Numerical Brain Teasers (PragProg)

Test your math, and sharpen your skills. These fun and twisty challenges will puzzle your brain, tease your number sense, and get you thinking outside the box.


Erica Sadun @PragmaticErica

edited by Brian MacDonald@bmacdonald

Challenge your brain with math! Using nothing more than basic arithmetic and logic, you’ll be thrilled as answers slot into place. Whether purely for fun or to test your knowledge, you’ll sharpen your problem-solving skills and flex your mental muscles. All you need is logical thought, a little patience, and a clear mind. There are no gotchas here. These puzzles are the perfect introduction to or refresher for math concepts you may have only just learned or long since forgotten. Get ready to have more fun with numbers than you’ve ever had before.

Engage your analytical side with these numerical brain teasers. Math and logic puzzles help you stretch your mind to think in new ways. They flex your lateral thinking as you work through fresh problem styles. Each puzzle type comes with an explanation, a method for solving them, and solutions if you get stuck.

The puzzles in this book are short, self-contained, and “gritty.” They offer an enjoyable challenge and are designed to be solvable within a few minutes. You only need basic arithmetic to solve these puzzles; no advanced math required. There’s plenty of variety to keep things fresh. From wandering digits to magic triangles, from summing grids to water pails, you’ll find something that catches your interest. Each puzzle is brief, so use them as a warm-up to your daily work, for a delightful diversion on your coffee break, or solve a few while you wind down for the day.

Grab a pencil and your thinking cap, and get solving!

Erica Sadun enjoys math, puzzles, and deep dives into technology. She’s worked in programming, teaching, and developer outreach. She has written, co-written, and contributed to dozens of books about a variety of tech topics, and blogged at TUAW, Ars Technica, O’Reilly, and Lifehacker.

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Ooo this looks like a lot of fun! We should definitely do a book club for this one day!!! :smiley:

I’ve been meaning to do a maths refresher for ages, so thank you PragProg and Erica for answering one of my wishes! :003: :026:


I’m pretty excited about this. Hi everyone! I can’t wait to see what kind of feedback you have. Feel free to share both the positive and negative, point out errors, and ask questions – or just say “hi”! This was a bit of a passion project book and I hope everyone loves it as much as I do!


I’m excited about this book too. It reminds me of a little book I picked up when I was a youngster called 101 Puzzles in Thought and Logic by C. R. Wylie Jr. You can actually feel yourself getting a bit smarter when you exercise your brain with these sorts of puzzles.


That’s terrific! Same as you @AstonJ, I’ve bought one from Manning but, through games and puzzles is way more practical.
Thank you so much @PragmaticErica!


My pleasure! These were such fun to develop and share.


I like this book. It is truly amazing.


Thank you! It’s been a special project for me.

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