Computational Thinking: Number Hive Puzzles

Computational Thinking: Number Hive Logic Puzzles  is a booklet on computational thinking based on logic puzzles. Try and solve some simple logic puzzles while  learning about computational thinking and especially logical thinking. The booklet is written by Paul Curzon of Queen Mary University of London.

  •  Learn how to solve Number (Cut) Hive puzzles, simple logic puzzles that involve filling a hexagonal ‘hive’ with numbers so that no number appears next to itself. See how by deriving new general rules that extend the rules of the puzzle you unlock the power of pattern matching.
  • Learn about logical thinking, deduction, rewrite rules, pattern matching, abstraction, generalisation and computational thinking.
  • Download the  booklet: Computational Thinking: Number Hive Logic Puzzles
  • Download and complete the individual puzzles below.
  1.  Each area must contain the numbers from 1 up to the number of hexagons in the area. For example, the topmost area in the puzzle above consists of 4 hexagons so those hexagons must be filled with the numbers: 1, 2, 3 and 4 with no repeated numbers. If the area has two hexagons, like the one bottom left below, then it must be filled with the numbers 1 and 2.
  2. No number can be next to the same number in any direction, along a shared edge. So in the hive above, the fact that there is a 4 in the middle means there cannot be a 4 in any of the 5 hexagons surrounding it.

Computational Thinking Hint

Work out patterns or bigger step rules, from the above rules, that allow you to fill in numbers with less logical thinking. Instead you should be able to pattern match against your new rules. 

For example, a simple rule that follows from the above is that:

IF an area has only one hexagon THEN it must contain the number 1.

A more general rule that covers the above is that:

IF an area has only one hexagon left empty THEN it must contain the number missing from 1 …n (where n is the number of hexagons in this group.

What other rules can you work out to help you do the puzzles?

Resources: Number Hive puzzles

Here are some Number Hive puzzle sheets and solutions that you can download:

Puzzle 1

Puzzle 2

Puzzle 3

Puzzle 4

Puzzle 5

Puzzle 6