Sphinx Solutions Size 3


Michael & Tyler

To the best of our knowledge, Michael and Tyler were the first to accept the challenge of finding the Size 3 Sphinx (if it existed). Their story is one of determination and shines as a beacon for Aboriginal people as an example of the quality of the work their children can do. Read their story when you return to the Iceberg of the Sphinx page.
Sphinx 3 - Michael & Tyler
Michael & Tyler's Size 3 Solution

Green Line

At this point a mathematician might ask: Is there another solution?

John Hibbs (HMI, retired)

At the '98 Easter Conference of the Association of Teachers of Mathematics, John, along with others in a workshop on Tasks, Technology and Problem Solving, became engaged with this sphinx problem. The problem stayed with him and I stayed in his village for a few days break over Easter. Far too early one morning a few days later John knocked on the door with this solution:

Sphinx 3 - John Hibbs John Hibbs' Original Drawing
John's original hand drawn solution.

Louise Anderton

I was staying with the Anderton family when John delivered his solution. His visit caused daughter Louise to ask what the problem was all about. Perhaps she was a little stunned that anyone would want to work on maths puzzles in their Easter holiday. Soon she was also engaged and after working with the puzzle on and off for a couple of days she produced this solution:

Sphinx 3 - Louise Anderton

Sarah Hutchinson

Sarah attended Thorne Grammar School, near Doncaster, England. The Patterns & Powers lesson (listed on the Iceberg of the Sphinx page) was photographed at Thorne and it seems to have stimulated considerable interest. Sarah, a Year 8 student at the time, set about studying the Size 3 Sphinx. She found the three solutions above and also discovered this fourth solution:

Sphinx 3 - Sarah Hutchinson

At almost the same time, Sarah's new solution was confirmed by Johan Öberg, a university student from Malmö, Sweden.

And Next?

  • Are there any more Size 3 solutions?
  • Or, can anyone prove that we now have them all?
    A proof that kids could understand would be nice.