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Plank puzzle collection

Welcome to a new collections page for 2020 dedicated to the world of the plank-puzzle. There is so much swampy ground to cover I've broken up the content here into several new sub-pages. So grab your swamp-boots and start exploring.

The complexity of the challenges may vary, but the goal is the same in all cases; to find a route across a crocodile infested swamp using an inadequate selection of rather short planks. If this is your first visit, I recommend you start on the original planks page.

Original planks: Explore the early evolution of the plank puzzle.

Hex swamps: The vexing hexagonal variation.

Swampbeast puzzles: Really beastly puzzles - enter at your peril.

6x6 grand tour: Searching for new insights on the 6x6 grid.

River-Crossing (the perilous plank puzzle)

Plank-puzzles are available as a hands-on mechanical puzzle called River Crossing produced by ThinkFun and distributed globally by Ravensburger. The first edition was launched in 2002 and there have been at least four more new editions or expansion packs since then (the most recent in 2018).

Plank Puzzle - computational complexity

If you find plank-puzzles inexplicably tricky you are not alone. Plank puzzles have been proven 'hard' to solve. For more info see The Complexity of Sliding Block Puzzles (and Plank Puzzles, too) by Bob Hearn.


© Andrea Gilbert - 2000-2020