Fun and games at a brain-teaser fair

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The 7th annual Brain-teaser, Games, and Magic fair got underway in Prague on Thursday, and while you would expect many people might be at work that early in the morning, instead many were playing games!

"We have a little game in front of us called 'penalty shootout' and I'm standing here like David Beckham and Lucka is in goal. Are you nervous? "

"Uh, yeah."

"Let's see how it goes. Here's the kick..."

"You missed, I'm sorry."

"I hit the post!"

Humiliating indeed, losing at pint-sized football although Lucka was a worthy partner. Still, with all the entertainment present it was impossible to remain down for long. Brain-teasers, 3-D puzzles, wooden Czech toys, card games, board games, and magic tricks to explore for children and adults of all ages...in short something for everybody to explore at this year's fair. Still, it's almost surprising just how many people love a good problem to solve, and how some of them stick at it for years. One such person is the fair's organiser, Jaroslav Flejberk, perhaps the biggest games fan you could hope to meet.

"When you're solving an especially difficult brain teaser, how much of it is rational and how much is intuition? "

"I think it is 50 percent of experience and 50 percent intuition because in these brain teasers they make for you something to surprise you. We have here four puzzles which are not solvable - we believe that they are not solvable, nobody has found a solution yet. These are great problems in which you need 99 percent intuition and 1 percent experience."

"You have a very special puzzle in your hand here, it's in a small little canister, almost something for holding a piece of jewellery. Inside, on this black piece of felt there's this tiny, tiny speck of wood..."

"Yes, it's one in five very special puzzles that cost 500 dollars each, made by a U.S. designer, he sold me one for this exhibition and it is the smallest brain teaser in the world made in wood, it is in the Guinness Book of World Records."

"It's so tiny you could almost lose it under your finger nail and yet you say three pieces, it looks like a kind of cross...How do you actually take it apart and put it back together again?"

"I'm afraid that I can not do it, only three pieces and to make it back will be a real puzzle!"

A real puzzle indeed. And if you're interested, the 7th annual Brain-teaser, Games, and Magic Fair takes place in Prague through Sunday in Prague's Retezova street in the Old Town - for more information you can visit www.hras.cz

Finally, if you'd like to hear more on the fair and the tradition of puzzles and wooden Czech toys, tune in next to week's Magazine - that's on Friday, September 20th.