US 3661393 A
A game is comprised of an unknown geometric shape overlaid and hidden by a perforated plate means. A probe is used to probe through the perforations of the perforated plate so as to discover the extent and hence the shape of the geometric figure.
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
1Inited States Patent Skebeck [451 May 9,1972
7  Field of Search.
1541 PROBE GAME  Inventor: Arthur W. Skebeck, 802 Karylou Circle,
Kingsville, Md. 21087  Filed: Feb. 16, 1970  Appl. No.: 11,664
 U.S.Cl..., ..273/153 R, 273/130 AB, 273/130 D, 273/139, 35/22 R, 35/34  Int. Cl ..A63g 9/06 273/130 A, 130 AB, 130 D, 139, 273/153 R; 35/22 R, 34
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,013,958 9/1935 Hughes ..273/130 AB UX 2,197,306 4/1940 lngraham ..273/13O AB UX Suchman ..35/22 R Greene ..273/139 FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLlCATlONS 150,672 9/1937 Austria ..273/l3OD 1,564,925 3/1969 France ..273/13OAB Primary Examiner-Anton O. Oechsle Attorney-William G. Christoforo [5 7] ABSTRACT A game is comprised of an unknown geometric shape overlaid and hidden by a perforated plate means. A probe is used to probe through the perforations of the perforated plate so as to discover the extent and hence the shape of the geometric figure.
3 Claims, 3 Drawing Figures PATENTEBMM 9 I972 FIG INVENTOR ARTHUR W SKEBECK BY 1 I wazzm, 1% W,
ATTORN PROBE GAME BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to games and more particularly to probe games whose object is to discover the shape of a hidden geometric figure by probing the extent of the figure.
It is known that games can be effectively employed in the educational process as a type of teaching aid. This is especially true where the game involves the obtaining of a clue or partial solution to the object of the game with each game turn taken duringthe progress of game play and inductive reasoning applied to the clues obtained continually during the playing period leads to the total solution which is the object of the game.
BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION Accordingly, it is an object of this invention to provide an educational probe game.
It is another object of the invention to provide a probe game which is useful in the teaching of both plane and spherical geometry.
It is still another object of this invention to provide an educational probe game which can be implemented in a simple form for beginning students or in a more complex form for advanced students.
Briefly, these and other objects of the invention are accomplished in a simple embodiment through the use of a plane, geometric figure which is hidden from the view of the players by an overlaid perforated plate. An elongated, pencil-like probe is inserted into one of the plate perforations by a player, the insertion comprising a turn of play. The spacing of the hidden geometric figure with respect to the overlying perforated plate and the length of the probe are such as to impede the insertion of the probe fully into the perforation should the geometric figure underlie that particular hole, and to allow unimpeded insertion of the probe should the figure not underlie the hole. In this manner, with each turn of play the player discovers a clue or partial solution to the object of play, which is to discover the shape of the hidden figure in the fewest possible number'of turns.
In a more complex embodiment a three-dimensional figure is hidden by orthogonally placed, with respect to one another, perforated plates so that probing of the figure may take place along three mutually perpendicular axes.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 shows an exploded view of the essential parts of the invention when the object of the game is to discover the extent ofa plane figure.
FIG. 2 shows an exploded view of the essential parts of the invention when the object of the game is to discover the extent of a three-dimensional figure.
FIG. 3 shows in greater detail how the three-dimensional figure is probed.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring to FIG. I, a plane geometric shape 10, in this particular embodiment, a rectangle, though it should become obvious as the description progresses that any plane figure might be employed, is hidden from the view of the game players by a perforated board 12 which has dependent therefrom a plurality of hollow guide tubes 14. One guide tube 14 is provided for each hole 16 in the perforated board 12 with the hole in a par-' ticular guide tube being an extension of its associated hole in board 12. All guide tubes 14 are generally of equal length and ends 14a thereof terminate in proximity to the top surface a of shape 10. An elongated, generally cylindrical probe 18, somewhat pencil-like in shape, has a diameter of such size as to fit snuggly but freely insertable into each of holes 16 and their associated extensions into guide tubes 14. Probe 18 and shape 10 are suitably made from electrically conductive material, while perforated board 12, guide tubes 14, and support plate 8 on which shape 10 is fastened are suitably made of electrically non-conductive material. An electrical switching means 20, a source of electrical power 22, and a current flow indicator 24, for example, a light bulb, buzzer or other common indicator, are serially connected between shape 10 and probe 18. With switching means 20 closed to permit current flow therethrough, it should be obvious that no current will flow through indicator 24 so long as probe 18 is separated from shape 10, however, when probe 18 contacts shape 10 current will flow in the circuit including indicator 24. With this teaching the method of game play should now be obvious. Probe 18 is inserted into one of the holes 16 and its extension in its associated guide tube 14, the fit of probe 18 in hole 16 being such as to substantially prevent wobble of probe 18 therein so that probe 18 emerges directly from end 140. If a hole 16 directly overlying a portion of shape 10 has been chosen for probe insertion, the probe will contact shape 10 and indicator 24 will so evidence. However, if a hole 16 not overlying shape 10 is chosen for probe insertion, the probe will not contact shape 10 and no indication will appear. In this way a player by successive insertions can determine the extent of the hidden shape.
