Puzzles Editor Kabir Firaque is the author of the weekly column Problematics. A journalist for three decades, he also writes about science and mathematics.
Articles by Kabir Firaque
Are there enough equations to determine the variables? You may need to think out of the box to solve this puzzle, partly inspired by a 150-year-old classic.
While the exact mechanism of how lightning is created is still a subject of research, one thing's for certain. It can get deadly
Here's party trick first described in 1612, played with dice. Based on how the spots ate configured on standard dice, can you figure out why the trick works?
When it comes to radioactive material, can we ever be safe? Science gives a cautious nod, but Japan's detractors don't want a discharge into the Pacific ocean
Given the times when two runners meet and cross each other along a track, can you work out their respective speeds?
The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is launching the Aditya-L1 mission to study the physics and chemistry around the Sun.
Which Kings and Queens face left, which face right? Which Jacks are seen in profile? One year since Problematics began, puzzles on the court cards and Wordle
Vikram's landing on the Moon's south pole is just one of many firsts, as mysteries about the Moon's formation remain
CR Rao made his reputation at the age of 24 in 1945 when he wrote a seminal paper in the Bulletin of the Calcutta Mathematical Society
The study could have implications for investigating speech disorders in humans and could be used as a surrogate for human language in future studies of autism.
Who is watching Barbie, Oppenheimer or MI-7? Who's the Nolan fan and who likes Tom Cruise?
Six identical medals are distinguishable by their colours, but three are heavier than the others. Can you determine which one is which with just two weighings?
Contrary to claims by Korean scientists, the material LK-99 does not show signatures of superconductivity at room temperature, CSIR-NPL study finds
How likely are Gabbar Singh's men to survive his partly loaded revolver? A mathematical perspective
Cryptobiosis, first observed in 1702, is when an organism can power down for a millennium, survive harsh conditions, and then come 'alive' at the right time
A club spells out who is allowed in; can you figure out who isn’t? There’s also a fun pun this week
They can tile an indefinite plane without repeating a pattern. The search for such shapes began in the 1960s. Why does any of this matter? Find out.
How many people must you select at random before the probability of two or more common birthdays crosses 50%
The ground beneath our feet is heating up and causing its own kind of climate change. But there’s a silver lining
J Robert Oppenheimer is known as the father of the atomic bomb. A science backgrounder on the making of the bomb
A puzzle in which you make a long trip across forbidding terrain, but will need more supplies than you can possibly carry.
It's touted to be the next big source of energy. The Centre already has a mission in place, and a Union minister recently promoted the idea. An explainer
Another party trick with playing cards, and a set of movie anagrams. Which one do you find easier?
The reason why toes wrinkle is still not fully understood, but it may be related to walking on slippery surfaces like stones in rivers.
The grass keeps growing on a field as cows keep eating it. How many cows can finish it all up in how many days?
The 2019 Nobel prize winners, Goodenough, Whittingham, and Yoshino's breakthroughs powered the mobile electronics revolution and electric vehicle transition
The line between a textbook sum and a ‘puzzle’ is not always clear. Here’s an example that may straddle both words.
It’s one of the most versatile organs among all mammals exhibiting a rare combination of immense strength and dexterity and holds great inspiration for robotics
As in Wordle, you use test words to deduce a secret word. What's the hidden word in the example below?
Who owns the pug and who owns the mastiff? How old is the dog whose owner is 86 years old? Try this Einstein puzzle