What's New

Site updates, and puzzles I have recently ordered or received...

October 2007

From CubicDissection, L-Bert Hall, designed by Ronald Kint-Bruynseels for IPP27, in Cocobolo and Lacewood:

From Izumiya, Tamura's Six-Block Puzzle:

Dragon / Rings, large and small, and a Pentangle Traffic Lights:

A Mozaika Ball, a Whipit Ball, and a racy Magic: 

Toll Gate card Number 1!    and a burr in a case: 

Several edgematching puzzles: 

From Eureka, three "Dice Box" puzzles - Half-Cubes, Rod by Rod, and Stacked Sticks:

Imported from China by CHH Games.

At Games People Play, I found a Magic Mirror puzzle from Schmidt Spiele, and an Arjeu CT5152 "Achille." Also, a Logika 4-piece puzzle, and "Dog & Balls" (IPP27) designed by "Mine" (Mineyuki Uyematsu).

From a Calendar Club seasonal store in the mall, a four-puzzle "Solid Wood Mind Benders" set branded by "Go! Classic Games."

September 2007

I have created a new subpage and extensively updated the section on Mazes and Other Route-Finding Puzzles.

Scott T. Peterson has made a Stewart Coffin Rosebud for me, from Bloodwood and Lignum Vitae, a very aromatic wood:

Several vintage checkerboard dissections:

I have updated the section on Latin, Graeco-Latin, and Magic Squares.

August 2007

I have added a section on Ancient Puzzles, and Modern Puzzle Crazes.

We had a wonderful stay in Montreal, Canada. In between visits to some of Montreal's many and varied attractions, I managed to drop by several puzzle shops:

Thanks to Leon at Puzzlemaster for suggesting them, and to Brett K. for hunting them down!

In addition to a booklet of solutions to many of Puzzle Master's tanglements (not pictured), here are some items I found:

Four well done puzzle challenges from Smart Games

Three of the latest puzzles from Philos

The Five Keys and Olymp puzzles from Constantin and the Bull's Nose from Eureka

A nice wooden Pigs in Clover, a Twist-'N-Slide 3D Truck, and a nameless but hefty nice pin puzzle in lucite: 

Scott T. Peterson made this beautiful copy of Stewart Coffin's new Involute design, in highly polished Padauk with Ebony corners.  

From Bits and Pieces:

July 2007

I have added several new original designs on my Homemade Puzzles page. In addition to the 2 N's Cube No. 1, take a look at No. 2, No. 3, No. 4, and No. 5 (which might be my favorite).

An order from Toysgamespuzzles:

From CubicDissection, RD001, Nested Burr Four, and Anderson's Delusion:

I have revised and much improved the section on Pentominoes and Other Polyforms.

More from Torito:

Closterman 6x6x6 Caged Cubes, in Lyptus and Canarywood:

Three tanglements from Uncle's Puzzles, purchased at IQ Puzzles:

June 2007

Visited Eureka on 6/17:

From CubicDissection, one of the second edition of the Stickman Chopstick Box: 

May 2007

Try your hand at various mechanical puzzles that people have simulated online - open my new Virtual Mechanical Puzzle Compendium Box.

I have added a new page featuring a mapping among different classification schemes for mechanical puzzles.

I have also revised my books page.

Thanks to fellow puzzler Patty L. Smith, I learned that the wonderful Japanese online puzzle store Torito does in fact ship internationally and take PayPal orders. So I have several interesting items on the way to me:

A gift from Brett of three "Meiji Chocolate" plastic Polyomino puzzles by Hanayama - Milk (12 pentominoes), Black (11 hexominoes), and White (8 pieces) - find them at Kinokuniya:

From Livewire: Sleight of Hand, Abracadabra, Mousetrap, and Weathervain

From Pentangle: Alice's Puzzlement, Dragon's Eggs, 3456 Pythagoras, and Double Trouble

April 2007

From Bernhard Schweitzer, Three Trapped Sages by P.F. Ramos, and the 8+1 and Burr Cubes by Leonid Mochalov:

From Kirill Grebnev, Love Secret, Step in Future, and Symbol:

On my Interlocking page, I added a javascript tool to visualize burr pieces.
Five Japanese puzzle books from Amazon.co.jp (hopefully they contain lots of pictures!):

A Maze Burr, designed by Kagen Schaefer and made by Tom Lensch, and a Nine Squared also made by Tom:

Five puzzles in fine woods, by Thomas Moeller (ordering from the site doesn't work - you have to phone him):

From Norm Thompson, the first three puzzles in the Sacred Myths and Legends series, by Family Games: Da Vinci's Secret, The Equation, and The Legend of the King: 

March 2007

I have re-vamped my links page and created a sorted list of over 200 Puzzle Vendors Around the World.

