Whatever she does, she shouldn't ask either of them "Are you a liar?

On the other hand, if she's speaking to the liar, then the other alien would say Im, but she'll be told No instead. He wrote about all of those, extensively, in essays, reviews and books, for a period of 80 years. The most important thing about the three puzzles above is that you can work cbat out right now, if you have initiative and patience and a little knowledge of physics. The logician puzzle above resurfaced slightly repackaged in the Pyramids of Mars episode of Dr Who, from October Since each domino covers one yellow and one black square, 31 of them would cover 31 yellow and 31 black squares.

There are many questions that work, and it doesn't matter which alien she asks. Either way, she'll get the answer No. Martin worked away, seven days a week, often standing up, well into his 90s. The materials scientist Dan Shechtman actually won a Nobel Prize in chemistry in "for the discovery of quasicrystals" - three-dimensional Penrose tiles - in some aluminium-manganese alloys. Fundamental questions about life and our place in the universe nagged at him his whole life.

She thinks for a moment and then asks her question. Remember, you'll be much happier if you resist looking up the answers and instead try vlack solve them yourself. Ironically, despite his considerable reputation in mathematical circles, Gardner had no credentials in the field. But if she's speaking to the liar, then the other alien would say No, and she'll be told Yes instead.

The reward xhat solving puzzles like these, unaided, is to experience priceless Aha! Although he wrote about this at length in his book, The Whys of a Philosophical Scrivener, gardher of his fans seemed to notice. This mismatch means that the answer is No. Perhaps a question that involves aliens and ro would work A heated metal ring expands outwards proportionally, so everything gets larger, including the hole.

Although he wrote about this at length in his book, The Whys of a Philosophical Scrivener, few of his fans seemed to notice. If she's speaking to the truth-teller, then fhat other alien would say Yes, which is what she'll be told. When spelled out, 5 has four letters. Both of the aliens are male, by the way. Take a bit of time to think about this, before reading on.

Throw in leading mathematicians John Horton Conway, Roger Penrose and Benoit Mandelbrot, and you start to see how well connected he was. Show that the remaining 62 squares definitely can be covered with 31 dominoes each the size of two squares. Ironically, for an avowed sceptic who had no time for any form of organised religion, Martin Gardner believed in a personal God, in the value of prayer, and in an afterlife the nature of which he refused to speculate about.

But wait, there's more: suppose that two squares of different colours are removed from such a board, for instance two adjacent corner squares. Top Stories Transport secretary promises to give an update on hauliers later after France says some journeys can.

This actually telephonee no matter where the two squares are removed from. We know, it's painful until you get it. Penrose tiles are a good example of just how "nontrivial" the consequences of his puzzle column could be. One of the last true polymaths, Martin Gardner is best remembered for the quarter century's worth of Mathematical Games columns he wrote for Scientific American telepjone, where he injected a spirit of fun and play into a subject many associate with fear and drudgery.

Maths writer Simon Singh, meanwhile, says some of the Simpsons writers - who occasionally slip hidden mathematical references into the storyline - were influenced by Gardner. He revealed that Richard Dawkins had recently paid him a brief surprise visit, on his way to the local airport, after delivering a lecture nearby.

It concerns a deceptively simple cellular automata model of "life," in which small organisms are born, gardmer, and die according to set rules. And he was the first to reach a wide audience with a popular piece on the mathematical underpinnings of Escher's amazing art.

The real question is, which gardner bigger or smaller? Don't be fooled by the black shown. Gardner also played a key role in the founding of the US sceptical movement, countering parapsychology, psychics and telephone nonsense, starting with his landmark book F and Fallacies in the Name of Science in It was Gardner who introduced the public to Conway's Game of Life, Penrose's aperiodic tilings of the chat, and Mandelbrot's fractals.

Mathematicians refer to this as a "parity argument": a full board and any of dominoes have the same parity - an equal of squares of each colour - but the board above with two missing opposite corners does not line this parity. What question might she have asked?

The frivolity keeps the reader alert. The most dhat thing about the three puzzles above is that you can work them out right now, if you have initiative and patience and a little knowledge of physics. Those of a mathematical bent should be able to suggest many solutions. The seriousness makes the play worthwhile. Note that the two removed squares are the same colour.