What's New

Site updates, links, news, and puzzles on the way or received...


March 2011

I received this nicely made copy of the Discon puzzle, from craftsman Steve Kelsey. Thanks, Steve!

I received the level 138 18-piece burr Burrly Sane for Woodworkers, designed and made by Jack Krijnen. Thanks, Jack!

Other finds...


My thoughts and fervent hopes for safety, solace, and recovery from the devastating earthquake, tsunami, and related dangers are with our Japanese friends, and other unfortunate victims around the Pacific.


I have given a facelift to the Pattern Section.

 

William Waite was kind enough to provide some info on what I thought was called the "Contortionist" keychain puzzle. It turns out this model is actually known as the Wha Hoppen or Wrestler puzzle. The hapless wrestler has been tied into a pretzel by his opponent. I found an image of the card, shown. William says this was marketed by the Harrison Co. of Long Island City NY in the 1950s.

I picked up some additional keychain puzzles:


Six-piece burr keychain puzzle

Canon keychain puzzle

Football keychain puzzle

Howdy Doody keychain puzzle

Elephant keychain

Elephant keychain

Horseshoe and Ball keychain

Burro and Rider keychain

Airplane keychain

Beetle keychain

Raygun keychain

Rocket keychain

Airplane keychain

Car keychain

Giraffe keychain

Allsides Cube keychain - designed by William Waite
From a limited edition of 26 puzzles, including a signed card reminiscent of the way keychain puzzles were sold in the 50s.
Each of the four pieces touches all sides of the cube, hence the name. Four moves to remove the first piece. "One of the most difficult keychain puzzles ever produced."

Other assorted finds:


John Devost has organized a charity auction to provide aid to Australian fellow puzzler Dave Cooper. Dave is a police officer working to help his community deal with the terrible aftermath of the flooding and cyclone, whose own home has sustained substantial damage. The auction runs through March 12, and can be accessed at www.puzzleparadise.ca.


An order from PuzzleMaster:


Chain Gang - Designed by Dick Hess

456 Burr

The Bee Box - Designed by Constantin
See an explanation at Grand Illusions.

Hanayama Cast Coil



Get a Clue from Pavel Curtis.

A fully functional 3x4x5 from Tom van der Zanden.

Idiot's Delight - Field Mfg. Co. Inc. NY
Cube set signature 01143639 - Isomorphic to SK

Contortionist Keychain Puzzle

Selected Papers on Fun and Games - Knuth

Games, Puzzles, & Computation - Hearn, Demaine

Unlikely Story Cluster Puzzle

Two 4x4x4 cubes - Shengshou and Ghost Hand 4x4 II


February 2011

I finally obtained one of Bill Cutler's 66-piece Cube puzzles! The Cutler Cube is a beauty, 100mm on a side.


I've created a new section devoted to the Traditional 18-Piece Burr , and I've ordered some 18-piece burr puzzles:


Condor's Peeper from Mr. Puzzle. Level 62.

A design by Bruce Love called the Lovely Burr.
Level 18.
You might find one made by Jerry McFarland
at Bill Cutler's website.

Vertigo from Pentangle
Ordered from Mind Games in the UK.

Some additional finds - I was pleased to find the Bass Tantalizer puzzle - I have updated my section on the Instant Insanity puzzle family with some new research results.


An advertising version of the Tantalizer puzzle, from Bass.

The Professor Pyraminx, issued by Mefferts
Designed by Timur Evbatyrov
Another great design from Timur, mass produced beautifully by Meffert! I love this puzzle!

Gorey Games by Larry Evans 1979

A Lifetime of Puzzles Honoring Martin Gardner 2008

Pentangle's Leg Irons tanglement puzzle


On Saturday Feb. 12, I attended the 2011 New York Puzzle Party hosted by Tom Cutrofello, in Manhattan at the Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA). MOCA is currently housing the exhibition "Chinese Puzzles: Games for the Hands and Mind" curated by Wei Zhang and Peter Rasmussen. Oskar van Deventer was on hand to present his 17x17x17 Cube "Over the Top."

