By Oliver Roeder of FiveThirtyEight
The world’s oldest collection of math puzzles had seen better days. In 1865, the British Museum received a brittle and breaking scroll of papyrus that was well over 3,000 years old.
In December 2015 — 150 years after the British Museum’s acquisition and three millennia after the death of Ramesses II — FiveThirtyEight began publishing a weekly math and logic puzzle column called The Riddler. (We’ve now published over 140 of them.)
Now we’re publishing the first-ever collection of Riddler puzzles in a book. The puzzles in the collection originated not from a dutiful ancient scribe but often from people like you. Each Friday, when the column is published, Riddler readers take to the far-flung boroughs of the internet to dissect, discuss and solve the puzzles of the week. It shows how great strides have been taken in mathematics over these past 3,000 years and the strength of technology to accelerate, combine and disseminate ideas.