Today’s puzzle is all about helping Ukraine.
These are written by the Graberchuk family, who are one of the most original and extensive puzzle makers in the world. Originally from the western Ukrainian city of Uzgorod on the Slovak border, the family moved to the United States in 2013 to become internationally famous for their puzzle books, websites and apps. Computer science legend Donald Knuth says the family’s father, Serhiy Graberchuk, said: His works are particularly beautiful, instructive and fulfilling. “
Since the beginning of the war, Graberchuk has been publishing a daily puzzle that promotes Ukrainian culture (such as St. Sophia Cathedral’s ‘Spot the Difference’ at the top of this story) in the hope of raising money for humanitarian and military aid.
Below are six puzzles I selected from the family archive. If you enjoy them, please consider contributing to their suggested causes Slava Ukraine!
1. Hex wax
Which number question mark should be replaced?
2. Ring ding
Which system of rings is different from others?
3. Snake shake
Which aspect of the 11-cube snake is wrong?
4. Box fox
Place a number in each box so that all 8 equations, across and below, are all correct. A box already has the number 7
5. Sign mine
Which sign in the bottom row should replace the question mark?
For each of these six elements, find another element that has no character match with the replica. Each answer is unique.
Hint: All answers are well-known elements, words that are in the vocabulary of a non-chemist.
No spoilers. I’ll be back in the UK at 5pm with the answer.
Graberchuk’s story began five decades ago when Serhi, now 64, was a schoolboy in Uzhgorod. He discovered a talent for creating puzzles and magic tricks and turned it into a career. In the 1990s he and his wife Tania had a small company publishing puzzle books, and now the business has expanded to websites and apps and involved his sons Sergey Jr. and Peter and their wives, Kate and Helen. The most successful puzzles in the family are Streamco, a pencil and paper puzzle in the Sudoku method.
If you enjoy today’s puzzles, please consider donating to Ukraine. Here are the links to the National Bank of Ukraine’s grant pages for humanitarian and military assistance.
Grabarchuks has Facebook, Instagram, and their website here. Their most recent book is the Age of Puzzles series. All images in this story are their copyright.
I set up a puzzle here on Mondays every two weeks. I’m always looking out for great puzzles. If you want to make an offer, email me.
I am the author of several puzzle books, most recently a language lover’s puzzle book. I also discuss math and puzzles at school (online and in person). Contact your school if interested.
On Thursday 21st April I will give a puzzle workshop for the Guardian Masterclass. You can sign up here.