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Spectre Tile Puzzle – wooden mathematical jigsaw puzzle
The Spectre Puzzle is a wooden puzzle and mathematical toy consisting of identically shaped pieces which tile in a unique way that never repeats. It is based on a recent mathematical discovery, the Spectre tile which answered a long-standing mathematical mystery: does a so-called “einstein” exist? That is an aperiodic monotile, a single shape which tiles the plane but never makes the same pattern twice. Seems impossible? Now you can play with the mind bending shape and discover how it works.
Our version of the Spectre tile has curvy, interlocking edges for better puzzling. The set comes with 111 wooden tiles with two different patterns printed on them. You can assemble the puzzle as you like or try to figure out the rules to make an infinite tile. By having two different patterns on the tiles, we enable a little bit of creativity in the assembly. If you prefer your puzzle to be patternless, flip the pieces over to construct a plain wood version. Learn more in our blog post.
Warning: this is a hard puzzle! While the tiles never repeat, there aren’t exactly infinite ways to assemble the puzzle. There are specific rules you have to follow in order to tile endlessly, otherwise you can hit dead ends that leave unfillable gaps.
Contains 111 pieces
13 x 12 inches, each piece 1.7×1.2″
Digitally painted on 4mm maple plywood
Laser cut in Palenville, NY
based on the Spectre Tile discovered by David Smith, Joseph Samuel Myers, Craig S. Kaplan, and Chaim Goodman-Strauss
made with math, science, + lasers
Since 2011, Nervous System has been crafting plywood puzzles that combine the artistry of classic jigsaws with the possibilities of new technology. We use custom software inspired by natural patterns to grow the intertwining shapes of the puzzle pieces. The organic forms are cut from plywood by a laser, resulting in a uniquely challenging puzzle crafted from premium materials. Each puzzle is made by us at our solar-powered studio in the Catskill Mountains.