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How puzzles turned me into a mathematician

Ian Stewart is retiring from the Prospect Enigma after 11 years. In his last issue, he explains his love of puzzles

By by Ian Stewart  

Farewells are always poignant: think of Romeo taking his leave of the fair Juliet, tragically oblivious to narrative imperative; Doctor Watson reporting “with a heavy heart” the (presumed) demise of his friend at the Reichenbach Falls; Winnie the Pooh’s emotional goodbyes to Christopher Robin—

I’ll get me coat. Indeed, I will, for this is my last “Enigmas & puzzles” column.

Enigmas made its debut in January 2003. Before then I’d been writing the “Mathematical recreations” column for Scientific American, following in the footsteps of the inimitable Martin Gardner, a journalist with strong interests in stage magic and puzzles. In 1956…

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