The Tack-Tiles® Braille Teaser is a new twist on an old theme. It is a puzzle in the same tradition as a Rubik's cube. The Teaser is a bit larger than a four inch square, three eighths of an inch thick. Bumps on its surface rise up another one eighth of an inch. I'll get to those later.

The four by four inch puzzle contains sixteen one inch by one inch positions. Fifteen are occupied by a one inch by one inch square. Any square next to the empty space can be easily slid into that space. In the old style, these puzzles were smaller, some were three by three inches, with fifteen squares in sixteen spaces. Some were two by two, and were reduced to eight squares in a three by three space grid. The squares had the visual numbers, one through nine or as many as fifteen. The object was to slide the squares by each other so as to arrange them in the correct order. Later ones had picture parts instead of numbers.

Squares on the Tack-Tiles® Braille Teaser are all identical. They have two rows of three bumps ready to accept whatever TACK-TILE® is placed thereon. TACK-TILES® representing Braille symbols "a" through "o" are included. Place these on your Teaser in random order and try to get them in sequence (by sliding -- no cheating). In one sinister arrangement I liked, I wrote the word "affix" across the top row, adding the word "toward" down from the dropped f. ( for newcomers to Braille, in grade two Braille, dots 2,3,5 in mid-word are read as "ff." If it starts the word it is read as "to.") I put blank TACK-TILES® on the other eight positions. I then scrambled it up, told my victim to find the two words -- not revealing what the words were -- and left him to suffer. That's fair! I left more than half of the puzzle's spaces out of the solution. Tack-Tiles® and Braille give this old standard complexity and dimension unimagined in its time.

Tack-Tiles® Braille Teaser is small, portable, affordable, and a lot of fun.


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