Friday, March 1, 2024 Mar 1, 2024
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#110 Pentomino Theory
By Peggy Oglesby |

Geometric dissections are an old and interesting chapter in recreational mathematics. This particular puzzle involves fitting together pen-tominoes-shapes made up of five connected squares. Each of the twelve shapes is to be filled by a five-letter word; the order for entering the letters is indicated by the numbers in the five squares. The pentomino shapes are then to be fitted together to fill the 6×10 rectangle. Because there is more than one way the rectangle can be filled by the pieces, one pentomino is correctly outlined in the diagram to give the solver a start. When the pentominoes have been successfully fitted, each of the six columns reading down will be a ten-letter phrase. These phrases have been defined in clue form to help the solver. Furthermore, each pentomino is shown in its proper orientation (example: pentomino #12 is a T-shape and will be entered in the diagram exactly that way-not tun ed in some other direction, such as T).

Each clue indicates the answer in more than one way. In addition to straightforward definitions, clues may also contain puns, plays on words, anagrams (“The ability to lead people in confusion is a charm”- CHARISMA), or embedded spellings (“How it zeroes in distinguishes a cannon”). Another common type of clue is word construction, where the answer is built of component parts. Example: “Directions: Halt! Turn around! Hold in!” Solution: “Halt” (STOP), “Turn around” (STOP becomes POTS), “Hold in” (put IN inside of POTS and the answer is POINTS, which is also the straightforward definition answer to “Directions.”) All abbreviations are acceptable as long as they are in current usage (e.g., TV, p.d.q., etc.). Isolated letters may be indicated in a variety of ways- as compass points (“North” in a clue might indicate the letter N, likewise for E, S, W); Roman numerals (the figure 1,000 in a clue might indicate the letter M, likewise for D, C, L, X, V, I); grades or scores (A, F, “zero” = 0, “love” as in tennis – 0); musical notations (P, F for soft or loud respectively). Parts of words may be used (IVE or just V might be indicated by “Midwives”)

The one paramount rule is that the clue sentence, with a little repunctuation, will tell exactly how to get the answer, with all letters accounted for.

An added hint: the pentominoes include two proper nouns and one foreign word.

(Note: When returning the solution, be sure that each pentomino is carefully outlined in the diagram.)

Send the completed puzzle with name and address to Puzzling, D Magazine, 2902 Carlisle, Dallas 75204. All correct solutions will be held for one week after receipt of the first entry, at which time a drawing will take place to determine the winners. First winner will receive a $25 cash prize. Runner-up will receive a free one-year subscription to D. Winner) and completed puzzle will appear in the August issue.

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