I picked up a few items, including:


The exhibition catalogue, "Chinese Puzzles: Games for the Hands and Mind"

A copy of "Ingenious Rings"

Bottom-filling Teapot and Fairness Cup set

An Unbandaged Helicopter Cube designed by Eric Vergo (this is copy number 1!)

A 12 Sticks puzzle by George Hart, 3-D printed on his Makerbot. This is the 1st of his series of stick puzzles!

18 piece burr #3 - Creative Crafthouse

Xcruci8 - designed and made by Vaclav Obsivac
Exchanged at IPP28 by Laurie Brokenshire


A nails tanglement used to advertise Vicodin; a 1964 Tilt-n-Roll dexterity puzzle by Milton Bradley; a Crazy Maze Cyclops dexterity puzzle; a vintage cardboard "seat the witches on the cats" puzzle advertising Dickinson's Witch Hazel; Victory - a vintage 1943 cardboard Egyptian-type dissected square puzzle; a black 1x2x2 twisty puzzle:


January 2011

A 17-piece jigsaw puzzle cut from a dollar coin, from Coin Cut Art by "Grinan"

I chose a 2000 Sacagawea Gold dollar coin. Grinan uses a steel blade only .002" thick. "Numismatic Jigsaw Puzzles" is an original idea of Jeremy Barrett and copyright of Coin Cut Art.


I am looking forward to the upcoming New York Puzzle Party hosted by Tom Cutrofello.


A set of Bishop Cubes

A bucket of Clics, to make various 4-color cubes to explore Instant Insanity type puzzles.

A vintage Setko Block Puzzle

A vintage Rotato Chips Puzzle by Grumette


Some interesting websites:

And several new items below!


Dave Janelle of Creative Crafthouse sent me a nice selection of the great puzzles they stock:


The Ramube Octahedron designed by Ramu Kaminoff in 2008 and exclusive to Creative Crafthouse. Eight complex pieces and 2 balls locking things up inside. Dave says, "This is in my opinion our MOST difficult puzzle. It is difficult for me to imagine anyone solving this without use of the provided instructions."

The Century Cube II - a 4x4x4 cube composed of five serially interlocking pieces. A nice design that yields to logical thinking.

The Dragon Burr - a burr having 18 unique pieces. Rated as one of their most difficult puzzles.
This was originally designed by Maurice Vigouroux in 2003 and called simply "The 18 Piece."

Erich Friedman's Cover Up design - three challenges. I got the easy level right away, but I am still working on the next two!

The (Count Your) Blessings Cube - six interlocking pieces.
The pieces occur in three mirrored pairs.

The Giant Puzzle
Some info from Dave: The "Giant Puzzle" was first introduced in 1888 by McLoughlin Bros of New York. We found a picture of the old puzzle in Slocum and Botermans book, "New Book of Puzzles" (1992) and were fascinated by it. It has a bit of a Sukoku edge to it, and it's really hard. The object is to arrange all the pieces in the base such that there is no color repeated on any row, column, or any diagonal. Also, no number can be repeated on any row, column or any diagonal. Also, each row, column and major diagonal must add to 25. You might try to tackle each of the requirements separately before you take on the full challenge of making them all happen at once!

Thanks, Dave!


On Saturday 1/15, I drove up and paid a visit to David Leschinsky at Eureka Puzzles. Had a great time, as always, and came back with some interesting items:


The Nifty Fifty from Jean Claude Constantin requires you to pack the four pieces into the tray.

The Quartet Puzzle - the Quartet's tray has a movable end wall, and you must pack specific subsets of pieces into the tray depending on where the wall is positioned.

Bill Cutler designed the Slider and used it as his exchange for IPP30. It looks innocent enough, but judging by the internals, it is not your typical 18-piece burr! It is made from Walnut, by Jerry McFarland.
Eureka is carrying a new line of nail disentanglement puzzles by Rick Irby. I picked up the Rattlesnake Nails, the Point the Way, and the Twister Nails.