The game may be played by a single player, for example, by attempting to determine the hidden shape in a limited number of turns, each turn being comprised of a probe insertion, or may be played by a plurality of players, for example, by players taking turns and attempting to be the first among the players to discover the shape of the hidden shape.
With switching means 20 opened to current flow, or with the electrical system inoperative or removed entirely, another method of play is possible as follows. Support plate 8 is also suitably a perforated plate having a plurality of holes 26 which are equal in diameter to or larger than holes 16, holes 26 being arranged so that each hole 26 is in register with, that is, directly below and aligned with an associated hole 16. Shape 10, which is a continuous non-perforate plane shape, covers certain of holes 26 while those holes 26 not so covered allow probe 18, if inserted into an associated hole 16, to penetrate therethrough, through the hole in guide tube 14 and through uncovered hole 26. In this case a knob 18a on the end of probe 18 acts as a stop against board 12 to prevent the probe from entering completely into hole 16 thus permitting the probe to be withdrawn. Additionally, probe 18 is of such longitudinal length that when the probe is inserted into a hole 16 overlying a portion of shape 10 whereby probe tip 18b contacts the top surface 10a of shape 10, knob 18a will be spaced above surface 12 sufficiently to indicate that the surface of shape 10 has been probed.
FIG. 2 illustrates a still further embodiment of the invention wherein the hidden shape 30 is threedimensional and the object of the game is to determine the three-dimensional form of the hidden shape. In this embodiment the hidden shape 30 is supported on base plate 31 which may at the option of the game designer be either non-perforated or perforated, as will be made obvious as the description proceeds. The shape is concealed by a top plate 32 having a plurality of holes 34 and associated guide tubes 35, by lateral plates 36 and 40, each having a plurality of holes 38 and 42 respectively and associated guide tubes 37 and 44 respectively, by end plates 45 and 53, each having a plurality of holes 46 and 51 respectively and associated guide tubes 47 and 54 respectively, and by bottom plate 60 having a plurality of holes 61 and associated guide tubes 62.
Top plate 32, bottom plate 60, side plates 36 and 40, and end plates 45 and 53 are fastened together by means, not shown, to form a fixed rigid box with support plate 31 and shape 30 retained therein in a fixed predetermined position. Holes in support plate 31 must register with the holes 61 in bottom plate 60 and also preferably with holes 34 in top plate 32.
Probe 50 which is used in this embodiment of the invention is generally identical to probe 18 shown in FIG. 1, each having a point 18b and a knob 18a. In addition, probe 50 is provided with engraved, stenciled or otherwise applied circumferential markings 52 which provide a longitudinal measure of the distance from a mark to point 18b. The physical dimensions of the game are such that when probe 50 is inserted into anyone of the holes 34, 38, 42, 46, 51 or 61, the probe will bottom with knob 18a directly against the hole s associated plate if the hole probed does not overlie or is not directly in line with hidden shape 30. If, however, the hole probed overlies or is directly in line with shape 30, the probe will not bottom as before, but end 18b will contact shape 30 and thus prevent bottoming of the probe. Marks 52 may now be gauged against the surface of the associated plate. This is seen in FIG. 3, reference to which should now be made, wherein probe 50 is shown inserted into one of the guide tubes 37 on side plate 36 and which is in line with shape 30 so that probe 50 contacts the shape. It should now be obvious that marks 52 provide a measure of the insertion depth of probe 50 and hence provide a clue to the three-dimensional form of shape 30.
Returning to FIG. 2, it should now also be obvious that certain of the plates may, at the option of the game designer, be non-perforated. For example, if the surface of shape 30 which is against support plate 31 is chosen to be fiat, there is no need to probe through bottom plate 60 since the surface thereby probed will be known. In this case bottom plate is preferably non-perforated. Additionally, it should also be obvious that the electrical circuitry of FIG. 1 might also, at the option of the game designer or player, be used or eliminated entirely.
The invention claimed is:
l. A game comprising:
a generally cylindrical elongated probe;
a three dimensional geometric shape;
a plurality of perforated plates overlying and concealing said shape, each said perforated plate having a plurality of holes therethrough, said holes being of a size to freely but snuggly allow said probe to be inserted therein, each said plate overlying a different aspect of said shape; and
means for supporting said shape in a fixed relationship to said plates wherein said supporting means comprises means for supporting said shape in a fixed relationship to said perforate means and having a plurality of openings therein of size to permit said probe to enter therein and being in register with at least the holes in one of said perforated plates.
2. A game as recited in claim 1 wherein said probe and said shape are conductive to electrical current and with additionally:
an electrical power source having first and second terminals;
first means electrically connecting said first terminal to said shape; and,
second means electrically connecting said first terminal to said probe, said first and second means together with said probe, shape and power source comprising a closed electrical circuit when said probe contacts said shape.
3. A game as recited in claim 2 wherein said electrical circuit includes indicating means responsive to closing of said electrical circuit.