A Puzzle For Your Thoughts?

From the Lilly Library, make the Slocum Puzzle Collection trihexaflexagon puzzle. Counts toward Bibliomancer Badge.

Materials Checklist

• The Slocum Puzzle Collection Trihexaflexagon

• Scissors
• Glue or Tape

What is a trihexaflexagon?

The puzzle strip you are about to assemble is called a trihexaflexagon—a hexagon with three faces. A type of folded puzzle, it reveals different faces or designs once assembled. Similar to a Möbius strip, the movement from design to design folds fluidly.

Renowned scientific skeptic and mathematical author Martin Gardner popularized this puzzle type in a 1956 issue of Scientific American. Originally discovered in 1939 by mathematician Arthur H. Stone, this design continues to awe and delight puzzle enthusiasts, mathematicians and the mildly curious alike. The trihexaflexagon makes up just one of Lilly Library’s expansive collection of unique puzzles, which can be viewed by the general public in the Slocum Puzzle Room during open hours.

Download Trihexaflexagon PDF

Make your own trihexaflexagon

The IU Lilly Library’s Curator of Puzzles, Andrew Rhoda, demonstrates how to put together this folding puzzle called a trihexaflexagon.

Extra Credit

+5 Learn more about origin and mission of the Lilly Library