
SOMA News 
14 Aug 2000
EMail. 
When you have played the SOMA puzzle for a while,
many players come up with the next logical question.
"Is there anything beyond SOMA" ?
And indeed there is.
But the alternatives are not always to our liking.
Could we think of something between SOMA and Pentominoes, that still leaves both the beauty and the logic of SOMA.?
Volker Pöschel, teacher in comprehensivschool. Email: PoeGot@aol.com showed me the "Herzberger Quader" discovered by Mr. Gerhard Schulze (Germany)
Lets first go back to the original idea of soma. As it is described in Newsletter 990308 .
Polyominoes are a special set of figures, that may be made, by joining squares at their edges. If these squares are cubes, we can make 3 dimensional shapes.
Let us now examine all the possible combinations of 1,2,3 and 4 squares. Allowing them to bend into 3 dimensions, we get:
THIS is where SOMA is defined.!!!!
If we now select all the irregular figures, (ie. not
straight connections) we get the 7 SOMA pieces.
Let us INSTEAD select ALL figures (Except the singular cube)
Then we get the 'Herzberger set' which I choose to call;
With these 11 puzzle pieces we still retain the original 7 SOMA pieces V,L,T,Z,A,B,P and additionally gain 4 new pieces D,I,Q,S. In total:
(V) Shape 'V'  (L) Shape 'L'  (T) Shape 'T'  (Z) Shape 'Z' 
(A) Left Hand Turn  (B) Right Hand Turn  (P) Shape 'Pyramid'  
(D) Duo  (I) shape 'I'  (Q) Quad stick  (S) Square 'S' 
This SOMA+plus set give us a whole range of new puzzling tasks.
(More SOMA+plus figures are found in the figure collection. SP Figures .)
SOMAplus 001 The 2,4,5 Base /BSSTP/BZZPP /DSSTT/BBZZP /DVVTL/AALLL /AVIII/AQQQQ 
SOMAplus 002 The dual towers. /P...../PP..../BBZZVV /....../PB..../QBTZZV /....../....../QTTTSS /....../AA..../QIIISS /A...../AL..../QLLLDD 
Now  if YOU make any nice figures with SOMA+plus, then
please send their description to me.
Initially, I suggest that the figures should use ALL 11 pieces.