A Ring of Cats and Dogs

We review the first of this year’s nominees for the Book of the Year


Daniel Griller is a teacher and puzzle enthusiast from the UK. A Ring of Cats and Dogs (and Other Curious Puzzles) (Amazon UK) is Daniel’s second puzzle book (his first was Elastic Numbers, released in 2017).


Like Elastic Numbers, the puzzles in A Ring of Cats and Dogs (and Other Curious Puzzles) are split into four sections—bronze, silver, gold, and diamond—by difficulty. If you’re a seasoned puzzle solver then you’ll find the bronze and many of the silver puzzles a little easy, but the gold and diamond sections contain some real gems that definitely make this book worth buying.


The first part of this book consists of the bronze, silver, gold and diamond sections, each containing 25 puzzles. The second section contains solutions to each puzzle. These solutions are clearly written and very detailed and provide a very useful lifeline if a puzzle has really stumped you.


As you do more and more puzzles, it becomes increasingly hard to find new puzzles that you haven’t done before (or done very similar puzzles before). One of this book’s greatest strengths is that it contains new puzzles that are likely to make even the most experienced puzzlers think.


If you’re a puzzle fan, I strongly recommend this book (as well as Elastic Numbers if you don’t already have it). If you’re not a puzzle fan, then you may find that this book encourages you to become one.


You can vote for your favourite book on the Book of the Year shortlist below. The winning book will be crowned the Chalkdust Readers’ Choice. Voting closes at 1pm (BST) on Saturday 31 March.

What is your favourite book on the 2022 Book of the Year shortlist?

  • An Introduction to the Math of Voting Methods by Brendan W Sullivan (44%, 101 Votes)
  • Peculiar Deaths of Famous Mathematicians by Ionna Georgiou and Asuka Young (19%, 44 Votes)
  • Congruent Triangles by X and Y (15%, 35 Votes)
  • Escape from Model Land by Erica Thompson (8%, 18 Votes)
  • Math Games with Bad Drawings by Ben Orlin (7%, 16 Votes)
  • A Ring of Cats and Dogs (and Other Curious Puzzles) by Daniel Griller (7%, 15 Votes)
  • The Irrational Diary of Clara Valentine by Coralie Colmez (0%, 1 Votes)
  • Beyond Measure by James Vincent (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 230

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