Creative Puzzles of The World, 1978 first edition, by Pieter Van Delft, Jack Boterman.

Sorry, this item has sold.

Created by Pieter Van Delft & Jack Boterman. First edition, 1978. Harry N. Abrams, Inc. Publishers, New York.

This out-of-print collection of hundreds of classic and modern puzzles that also demonstrate the history of puzzles will challenge and entertain, and at times frustrate, puzzle-lovers of all ages.

From the introduction:

"Nearly all human beings love to test their wits on puzzles. In solving them they are exercising skills that are characteristically human, shared to only a small degree by other species. ... Many of the puzzles we encounter do not require great originality to solve them, for past experience gives us methods of approaching them. ... Perhaps the most satisfying kind of puzzle is one whose solution comes only with a change of viewpoint when the usual approaches have been completely exhausted.

There is an old tale about a young woman who in a flash of insight solved an apparently impossible problem. Her father owed a large debt to an evil moneylender and had no hope of paying it. The moneylender offered to release the father from his debt if he agreed to a wager. The moneylender would place a black pebble and a white one in a bag and the daughter would take only one from it. If her luck was good and she retrieved the white pebble, the moneylender would make no claim against the father. However, if she took the black pebble, she would have to marry the moneylender. With no other choice available, the father and daughter agreed to the wage. The moneylender picked up a handful of pebbles from the hundreds that were lying around. He dropped two into the bag - but the sharp-eyed daughter saw that they were both black. Her dilemma was terrifying. If she exposed the moneylender as a cheat, he would certainly have her father sent to prison for nonpayment of a debt. On the other hand, if she took a pebble, she would be compelled to marry the hated moneylender. Trying to find the daughter's solution should be quite tantalizing to the reader.

The girl turned the moneylender's trick against him in an ingenious way. She quickly took a pebble, fumbled in feigned nervousness, and dropped it before anyone could see its color. It was immediately lost among the myriad pebbles on the ground. "It's all right," she said, "we can easily find out what color it was, for it was the opposite of the pebble that is still in the bag." Thus she was able to "prove" that the pebble she had taken was actually white.

The heroine's shift of attention from the pebble she was to select to the pebble that would remain is perhaps typical of what happens when we have a flash of insight into a problem."


Geometric Problems
Moving-Piece Puzzles
Dissection Puzzles
Matchstick Puzzles
Domino Puzzles
Construction Puzzles and Packing Problems
Magic Squares
Ring-String-Ball Puzzles
String Puzzles
Mazes and Labyrinths
Wire Puzzles
Number and Logic Puzzles
Positioning Puzzles
Crossing the Water Puzzles
Peg Solitaire
Shunting Problems
Puzzles with Checkers
Sliding Block Puzzles
Solutions to the Puzzles
Visit for more books for children and collectors.

Condition*: Near Fine/Near Fine. The laminated dust jacket has a minor scuff on the back. There's a shadow from a small label on the front free endpaper.

Shipping from United States

Processing time

1-3 business days

Estimated shipping times

  • Australia : 1 - 3 business days
  • United States : 1 - 3 business days
  • North America : 1 - 3 business days
  • Europe : 1 - 3 business days
  • Australia, New Zealand and Oceania : 1 - 3 business days
  • Asia Pacific : 1 - 3 business days
  • Latin America and the Caribbean : 1 - 3 business days
  • North Africa and the Middle East : 1 - 3 business days
  • Sub-Saharan Africa : 1 - 3 business days

I'll do my best to meet these shipping estimates, but can't guarantee them. Actual delivery time will depend on the shipping method you choose.

Customs and import taxes

Buyers are responsible for any customs and import taxes that may apply. I'm not responsible for delays due to customs.

Payment Options

Secure options
  • Accepts Etsy gift cards

Returns & Exchanges

I gladly accept returns and exchanges

Just contact me within: 7 days of delivery

Ship items back to me within: 14 days of delivery

I don't accept cancellations

But please contact me if you have any problems with your order.

Conditions of return

Buyers are responsible for return shipping costs. If the item is not returned in its original condition, the buyer is responsible for any loss in value.

Privacy policy

* I will not share your personal information acquired in the process of communicating with you or fulfilling your order with third parties.
* I will contact you only through Etsy or an email address you provide to answer your questions, convey information about your order, and share news exclusive to The Charmed Bookshop.
* In placing your order, please use an active email address to ensure that I can get in touch with you about your order.

Frequently Asked Questions

Gift wrapping and packaging

I wrap every book with care and ship it in a padded mailing envelope or sturdy box. If you're purchasing a gift, please advise when ordering and include a gift message.

Care instructions

1. I lightly clean books, as needed, but I don't attempt repairs or restoration. If you'd like a book restored, you'll find trustworthy, qualified experts in your area through libraries or museums.

I also recommend the following care instructions.

American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works -

2. Photos are cropped and resized to Etsy guidelines but are otherwise unedited. Please contact me if you'd like additional photos of book details.

3. Descriptions of condition are based on guidelines from the Independent Online Booksellers' Association.

Order processing time

I'll process and ship your purchase in 1 - 3 business days, and I'll ship anywhere in the world via any mail or delivery service that Etsy offers. (Please refer to the Shipping section for average shipping turn-around times by region.) If I encounter any delays in processing your order, I will advise you in advance.