Homepage Puzzle Pages Polyhedra Pages General Information



Pentominos are the twelve pieces of a well known puzzle. Original this is a flat 2D puzzle. The twelve pieces are all possible combinations of five squares forming one piece. Related to the pentominos are the dominos (two squares), triominos (three squares, two possibilities), tetraominos (four squares, five possibilities as in the computer game Tetris) and hexominos (six squares, 35 possibilities). The pentominos are made out of 60 squares in total and can be placed in numerous forms. Well known is the square of eight by eight units with the little square hole in the center, as shown on the figure below.

The twelve pieces are all named to a letter of the alphabet to which they most look like. Some pieces are very similar to a letter as the X- or V-piece. But to see a letter in the F- or N-piece requires more fantasy.

A nice variation of this puzzle is to use cubes in staid of flat pieces. You get twelve pieces which can form for instance a block of 3 x 4 x 5 units. This puzzle is shown in the picture below. It is not difficult to make this puzzle by yourself. Saw 60 cubes out of a square stick and glue the cubes together according to the diagram above. You can also saw the twelve pieces out of a  plate of pinewood. Paint the pieces in different colors for a nice effect.

You can make different puzzles with the twelve pieces. For example the block above of 3x5x4 units (which has 3940 possible solutions). If you have solved this puzzle try to make the figures below.


A second task is to build larger pentomino pieces. The pieces will become two times as big as the original and three units high. The examples below show how you can make a F, L or Y piece. Be careful if you want to rebuild all pieces: Two pentomino pieces cannot be made.


Several solutions of these puzzles can be found on this site, but the puzzles have often more than one solution. Try also to invent tasks by yourself.

Copyright 1999-2005 PK