Easter puzzle: the Chinese Egg

By Christopher Monckton of Brenchley

Since this is the time of year for Easter eggs, here is a Chinese puzzle. The object is to break the egg into nine pieces, as shown, and rearrange them into the shape of a bird. Hundreds of distinct birds can be made by arranging the nine pieces in different ways.

clip_image002

So here is a competition. Whoever produces the best selection of birds and sends the drawings to info@lordmoncktonfoundation.com will win the right to nominate a charity to which I shall send $100.

Happy Easter to one and all!

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47 Responses to Easter puzzle: the Chinese Egg

  1. Happy Easter to everybody from France and thanks for the tangram egg :)

  2. Gary Pearse says:

    Are computer models allowed?

  3. 3x2 says:

    will win the right to nominate a charity to which I shall send $100.

    As we shivering Scots lairds say as we carry glasses well filled with single malt whisky to our aged retainers as they gallantly shovel feet of unseasonal snow off our three-mile driveways

    While I did appreciate the Whiskey, how about you pay me and the lads the bonus you promised us for clearing the 15 foot of snow from the driveway first. Charity begins at home. So they say.

  4. Vince Causey says:

    Nice idea, but what if they nominate Greenpeace? I hope you enjoy irony.

  5. HenryP says:

    Clearly no takers because nobody believes in Easter eggs anymore.
    A blessed Easter you all.

  6. Caleb says:

    I’ll be darned!!! No matter how I arrange them, it comes out a hockey stick!

  7. John R. Walker says:

    Which came first – the birds or the egg?

  8. dp says:

    These are automatically disqualified, but here is a fuller description of the puzzle. It is a really interesting puzzle with many more combinations than one might have thought.

    http://www.instructables.com/id/Ancient-Chinese-Egg-Tangram/

    For my penance I’ve sent $100 USD to my favorite charity.

  9. squid2112 says:

    Gary Pearse says:
    March 31, 2013 at 8:51 am
    Are computer models allowed?

    Yes, but if it is anything like a GCM, you will likely get a host of other objects, none resembling a bird.

  10. Ian E says:

    Birds are three-dimensional, so the puzzle Sorry, Milord.

  11. David Jones says:

    Vince Causey says:
    March 31, 2013 at 9:06 am
    “Nice idea, but what if they nominate Greenpeace? I hope you enjoy irony”

    Greenpeace, a charity? Surely not!!

    I thought political organisations were not allowed charitable status!

  12. 3x2 says:

    Vince Causey
    Nice idea, but what if they nominate Greenpeace? I hope you enjoy irony.

    That would require a Greenpeace supplicant, operating without a photo and no ‘phone a friend’, to work out which bit of the duck would carry the eyes and the beak.

    Greenpeace Duck. The only animal with the ability to fly up its own a**e

  13. Jenn Oates says:

    Easter greetings from Dublin, where we spent the day on St. James Gate and Trinity College. Home tomorrow!

  14. Mario Lento says:

    Without moving the pieces around, if you tilt the egg on its side, it looks like Michael Mann’s face. No seriously, it does.

  15. davidmhoffer says:

    HenryP says:
    March 31, 2013 at 9:08 am
    Clearly no takers because nobody believes in Easter eggs anymore.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    I believe in Easter eggs.
    I believe they are made of chocolate.

  16. It looks like one cut line on the egg was left off, the one which bisects the equilateral triangle.

    As far as the mystery of which came first, the chicken or the egg …. it was the chicken.

    Using the process of elimination, since eggs can’t come, it had to be the chicken,

  17. Goode 'nuff says:

    Yeah, Mario, I’ve been trying and trying to draw this big bird I saw deep in the Ozark National Forest. Cannot find it in any bird books. So deep in the Ozark Mountains where you’re watching constantly for things with claws and/or fangs to avoid. Evil looking bird with jet black eyes.

    The bird is bald on top like the Bald Eagle, but around it’s beak it has feathers shaped like a mustache and goatee. Cannot split up the egg to get the face right, guess I’m disqualified.

    I named the species Megalomanniac because of displays of omnipotence in the wild.

  18. ralfellis says:

    Ahh, the Easter Egg.

    An ancient tradition originally derived from the goddess Isis, whose celebration date was at Easter, and whose name was spelt with the Easter Egg glyph (she was a fertility goddess, so the egg was an obvious choice for spelling her name).

    http://www.crystalspirits.biz/deities/eqyptian/images/isis-name-glyphs.gif

    Indeed, ‘Isis’ is only a Greek translation, and her name in the Egyptian was actually Est, from which we derive Ester, or Easter.

    .

  19. Robin says:

    Even without any rearranging that is far more festive than being greeted by a beatific looking Cesar Chavez early this morning.

  20. Caleb is with a doubt the winner!

    Alfred

  21. ShrNfr says:

    You can always trust the good Lord Monckton to egg people on.

  22. P@ Dolan says:

    Vince Causey

    Nice idea, but what if they nominate Greenpeace? I hope you enjoy irony.

    That would require a Greenpeace supplicant, operating without a photo and no ‘phone a friend’, to work out which bit of the duck would carry the eyes and the beak.

    Greenpeace Duck. The only animal with the ability to fly up its own a**e

    Gah! Almost spewed up my dram of Lagavulin! Good onya, Mate! Best post I’ve seen in months!