David recommended the Dig It! puzzle produced by Foxmind.
It is designed by Alex Polonsky. There are 50 challenges in four increasing levels of difficulty. In each, you must move a set of pieces in succession until a "bone" piece is fully revealed.

This reminds me of the Flying Block (or Jumping Block) puzzles designed by Dries de Clercq. Sliding, jumping, and rotation of pieces are allowed, but only one piece at a time. Mr. Puzzle Australia produced one.


I found another dissected die - it seems fairly old - it comes in a purple box and has nine red pieces with white pips:

I am unsure of the provenance - there are no markings on the box or pieces. The box is 1.75"^3 (45mm^3). There should be at least 21 pips, but there are only 20 - so evidently one is missing. The pieces are not the same as the Wolff Spots Puzzle described in Hoffmann.


Several new twisty puzzles are on the way:


Elite Tetrahedron -
by Chris Hemerich [T] [S] [Y]

Tuttminx - designed and prototyped by Lee Tutt in 2005 [T] - produced by Leslie Le [T] [W]
The Tuttminx is a 32-sided truncated icosahedron.

Mosaic Cube - produced by Meffert - designed by Oskar van Deventer (as the Fadi Cube)

Ayi's 4x4x5 [T] [W]

A fully-functional proportional 3x3x5 made by Smaz.


I bought a copy of Eric Vergo's Pentagram puzzle - first announced at the TwistyPuzzles forums. It is an order-2 vertex-turning dodecahedron, designed by Eric and 3D printed by Shapeways. It is the same size as the Meffert's Pyraminx Crystal. You can buy a copy at Eric's Shapeways shop.

There is an online video review of this puzzle on YouTube.


I received a black Mini Rhombiminx. This is an order-3 vertex-turning rhombic dodecahedron, built around a 2x2x2 using custom parts. (The first Rhombiminx was built around a cut-down 4x4x4.) Every 4-part vertex turns, and there are 3 mutually perpendicular cuts through each square cross-section (i.e. the 2x2x2 cuts).

This puzzle is the same size as the Dino-Rhombic Dodecahedron (DRD) I got from Drew Cormier - here are some comparison photos:

It is larger than the white Mini-mini Rhombiminx I got a while ago, which is built around a mini-Eastsheen 2x2x2. Here is a group shot with various Rhombic Dodecahedra twisty puzzles.

The black Mini-Rhombiminx is in the center. The white Mini-mini Rhombiminx is below it; clockwise from there is a 2x2x2 Rhombic Dodecahedron made by Karl-Heinz Diekmann, a Kite Skewb, a truncated 4x4x4 RD, a Lanlan 4x4x4 RD, a QJ 3x3x3 RD, and the custom DRD.


I decided to purchase one of John Devost's HexTwist Five Intersecting Tetrahedrons puzzles - it is a geometric artwork, a real dexterity assembly challenge, and a great example of John's woodturning skills - each rod is lathe-turned to have a special twisting shape. The rods are made from exotic woods, including: Purpleheart, Bloodwood, Redheart, Bubinga, and Lacewood. They are held together by magnetic tips and chrome balls.


Here is a Lanlan 4x4x4 Rhombic Dodecahedron:

The long-awaited puzzles of Meffert's Jade Club finally arrived:

The tetrahedron and the cube are both made from a translucent plastic painted pearly white, with raised designs on the faces that have been highlighted in various pastel shades. They are very pretty, and each is fairly small though surprisingly hefty. Each contains a unique RFID tag!

Also received a Lanlan Master Skewb and a DaYan/Mf8 Crazy Megaminx Plus Saturn:

I really like both of these. It's great to be able to own a Master Skewb at mass-produced prices. The Lanlan version is nicely made and turns very well. Not too long ago custom copies were going for $400 - I bought a hand-cast version for over $100. I also really like the Crazy Megaminx Saturn. The fit and turning on the copy I got are very good, and I like the stickerless design and brightly colored plastic. It is about the same size and weight as a Meffert's Pyraminx Crystal. Purchased at the HK Now Store.


