The colour-box puzzles
by Andrea Gilbert
Gathering for Gardner IV
February 2000, Atlanta
Several puzzles and games revolve around the idea of a 'black
box' containing objects (for example mirrors or atoms) at unknown
locations. You send rays of light or energy into the black box,
observe where the rays emerge, and use your powers of deduction
to discover the locations of the hidden objects. In this variation
however the contents of the box is clearly visible, the box is
filled with colour-coded objects (red, green, yellow and blue).
Each group of objects exhibits a specific behaviour, one group
allows the ray to pass straight through (type S), one deflects
the ray left (type L), one deflects the ray right (type R) and
one reflects the ray back the way it came (type U). Your task
to work out which colour represents which behaviour. This mapping
may vary from puzzle to puzzle.
Use the following example to investigate the behaviour of
a typical colour-box.
Here follows four more colour-boxes. Can you work out which
colour maps to which behaviour in each case?
concept & maze designs
© Andrea Gilbert 2000