Some new tessellation puzzles

You may recall my Penrose cluster puzzles from a while back - I spent some time making the generator script a little fancier to make the layout a little more uniform:

And then I adjusted the settings to get more clusters with a similar cluster-to-constituent-rhombus ratio:

Penrose tiles are groovy and all, and I like the aperiodicity of their tiling, but I wanted to try my hand at regular tilings:

The triangular spirals surprised me with their ability to lead the solver down dead end paths, forcing you to backtrack more than I expected. But then I did a simpler pattern today:

Totally the hardest puzzle I’ve made so far. Plenty of dead ends and false positives. I reset four or five times before I managed to solve it. I was tempted to go back to the PDF that I used to cut the puzzle to begin with, but I did manage to solve it.


Man, they are vicious!
Doing those looks so masochistic that it might require a full leather body suit!


Oh, how cool! Imagine if they were also painted!


Will you be selling / sharing these files possibly?


Nice work! Every puzzle lovers dream!

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These look pretty cool. I’m looking forward to making some puzzles with favorite photos for family members. Puzzles are fun!

Very very cool. I want to try some of these myself. Great inspiration! Thanks!

Wild stuff! Those look super difficult!

Nice work.

Cross linking to a great topic about how to role your own.


I made a “traditional” jigsaw puzzle through a separate path:

I had the local FedEx/Kinkos print to “glossy card stock”, then I used spray adhesive to stick that to mat board that I got from the local frame store.

The next time I go down that path, I want to try using “dry mount” tissue and maybe go to plywood.

I’ve opened up an Etsy shop where I’ve listed my first two experiments, both of which are based on Penrose tilings:

Once I feel satisfied with my regular tessellation puzzles, I’ll put those up on Etsy, too.


Thanks - Oscar van Deventer is a familiar name - I was thinking about using a Dragon Curve as a basis for one of my puzzles.

I’m going to experiment with finishing - I want to make sure the engraved lines continue to show up, and placed pieces disappear into the pattern.

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I looked it up and I still don’t know what you said.

But I really do like your puzzles. Fantastic.

@mpipes put a circle puzzle in free designs a long while back, and it is a smashing hit with the teens in my extended family. Something so sinister in a puzzle with no picture to go on. These are particularly awesome with the puzzle shapes hidden in the engraving.

Yeah, it’s a mouthful.

The mathematical guarantee with aperiodic tilings is that you won’t have big duplications in different parts of the output tiling - which feels like a good property for puzzles like this - even if the overall character is consistent, there’s less chance for a piece to fit in more than one place.

As I try to explain this, it occurs to me that this is an interestingly different character between my Penrose puzzles and the most recent two puzzles - the new puzzles allow pieces to connect all over the place, which forces you to use other clues to know if you’re on the wrong track.


These are AMAZING! This community is full of exciting minds.

There is something about aperiodic tiling that is worth contemplating. Meditation on some of the tilings can reveal some important facets of your own way of thinking and feeling. No matter how much you want the tiles to repeat, they won’t. But they seem to be almost there. Parts repeat, but as a whole it is incomplete. Such is the illusion of the self. It seems consistent, but as a whole, it really isn’t there. Just look at the boundary patterns in the above tiling. No real boundaries, just an illusion of a complete circle pattern.

Well, at least I meditate on aperiodic tiling. They are like can openers for the mind. They will pry things loose that you didn’t think were even there.


A strange loop in this forum always leads back to “I am a Strange Loop”. Emergent properties.


Yes. His writing (GEB) pointed me in the direction that mathematicians, neuroscientists and linguistics professors could fill the gap in the theory of mind that my traditional philosophy studies lacked.


If you haven’t already, add Dan Dennett to your reading list. Another data point for you.
BTW, I’m reading and liking “Soul made Flesh”. Good recommendation.