Here is Eitan's Edge-Turning Octahedron (ETO) - announced on the TP forums. Equivalent to Gelatinbrain 4.3.1. Available from Eitan's Shapeways shop. First shown by David Calzone back in 2009. Congrats to Eitan for making this available! The design moves well, is stable, and is a nice size. The puzzle came very nicely stickered.

In comparison with other octahedral twisty puzzles:

From top to bottom, left to right: Meffert's Skewb Diamond (order-1 face-turning octa); DaYan Gem I (edge-turning trunc. octa); order-2 vertex-turning octa; order-2 vertex-turning trunc. octa; order-3 vertex-turning master Trajber's; Meffert's Hex Skewb (order-1 face-turning trunc. octa); order-2 face-turning octa; Eitan's ETO (order-2 edge-turning octa); vintage Magic Octahedron (order-2 vertex-turning octa); QJ Trajber's (order-2 vertex-turning); hand-cast custom Trajber's made by David Calzone; QJ 3x3x3 octa (sort of hybrid edge- and vertex-turning); Octaminx custom made by me; Meffert's Pyradiamond (order-1 vertex-turning octa); vintage Christoph's Magic Jewel (order-2 vertex-turning trunc. octa); Lolo's Octahedron custom-made by Kevin Uhrik (order-3 vertex-turning octa); Truncated Trajber's custom-made by Tanner Frisby.

I still would like to find: a 24 octahedron, a Dino octa, a Rainbow octa, a Master octa, a Master FTO, and a Professor Trajber's. Maybe a Square-1 and/or Square-2 octa, too.


Starting off the year with a Popplock T3 puzzle lock (may be available from Puzzlemaster.ca), and a nice wooden copy of George Bell's Nine Bed Nightmare assembly puzzle (may be available from Puzzlewood.de):


December 2010

Have a Safe, Prosperous, and Happy New Year!

For the last puzzle in 2010, I received Tom van der Zanden's excellent Pentultimate.

You can buy one, and several other great twisty puzzles, at Tom's Shapeways shop.

This is the order-1 face-turning dodecahedron. It has six cuts, all of which pass through the center of the puzzle, midway between pairs of opposing faces, and are great circles on the circumscribed sphere. Each divides the puzzle into two halves.

It is an engineering design masterpiece and employs a sophisticated "shells" mechanism. The shells build upon a Megaminx, through a Pyraminx Crystal, Master Pentultimate, to the outer Pentultimate. In a shells mechanism, the pieces of an inner shell hold in the pieces of the next shell out. For example, the Pyraminx Crystal has two shells - an inner Megaminx and the outer Crystal. The faces of the inner Megaminx hold in inner edges, which in turn hold in the outer Crystal corners, which hold in the outer Crystal edges.

The Pentultimate is 25mm (1") on an edge, and is the same size as a QJ 3x3x3 dodecahedron. The design explores the limits of economical miniaturization within the 3D printing process, yet the puzzle is not fragile and is quite comfortable to hold and manipulate. It was announced on the TP Forums here. You can see an image of the complicated internal mechanism in that thread.

For information on the earlier impressive albeit fragile so-called "knucklehead" mechanism pioneered by Jason Smith, who designed and constructed the first working version of this puzzle, see an article at Jason's Puzzle Forge website.


Happy Holidays to all!

Here are the four of the Karakuri Group 2010 Christmas Presents I ordered:

My selection this year included boxes by Kamei, Iwahara, Miyamoto, and Tuburai. Can you tell which is which? So far I have opened the second one shown.

