Martin Gardner was an inspiration to many of us with his Scientific American articles. I remember devouring them avidly when I was at school many, many years ago. Some of the articles were published in various books, but now all of his columns are about to be published by The Mathematical Association of America on CD-ROM in February. American readers can pre-order it from Barnes & Noble and more details are available from Mathpuzzle.com.
Being able to read all his columns would be wonderful but I would still prefer to read it on old-fashioned paper. If it were published as a book in the UK, I would be the first to buy it.
In 1964, Scientific American devoted a complete issue to mathematics, so Martin Gardner devoted his column to word play
- … not discussed in any mathematical books, yet it has a about it a quasi-mathematical air … perhaps the combinatorial aspect is the reason why so many mathematicians are addicted to language play.
A few teasers he set from that issue:
- 1. The letters omitted from these common English words are all consonants
- _ _ _ E _ _ _ _ _
- _ A_ E _ I O U _ _ Y
2. I never did manage to find the missing letters (vowels or consonants) in
- _ _ M N O P _ _ _ _
3. He didn’t mention this word where the missing letters are again all consonants
- _ _ Y _ _ _ _