  23. wws says:

    re: Isis, Esther, Easter – and the Babylonian version of the name was Ishtar. This is probably the direct source of the Jewish Esther, during the Captivity – her Uncle’s name, Mordechai, which is still a well known Jewish name, is derived from Marduk-Hai, a salute to the chief god of the Babylonian pantheon.

    yeah, this is a digression, but with Google saying the only significant thing about today is that it’s Cesar Chavez’s birthday, somebody should talk about Easter.

  24. Gunga Din says:

    I clicked the image and was ready to begin moving shapes around. The image wouldn’t cooperate. Then I looked at it more closely.
    What is the square route of 2? I doubt my monitor could display it. I know I wouldn’t know what to do with it if it could. I believe the term to describe such a number is “irrational”.
    Perhaps the “egg” can be formed into a Hockey Stick? The Hockey Stick is not a bird. Perhaps this puzzle is giving it one?
    Remember the Resurrection and what led to it and be thankful.

  25. Mario Lento says:

    HenryP: That is a well written nice homily. Happy Easter all.

  26. Am I allowed to stick the pieces, to a bird, and photograph it?

    The Con-Man..
    http://fenbeagleblog.wordpress.com/2013/03/31/the-con-man/

  27. David, UK says:

    Dennis Kuzara says:
    March 31, 2013 at 11:17 am

    Using the process of elimination, since eggs can’t come, it had to be the chicken

    Haha! I like that!

  28. Confused says:

    Shouldn’t this contest be for one of those magical Easter Egg laying Rabbits?

    And now because of the Men’s Journal ad my kids want a Glamper in their back yard.

  29. Robert of Ottawa says:

    dp says
    All the tangrams you show are birds in profile. You could have them from the front, read, top and underside, or even three-quarters view. March 31, 2013 at 10:14 am

  30. Robert of Ottawa says:

    ralfellis says March 31, 2013 at 11:24 am

    Ah, but what of Osiris, and her search for …?

  31. george e smith says:

    “””””…..
    resembling a bird.

    Ian E says:

    March 31, 2013 at 10:18 am

    Birds are three-dimensional, so the puzzle Sorry, Milord……””””

    Sorry, I don’t think so. If you examine say just one feather, You will see that birds are fractal; so definitely not of integer dimensions.

    So Lord Christopher one, Ian E zero.

  32. george e smith says:

    Besides, all these years, I thought it was the Easter Bunny that layed the Easter eggs; when did the birds ge tin on it ?

  33. Mike McMillan says:

    Dennis Kuzara says: March 31, 2013 at 11:17 am
    … As far as the mystery of which came first, the chicken or the egg …. it was the chicken.
    Using the process of elimination, since eggs can’t come, it had to be the chicken,

    Aye, laddie. It’s chickens all the way down.

  34. Adam says:

    I have a lot of respect and admiration for Lord Monckton and certainly would not like this to be taken in a bad way, but it might cost more than $100 worth of his and his staff’s time to open the emails and decide the winner – not to mention the admin costs of the receiving charity in processing the $100.

    My point is that $100 is too small an amount for this kind of competition although I agree that it is good to give to charity and nothing is better than something etc, blah, blah, blah.

  35. Martin Clark says:

    @dp – link to “Instructables”
    Yep – this reminds of the exercise of “Balancing 14 nails on 1 nail”. I once got credited for being a genius because I pretended to work it out from scratch. Thing was, I had spent a lot of time sitting under tarps on wet construction sites …

  36. u.k.(us) says:

    All very interesting, but does it explain the need to bite the head off of every chocolate rabbit within sight ?

  37. Jayne says:

    Which came first, the chicken or the egg? Dah! There were eggs long before there were chickens. The dinosaur comes to mind. Ancestors of the chickens. :-)

  38. peter_dtm says:

    Dennis Kuzara says:
    …..
    Using the process of elimination, since eggs can’t come, it had to be the chicken,
    /end quote

    Actually (pedant at work !) it was the egg – a not quite chicken (or an almost chicken if you prefer) laid an egg that became the 1st chicken…….

  39. OssQss says:

    I choose the original picture in the post for submission. Afterall, less a discussion about Platypus, it has bird in it somewhere in the past :-}

  40. ralfellis says:

    Robert of Ottawa says: March 31, 2013 at 3:36 pm
    Ah, but what of Osiris, and her search for …?
    _________________________________

    Why do you think Magdalene was named after a tower??

    .

  41. Mike McMillan says:

    Another tragic consequence of global warming –
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-21991622

  42. ralfellis says:

    wws says: March 31, 2013 at 1:53 pm
    re: Isis, Esther, Easter – and the Babylonian version of the name was Ishtar.
    ________________________________

    And Ashtoreth, and Astarte, and the Eastern Star (under which a certain birth was alledged to have happened). The Eastern Star was, of course, Venus (ie, Aphrodite, Astarte, Ashtoreth, Istar, and Ast or Isis). Which is why the Order of the Eastern Star is a ladies Masonic institution.

    The celebration of Ast, Est, Isis, Easter, for they are all one and the same thing – the spring celebration of new life and a resurrected world as spring arrives – is not Christian, it is as old as time itself.

    .

  43. RobRoy says:

    Sir, I do believe rabbit eggs are the only species of egg that might be cut in this way. You should include this in the instructions, lest someone stay up past midnight building birds from eggshells.

  44. RobRoy says:

    Unsuccessfully!

  45. Lars P. says:

    Grrr, late on this, but thanks Caleb for the good laugh!

  46. R. Craigen says:

    I found a couple of ways to make the likeness of birds, mate, but neither of them is particularly, um attractive. You got in mind some hot babe?

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