Two tanglements from Fiddl'Widdit - thanks Susan & family! The Triamese Angels is an even more difficult version of the Gordian Knot / Eggbeater design, and the Ski Doodle is a multi-level trapeze:


From Meffert's, the Vulcano (aka Trignis) designed by Timur Evbatyrov,
and the DaYan Gem (an edge-turning truncated octahedron):


Double Disk from Hog Wild LLC of Portland OR

An original Hungarian Supernova

Some duplicates, but each is complete: Jinxed; another 64-piece Mr. Jig-O-Pin; Mental Misery.

A set of McDonalds promotional puzzles



Brett paid a visit on the 5th and traded some puzzles with me...


Hanayama Cast Rattle
designed by Bram Cohen

Tetraxis
by KO Sticks LLC
Produced with support
from the Museum of Mathematics

Slip-a-Not

Rubik's Slide

Lagoon Wild Wire Crocodile

Orbo
by Popular Playthings

Dicebox Mindbender Cube Mates
by Mi-Toys

Colossal Book of Word Play - Gardner


Some of Bruce Viney's puzzle box designs can now be purchased as DIY kits from Myers Crafts.
I ordered two - the Interlink Box and the Tik Tak Tok Box.

 

I got a copy of the Taschen edition of the 1847 Pickering coloured The First Six Books of the Elements of Euclid by Oliver Byrne: 


The Twisty Puzzle bonanza continues!

The Double Think Binary Ring Puzzle from Hog Wild LLC of Portland OR

Three layers - in the top and bottom layers, the pairs of interlinked rings turn independently, allowing segments to be mixed between them.
In addition, each ring has twelve segments that can be flipped to mix between the layers -
such a move also exchanges inside and outside segments from the middle layer.
The segments flip smoothly but it is somewhat difficult to rotate the rings.

From Lightake.com, a "Rainbow Black Hole," "Cake Cube," and the LanLan Hydrangea (a face-turning truncated octahedron):

From eBay seller kcwong707, a "Mask Cube," a "Magic Ball," and a 2x2x2 Dodecahedron:


November 2010



Stewart Coffin's Diagonal Cube design -
modeled by George Bell using BurrTools and printed by Shapeways -
available at George's Shapeways Shop.

Three inexpensive wooden burrs.


Rubik's Slide

A pair of trick bolts, from Lee Valley.

Crazy 4x4 III

Lonpos Cosmic Creatures

DaYan III LingYun, DS Mahjong Cube, YongJun Star, ZhiSheng Egg (Potato)



A fully functional 2x3x4 cuboid twisty puzzle, designed by Garrett Ong. [T] [S]
Garrett's 2x3x4 won the Summer Puzzle Building Contest. It's a great achievement at its price point (under $60).


October 2010

The Ambigram Burr, designed by Gregory Benedetti. Available from Puzzlewood.de. Made from Wenge, Padauk, and Robinia. Thanks to Bernhard Schweitzer and John Devost!



An acrylic 3-D maze
This reminds me of "Next Floor" by Oskar van Deventer - see it at Oskar's website (scroll down).

La Canadienne - an advertising promotion edgematching puzzle

The elusive Duff Beer 2x2x2

A pillowed white Master Skewb made by TP forums member "Cublem" [T]

Two more tray packing puzzles in a vintage series by Lakeside - Horses and Animals

A version of the vintage Queen's Jubilee puzzle, called Uncle Sam's Divorce

A vintage Imperial Scale tanglement
This is one of several classic tanglement designs that have appeared in puzzle chests from the orient in the 19th century. You can download a PDF showing how to make and solve several designs including the Imperial Scale.

Visual Illusions by James Kingston

19th Hole - Pentangle

Reverse-All and Bullseye by Setko

A set of three vintage picture puzzles by Currier & Ives - the Old Swiss Mill, the Puzzled Fox, and the Bewildered Hunter. Thanks to Gianni Sarcone for making me aware of these.


