The four-colour problem was one of the most famous and controversial conundrums ever known, and stumped thousands of puzzlers for over a century.
It sounded simple: what is the least number of colours needed to fill in any map, so that neighbouring countries are always coloured differently? However, it would take over a hundred years for amateur problem-solvers and mathematicians alike to answer the question first posed by Francis Guthrie in 1852. And, even when a solution was finally found using computers, debate raged over whether this technology could ever provide the proof that traditional pen-and-paper calculations could.
This is the gripping story of the race to solve the riddle - a tale of dedicated puzzlers, mind-boggling maps, human ingenuity and the great rhombicuboctahedron.
- Publication Date:
- 27 / 10 / 2003
- 129 x 198mm