puzzlebook: 100 Puzzle Quizzes (color and interactive!)," "Puzzlebook: 101 Puzzle Quizzes (color and interactive!)" and "Puzzlebook: 102 Puzzle Quizzes (color and interactive!)." The puzzles are colorful, geometric and ingenious.
The puzzles are indeed colorful. Most of the puzzles are graphic and geometric, so color helps the solver visualize. Moreover, color gives the puzzle creator an additional tool. The 19th century puzzler Sam Loyd once wrote: "By giving no two pieces the same shape, other ways of doing the puzzle are prevented, and the feat is more difficult of accomplishment." Similarly, giving the pieces of a geometrical puzzle different colors and then making the solution depend on putting the right colors together offers another way for a puzzle creator to make a puzzle with a unique solution.
The Grabarchuks' collection is varied, but the puzzles fall into a number of types. Here are descriptions of a few to give readers a taste:
A number of puzzles require the solver to count the number of times a given geometrical figure or letter appears in a complex design.
Plenty of puzzles present the solver with views of four very similar geometrical figures and ask which one isn't like the others.
In these puzzles, the solver is presented with matchsticks placed in a geometrical array. The puzzle is to remove as few as matchsticks possible to change the diagram in some way.
The solver is asked how many ways there are to form a geometric figure, say a square or an equilateral triangle, by placing coins on the vertices of a geometric figure.
The solver is presented with a number of pairs of double letters. To solve the puzzle, the letters must be arranged--with a few overlapped--to form a word. A semantic clue is also given.
I read plenty of Kindle books, but I don't have a Kindle. I used to read with Kindle for PC, but I switched to the Kindle Cloud Reader and have never gone back. Using Kindle Cloud Reader, I worked through these puzzles on a large laptop PC with a 17" diagonal screen. A brief note below the copyright notice in "Trilogy 303 Puzzle Quizzes" explains how this collection may best be viewed:
Optimized for 3rd font size; "sans serif" typeface; "medium" line spacing; "default" words per line; and "portrait" screen rotation.
The settings I used were nothing like the recommendations. I prefer large letters, wide margins and sepia pages. I didn't find my unusual choices interfered with my enjoyment of the puzzle collection.
Each volume has a visual table of contents. Puzzle elements are used as icons. To go to a puzzle, click on the icon. Below each icon is a descriptive title. For example, the first puzzle in the collection has an icon of yellow arrows on a white field. The arrows point in different directions. The name of the puzzle is "Nine Arrows." Thus, the solver has a visual and verbal hint about what the puzzle is like.
It is not necessary to go to the page of icons to move from puzzle to puzzle. You can also move through the book by clicking on answers. The puzzles are multiple choice with two to four answers for each puzzle. To select an answer, the solver clicks a button. If the answer the solver selects is incorrect, the button leads him to a page with the emoticon ;( and the message "Your answer is incorrect. Please try again." Below the statement is a button marked Return to puzzle. If the answer is correct, the button takes the solver to a page where the solution is shown. This page has two buttons: Back to Puzzle and Next Puzzle. To skip a puzzle, simply click on the right arrow to go to the next one.
The puzzles in each volume are numbered and rated as to difficulty with one to five stars. Easier puzzles come first. At the end of volumes one and two is a five star puzzle. Solving that puzzle correctly takes you to an answer page with Back to Puzzle and Next Puzzle buttons. Clicking Next Puzzle takes you to the first puzzle of the next volume. The end of volume three doesn't work the same way. The answer page for the last five star puzzle in the collection has no Next Puzzle button, and absentminded solvers who click the right arrow on the screen to move along will go to the section of "Wrong Answer" pages. This was the only problem with navigation I found.
I recommend buying this volume if you enjoy working geometric and logic puzzles. I worked through this puzzle collection in less than a month. There are more than 300 in the collection, so I have to admit to an addiction to these puzzles. I'm looking forward to purchasing the fourth volume in the series, which the Grabarchuk family recently released.
You can find more information about Trilogy 303 Puzzle Quizzes on the Grabarchuk family website: [...]
Please note that some Kindle devices do not have color screens. The owners of such devices may not be satisfied with this Kindle book.