Masons shape Tutte’s puzzle for memorial

Bill Tutte squared square ANL-140808-144209001
Bill Tutte squared square ANL-140808-144209001

Local craftsmen have been hard at work making one of the features for the Bill Tutte memorial which is set to be unveiled next month.

Master stone mason Leon Russell and his assistant Ian Norman, of Mildenhall Monumentals, are working on the squared square which will be sunk into the pavement on Rutland Hill to mark the key viewing point for Harry Gray’s

iconic sculpture The Codebreaker which commemorates the Second World War code breaking work of the Newmarket-born Cambridge graduate.

While studying at Trinity College, Bill and three friends proved a solution to the problem of tiling a square with squares of different sizes. His interest in mathematical puzzles led to him being recruited to Bletchley Park in 1941.

The memorial square is made up of 22 pieces of polished granite. Leon and Ian have cut the squares themselves with a 65-year-old circular saw because the granite suppliers could not achieve the accuracy required. The individual squares are in four colours in recognition of Bill Tutte’s proof that that was the minimum number of colours needed on a map to ensure that no continuous countries had the same colour.