Cover Illustration ©2019 Chiaki Okada / FOR ALL THE STARS ACROSS THE SKY by Karl Newson & illustrated by Chiaki Okada / Reproduced by permission of Walker Books Ltd.
Area mazes, or "menseki meiro" as they're called in Japan, are logic puzzles with simple rules but sometimes complex solutions. Originally developed in Japan for students to develop logical and geometric thinking skills, this collection by Japanese puzzle master Naoki Inaba and first published in English by The Experiment Publishing brings area mazes to everyone - especially lovers of sudoku and other brain games. The first ones are easy, but the area mazes get progressively more difficult.
In the first review of the English edition, boing boing's Mark Frauenfelder calls them "fun" and "addictive." You can read the whole review here, and try some of the puzzles for yourself!
The Original Area Mazes by Japanese puzzle master Naoki Inaba, Ryoichi Murakami and introduced by Alex Bellos is published in English by The Experiment Publishing on October 3, 2017.
To solve each puzzle, remember these simple rules:
FiveThirtyEight's "The Riddler" column by Oliver Roeder featured two puzzles from The Original Area Mazes on September 22, 2017. Here they are below. See if you can solve them!
(A video in which Roeder explains how to solve both puzzles was released the next week!)
Did you solve them? Here's a link to the The Riddler Oliver Roeder's video explaining the solution: