Tuesday, May 29, 2018

A couple of revisions to tessellating maze books

When I designed Tantalizing Tessellating Mazes in 2011 and 2012 I not only had enough tessellation patterns to produce 70 mazes for this book, but had enough left over to do another 70 mazes in More Tessellating Mazes. Many of the tessellations were common geometric shapes. At the time I did not see this as a shortcoming because I was more focused on mazes than on tessellations.

In the six years since the publication of these two books I have devoted considerable time to finding new tessellation patterns. Most of what I have found has been used in other maze books, but I early in 2018 I realized that I still had enough unused material to revise and upgrade both Tantalizing Tessellating Mazes and More Tessellating Mazes.

Both books had 70 pages of mazes and 35 pages of solutions, with two solutions per page. The revisions shrink the solutions so that four fit on a page. This change frees up space for an additional fourteen mazes with no change in page count. In addition I dropped patterns that I thought were the least interesting and replaced them with new patterns and mazes. As a result, both books now have a greater percentage of Escher-like mazes, that is, mazes based on shapes that resemble real world objects rather than geometric, abstract shapes. In Tantalizing Tessellating Mazes 35 of the mazes are new and 49 are carried over from the previous edition. The numbers for More Tessellating Mazes are 27 new and 57 holdovers.

The order of mazes has been changed. The new mazes are slightly more difficult than the mazes they replace, but they still seem best described as fairly easy and appropriate for ages 8 and older. Both books have many bird tessellations because I seem prone to find bird shapes as I toy with Tesselmaniac!. (Tantalizing Tessellating Mazes has 29 bird tessellations and More Tessellating Mazes has 21.)

Some of the shapes used in the books have previously appeared on this blog. Here is a bird tessellation illustrated with a small sample maze that I used to keep track of maze typefaces.

The pattern below comes from the quilting world. This maze allows not only horizontal and vertical passages but also passages through the corners. The shape is nothing special but the corner passages make even small mazes a challenge. (This is not a maze from the book but a sample maze to illustrate the pattern.)

Both books are available on Amazon and links to them are in the side margin.

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