Information on Pentomino Puzzles
A pentomino is an arrangement of 5 unit squares (or sometimes cubes)
that are joined along their edges. Up to isomorphism (rotating and flipping),
there are 12 possible shapes, which are illustrated below. Each piece
is labelled by the letter that most accurately reflects its shape.
The problem is to fit the 12 pentomino pieces into various
shapes, often rectangles.
The rectangle shapes that fit all 60 squares are of sizes
3x20, 4x15, 5x12, and 6x10.
Here's a solution to the 6 by 10 puzzle using the
Much better looking is the same solution using tables and gifs.
The algorithm used by COS is a clever backtracking algorithm,
as described in the upcoming book "Combinatorial Generation."
Here is a page of more solutions
to various pentomino puzzles.
Big List of Pentomino Related Links
The may get stale with time.
Please send us any updated addresses or new ones that should
T.I.D. Ronse School Pentominos Page contains information
as well as a pentomino creation contest. The page was mostly
compiled by students aged 14 years and their math teacher
Odette De Meulemeester!
Polyomino FUZION Page contains a few interesting pentomino
games and a link to a downloadable Pentomino solver called
Some related links are on
Adrian Smith has created a page,
Pentomino Relationships, that contains all solutions to the
rectangular pentomino puzzles using his classification scheme.
Here is a
site on mathematical games and recreations that mentions pentominoes.
A Sather program for
generating the solutions on a 6 by 10 board.
A really nifty 8 by 8 java
David Eppstein's "Geometry Junkyard" entry on
polyominoes and other Animals.
Rodolfo Kurchan runs a magazine
that is devoted to puzzles involving polyominoes.
Andrew L. Clarke created a site called
The Poly Pages that
contains a wealth of information about Polyominoes and other
For more information on pentominoes consult the classic
book by Solomon W. Golomb,
New York, 1965, or the more recent book
Polyominoes (A Guide to Puzzles and Problems in Tiling)
MAA, 1991, by George E. Martin.
The wizard of COS.
(Please note that the suffix XXXX must be removed from the preceeding
It was last updated Monday, 23-May-2011 13:01:47 PDT.
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©Frank Ruskey, 1995-2003.