Shape Dissection

Also known as:


It's perhaps slightly misleading to list this as a puzzle in its own right, as the description covers a good variety of significantly different puzzles. The likes of Domino Logic, What The 'L' and Cell Block are special cases, some of which are described elsewhere, and certainly follow the basic principle of dividing one large shape into a number of smaller ones, using a variety of additional constraints.

In this instance, though, we're focusing on puzzles where the only information to work with is one large shape, possibly the number of shapes that we need to cut from it, or possibly some detail about what those smaller shapes might look like.

Astute readers might, at this stage, be thinking of the traditional Tangram puzzle, and that is indeed the classic example. For those who haven't come across it before, it consists of a square cut into a parallelogram, a smaller square and five triangles of three different sizes, with the puzzle being to reform the pieces into a square – or any number of other larger shapes or patterns which might be dreamed up by the puzzle setter. Simple though it sounds, when it was first brought to the west from China in the early 19th century by trading ships, it caused a stir every bit as big as the sudokumania of more recent years.

Some of the finest modern puzzlemakers prefer to use highly irregular forms when creating puzzles of this type, specifying merely that the large shape must be dissected into a number of smaller shapes which are identical to each other – aspects of area, perimeter, and 'jigsaw fitting' of nooks and crannies of the larger shape might all be taken into account in deducing where the dividing lines fall. The example puzzle you can download falls into this category.


Recreate the shape shown in silhouette, using the given pieces.

Related Puzzles

Cell Block