From Mr. Puzzle Australia, Make Room, Decemburr, and Coming of Age Mk II:

Three unusual burrs from Davans:

A Japanese booklet on "Mekanikaru Puzzle" by Kodansha, from Yamanaka Kumiki Works:

A trick lock engraved "MIOf[]" 

Three puzzles from Viktor Genel:

Several secret-opening puzzles from the Karakuri Club:

Two Japanese secret-opening boxes, made by Hiroyuki Oka, from The Unique Box Shop:

Three puzzles from James Dalgety:

Several puzzles from Scott T. Peterson:

Scott T. Peterson is a talented craftsman from the state of Washington, who produces high-quality limited editions of puzzles in fine woods. He and I have been corresponding, and Scott will be making a few instances of my 2 N's Cube design. Scott has devised an attractive coloring scheme for the cube and made me the examples shown below - the first in Bocote and Yellowheart, and the second in Kingwood and Holly.

I would rate the 2 N's Cube of medium difficulty - it shouldn't take long for an experienced metagrobologist to solve it, but I think it presents a good challenge for the casual puzzler, particularly if one starts with it disassembled and hasn't seen the assembled arrangement. The design is the product of a search "by hand" (i.e. without a computer) for a selection of non-planar pieces formed from two n-tetrominoes each that would allow interlocking assembly into a 4x4x4 cube. My "theme" was the frequent mis-spelling of my last name, which has two n's. I was pleased to discover an arrangement that used four pairs of pieces - thusly again doubling the double-n theme - and yet assembled in a way that was not completely symmetric.

Scott's tolerances are so accurate that when I first received the cubes, I had trouble finding the disassembling moves! Naturally, wood tolerances vary with humidity, but Scott's pieces are very nicely made.

February 2007

Made a weekend trip to Boston and visited both The Games People Play shop in Cambridge, and David Leschinsky's wonderful shop Eureka! in Brookline, Mass. Eureka has a fantastic selection of mechanical puzzles and is well worth a visit if you are in the Boston area. It is not far from downtown, out Beacon St. to the intersection with Harvard St. Eureka has a friendly, enthusiastic, and knowledgable staff who are willing to take the time to demonstrate puzzles, and help parents find suitable items for kids. Eureka also has a great hands-on attitude and provides open copies of many puzzles so you can try them out in the store. Here's what I found there:

The Games People Play had new Rubik's items, and also a stock of the KO Labyrinth in case you're looking for it - here is what I got there:

Trick Locks from wiredforfun:

The Tetris Cube, Tetris Ball, and Tetris Ball Twins, from Meffert's. These are actually made by IdeaOcean, where they're called the Idea Cube and Magic 16.

From the New York Puzzle Party:

January 2007 - Happy New Year!

A Split Star by Mark McCallum: 

Three WWII 1942 Slidem-Solitaire Puzzles: 


December 2006

Four of the eight Karakuri Club 2006 Christmas Gifts:

Other Christmas gifts:

> > > > > I have added new pages on Tangrams and Anchor Stone Puzzles, and Logic Puzzles. < < < < <

A beautiful Apple Puzzle from woodturner John Berkeley arrived for Christmas: 

The Apple won an Honorable Mention in the IPP21 Design Competition.

John has graciously agreed to provide a 10% discount to all IPP members! Tell him Rob sent you.

Some puzzles on their way from Hendrik Haak's Puzzle Shop:

An unexpected and wonderful Christmas present from Rocky Chiaro: one of four of his original plexiglass and brass Perplexity puzzles.

The book Amusements in Mathematics by the noted British Puzzler Henry Ernest Dudeney is available online to read or for free download at web-books.com, and at Project Gutenberg.

Many fascinating topics of potential interest to the mechanical puzzle afficionado, including:

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