"PUZZLES OLD and NEW " by Professor Hoffmann
(pseudonym of Angelo John Lewis)


HOFFMANN'S original book was effectively a catalogue of most of the mechanical puzzles available in Victorian London in the 1890s.

It also contains many excellent new and classical puzzle posers which can be enjoyed and solved without owning any original puzzle objects.


Published in 1893 it had only one edition; but it went through at least two printings, as some copies are dated and some are not.

The original hardback binding had two different pictorial covers which were done on at least six different colours.



"Het puzzle-boek. Geïllustreerd met 521 figuren in de tekst".

This rare Dutch edition probably dates from about 1900 and does not contain all the puzzles in the original. It appears to contain most of the puzzles which are not language specific.

Ronald Kint-Bruynseels has discovered the three covers illustrated above.

Subsequently three of the parts were republished in card covers as "Arithmetical Puzzles", "Mechanical Puzzles" and "Miscellaneous Puzzles". These later editions were being sold in the 1920s and possibly as late as the 1930s. These three books did not contain all the material in the original volume.

Edward Hordern reprinted the original in 1988 in hardback.

He also released a limited edition bound in red half-calf in a red presentation slipcase.


In 1997 a cheap uncorrected paperback edition was published in India

This edition by Dover 2007 contains only four of the original ten chapters.


In 1993, on the 100th anniversary of the original publication, Edward Hordern privately published the Centenary Edition ( illustrated below).

Hoffmann's original text contained many mistakes which Laurie Brokenshire, and other puzzlers helped Edward Hordern correct.

This the only complete and corrected edition, and it also includes photographs of many of the original antique puzzles that Hoffmann described, taken from the Hordern, Dalgety, Slocum, Ergatoudis and Hajek collections. This book will not only provide months of puzzling, but is also a wonderful reference work for puzzle collectors, designers, and people wishing to make their own puzzles.

Large Landscape format 25 x 20 Cm. (10 x 8 inches). Hardback binding with dust jacket. Printed on high quality paper The 256 pages include over 400 puzzles and their solutions (52 Mechanical puzzles, 41 Dissected or Combination Puzzles, 112 Arithmetical puzzles, 16 Word & Letter puzzles, 27 Counter puzzles, 19 Match puzzles, 12 Wire puzzles, 45 Catch puzzles, and 48 Miscellaneous puzzles).

A "Must Have" for anyone seriously interested in puzzles.

We no longer have any copies for sale but are considering producing a new edition with additional photos and updates.

Click here for an Alphabetical Index of the Puzzles in Hoffmann's Puzzles Old & New

A new fully cross-referenced index to all the editions is in progress.
Please watch this space for news.

last update 2022-04-23