In [the possibly quite unlikely] case you are interested in logic puzzles - this Grand Master of them all, now aged 90+!, has just published a delightful new volume, "The Gödelian Puzzle Book" [Dover 2013]. As the title implies, the book centres around Gödel's Theorems [1931], most certainly the outstanding results in mathematical logic so far [although there are several attempts to refute Gödel, or even Cantor]. Anyhow, the book is entertaining and mind-stretching, a joy!

Warning Should you have read all of his previous popular puzzles books before [starting with "What is the name of this book?", Prentice-Hall 1978; my favourite is "To mock a mockingbird", Knopf 1985] or all of his purely mathematical books [starting with "Theory of formal systems", Princeton UP 1961; my favourite is "Diagonalization and Self-Reference", Oxford UP 1994] - ok, there are certainly overlaps between all of them and his latest. But as he introduces a few new twists here and there, gives a complete proof of Gödel's Theorems [in the form of popular puzzles!] and provides a host of generalizations never published before, it is certainly worthwhile to get this new book as well

## Raymond Smullyan

**Forum rules**

No politics, please.

### Raymond Smullyan

Honorable member of the International Procrastinator's Society

### Re: Raymond Smullyan

I've read most of his previous books, how difficult is this new one?

### Re: Raymond Smullyan

mia wrote:I've read most of his previous books, how difficult is this new one?

As I've read all of his [philosophical, puzzle, mathematical] books, I'd say it's much less formal than his "Gödel's Incompleteness Theorems" [Oxford UP 1992]. In fact, while concepts like self-reference or fixed points certainly play a crucial role here [after all, they are at the heart of Gödel's theorems], he introduces them very gently with variations of his "Knights & Knaves", "The Island of Robots" or "The Monte Carlo Lock" puzzles. Of course, having at hand, e.g., his "Diagonalization and Self-Reference" [Oxford UP 1994] - which is my favourite because of the best introduction to combinatory logic I know of - would help you a lot.

In summary - the book will pose quite a few delightful problems to you, but no unsurmountable difficulties; it's not harder than any of his previous puzzle books. If you enjoy that sort of stuff - go and get it

Honorable member of the International Procrastinator's Society

### Re: Raymond Smullyan

For the few of you who like stuff like this - he has done it again: "A Beginner's Guide to Mathematical Logic" [Dover 2014]. To be sure, it's quite different from, say, Leary's "A friendly Introduction to Mathematical Logic" or Mendelson's "Introduction to Mathematical Logic". But it's a sheer delight and more enjoyable than either!

BTW, if you know his puzzle books [IMHO, they're the best there're]: I also really recommend his "Logical Labyrinths" [A.K. Peters 2009] which serves as a bridge from them to his technical writings. Track it down, by all means!

BUT: R.S. has turned 95 (sic!) recently - and, still, he is planning on several sequels! Most amazing...

Finally, just for fun - a simple puzzle:

A certain dealer in used SGI-boxes currently has 56 boxes for sale. Each box is either a Tezro or an Indigo. You are given the following two facts:

(1) At least one of the boxes is an Indigo.

(2) Choosing any two of the boxes, at least one of the two is a Tezro.

Now suppose he, very moderately, sells Tezros at $300 per box and Indigos at $100 per box, and he manages to sell all 56 boxes. How much does he earn?

BTW, if you know his puzzle books [IMHO, they're the best there're]: I also really recommend his "Logical Labyrinths" [A.K. Peters 2009] which serves as a bridge from them to his technical writings. Track it down, by all means!

BUT: R.S. has turned 95 (sic!) recently - and, still, he is planning on several sequels! Most amazing...

Finally, just for fun - a simple puzzle:

A certain dealer in used SGI-boxes currently has 56 boxes for sale. Each box is either a Tezro or an Indigo. You are given the following two facts:

(1) At least one of the boxes is an Indigo.

(2) Choosing any two of the boxes, at least one of the two is a Tezro.

Now suppose he, very moderately, sells Tezros at $300 per box and Indigos at $100 per box, and he manages to sell all 56 boxes. How much does he earn?

Honorable member of the International Procrastinator's Society

### Re: Raymond Smullyan

About $16600

### Re: Raymond Smullyan

theinonen wrote:About $16600

Honorable member of the International Procrastinator's Society

### Re: Raymond Smullyan

Sorry for being late - but I found out just now that he died in February [aged 97]. Not that too many of you will be familiar with that name - he got his doctorate under Church, and he was arguably among the greatest logicians of the 20th centuary.

I have all of his books - logic puzzles (e.g., "To mock a mockingbird"), philosophy (e.g., "The Tao is silent"), academic (e.g., "Diagonalization and Self-Reference"; I'm a logician myself). Grab them for sheer delight!

Ironically, in the preface of his last book he wrote "I felt that at my age I could pass away at any time". Sadly, he was right.

I have all of his books - logic puzzles (e.g., "To mock a mockingbird"), philosophy (e.g., "The Tao is silent"), academic (e.g., "Diagonalization and Self-Reference"; I'm a logician myself). Grab them for sheer delight!

Ironically, in the preface of his last book he wrote "I felt that at my age I could pass away at any time". Sadly, he was right.

Honorable member of the International Procrastinator's Society

- ClassicHasClass
- Donor
**Posts:**2131**Joined:**Wed Jul 25, 2012 7:12 pm**Location:**Sunny So Cal-
**Contact:**

### Re: Raymond Smullyan

I just finished To Mock A Mockingbird, too ...

smit happens.

bigred, 900MHz R16K, 4GB RAM, V12 DCD, 6.5.30

indy, 150MHz R4400SC, 256MB RAM, XL24, 6.5.10

purplehaze, 175MHz R10000, Solid IMPACT

probably posted from bruce, Quad 2.5GHz PowerPC 970MP, 16GB RAM, Mac OS X 10.4.11

plus IBM POWER6 p520 * Apple Network Server 500 * RDI PrecisionBook * BeBox * Solbourne S3000 * Commodore 128 * many more...

bigred, 900MHz R16K, 4GB RAM, V12 DCD, 6.5.30

indy, 150MHz R4400SC, 256MB RAM, XL24, 6.5.10

purplehaze, 175MHz R10000, Solid IMPACT

probably posted from bruce, Quad 2.5GHz PowerPC 970MP, 16GB RAM, Mac OS X 10.4.11

plus IBM POWER6 p520 * Apple Network Server 500 * RDI PrecisionBook * BeBox * Solbourne S3000 * Commodore 128 * many more...

### Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Ahrefs [Bot] and 1 guest