L.I.P.S. Puzzle

© 2009 Michael Reilly.  All Rights Reserved.

This is a DIY puzzle project which only requires some graph paper, pencil, pens, straight edge, scissors, time, attention, and patience. 

1.) Divide up the graph paper into squares of one inch by one inch with nice, dark lines and draw a nice thick border. Now make a second piece of graph paper exactly like this first one. Place one aside.

2.) Cut out several squares, triangles, rectangles; whatever shapes appeal to you. You can use any paper, even more of the graph paper if you want. I used red construction paper and cut seven squares of 2X2 inches and one rectangle of 2X4 inches. The total area of my eight shapes equals nine twentieths of the overall graph space. (Go on, I dare you. Figure out what percentage nine twentieth is…). Notice that I lettered each shape, do yours also. This will be important later. (‘Later,’ as in when you need to find the solution later.)

3.) Next, turn over your lettered shapes and arrange them on top of your graph paper so that none are touching, overlapping each other, or overlapping your drawn border of the graph paper. Spread them out to cover the entire paper.

 4.) Carefully – and this is the most difficult part – draw a pencil line across each of your shapes where they overlay the one inch lines you drew earlier. I do this by holding a straight edge across all the shapes line-by-line. Pencil in the horizontal lines, then pencil in the vertical lines. After that, draw a darker and broader ink line over the pencil lines on your shapes.

5.) Now, this part is very important! You must preserve this layout because this is your proven solution. Carefully trace around each shape’s position on this first piece of graph paper. Then, as you remove each shape, write its corresponding letter within their outline.

The object of this puzzle is to see if someone – even yourself – can arrange the shapes so that the dark lines on the shapes overlay the one inch grid lines on the second piece of graph paper (the one without the lettered outlines). You may not overlap the shapes or the border. Not as easy as it looks. If it is too easy, your shapes may be too small a percentage of the overall graph paper. If too hard, then the shapes may be too large.

Below is my most recent failed attempt to put mine back together. Proving, once again, that someone who can make a puzzle can’t always put it back together again.