I just heard that Martin Gardner died yesterday.
I used to love his Mathematical Games in some old copies of Scientific American I acquired. Well I say “love” but usually they tormented me. Due to a piece by him on fractals I taught myself complex arithmetic which was the thin end of a slippery slope that ended in a physics degree. That’s your fault Martin and I’m sure I’m very far from the only one to blame you for something similar!
Gardner was not a towering figure in Twentieth Century recreational mathematics – he was Twentieth Century recreational mathematics. He was also a debunker of pseudoscience and the paranormal as well as a writer on (amongst other things) philosophy and literature – especially the works of Lewis Carroll. His splendid annotations of the Alice books are a constant pleasure.
Professor Gardner let you rest in the peace you denied the rest of us and for many a “wasted” afternoon I thank you!
Here’s a very small collection of some of Martin Gardener’s most famous puzzles. Have fun!