Some websites to visit:


First puzzles of October: a vintage Psyche-Paths puzzle, presaging Tantrix; Stewart Coffin's No. 250 House Party tray packing puzzle, made by Tom Lensch; The Gear Cube Extreme, designed by Oskar van Deventer and offered by Meffert's; Making Working Wooden Locks by Tim Detwieler; A vintage Ten Spot puzzle:


September 2010


"The Five Minute Puzzle That Might Take a Little Longer"
Designed by Andy Turner
Entered in the IPP 2009 Design Competition
Made by Eric Fuller, from Oak (box) and Paduak

1x5x5 - Murilo - Shapeways

Square 2 - originally designed by Dave Litwin; Beijing Olympics ball; Red 3x3x3 Apple

Curvy Copter II - Tom Z

Rex Cube - Cormier - Mefferts

Holey Skewb Twins - Fisher - Mefferts

An order from Funagain:


"The New Puzzle. Registered Industrial Exhibition - Registered According to Act of Parliament"

I believe this vintage jigsaw puzzle is a souvenir of one of the first of the great
World's Fairs, or Expo[sition]s, the "Great Exhibition of the Works of Industry of All Nations" or just "The Great Exhibition" for short.
Based on an idea of Prince Albert's, the fair was held in 1851 in the Crystal Palace in Hyde Park, London,
and was the first international exhibition of manufactured products.

 


Mathematics, Magic and Mystery by Martin Gardner, 1956: 

The Question Mark Puzzle from Pentangle - six pieces form a cube in two ways, and also fit into the 3x6 box to form a question mark shape. - This is equivalent to the Steinhaus (aka Mikusinski's) Cube.

 


August 2010

It's nearing the end of summer around these parts - but you wouldn't know it from the temperature outside - pushing 90 F.

Plan something for the fall - host or attend a Gathering For Gardner Celebration of Mind party.


Ms. Leone, a teacher at the local elementary school, uses puzzles in her classroom.
Last year I loaned a bunch of puzzles to her for her students to try,
and she was very kind to send me a Cyclone puzzle as a thank-you. Much appreciated!

       

The Cyclone is offered by The Lagoon Group, via their Family Games division.
I found a PDF of assembly instructions at http://www.give-me-a-clue.com/.

Interestingly, this design seems to have first appeared as a lamp!
The product IQ Light won the 2001 Danish Design Award for its packaging.
IQ Light was designed by Holger Strøm of Denmark in 1973.
It is based on a single piece or tile, various numbers of copies of which
can be interlocked to form more than 21 different shapes.
30 tiles form a triacontahedron.
In the assembly, there are 12 vertices where 5 tiles hook together, and 20 vertices where 3 tiles hook together.

You can find a template for the piece at www.craftster.org.
William Chow has a website explaining the geometry of what he calls the Celtic Tile.


Two new offerings available at Bits & Pieces, both designed by Doug Engel - the Moebius and the Trinity Infinity:


Josh Jordan was kind enough to send me a copy of the Calibron 12-Block Puzzle remake produced by Pavel Curtis. Thanks, Josh! Pavel has posted an interesting write-up of the Calibron puzzle. Pavel also offers the Square Dance by Derrick Schneider - I've been wanting one for a while and was pleased to find Pavel had resuscitated it! Square Dance won an Honorable Mention in the 2002 IPP Design Competition.

 


Via the Renegadepuzzlers forum, I learned about five new inexpensive wooden puzzles produced under the label "Confusion Contemporary Puzzles" by The Lagoon Group. I purchased mnine at Mind Games in the UK.


Trilogy
aka "Three Open Windows"
(made by Eric Fuller)
Designed by Tom Jolly

Squarrel
Designed by Ronald Kint-Bruynseels
See it on Ishino's site

Mental Block
Designed by Rick Eason
aka the Twenty Cube

Caged Knot
Designed by Tom Jolly
See it on Ishino's site

Alcatraz
Designed by Ronald Kint-Bruynseels
aka Die in Prison #2
See it on Ishino's site


Three books (OK, OK, they're not about mechanical puzzles, but their topics might be of interest to puzzlers...)


Hobby Games - The 100 Best
Edited by James Lowder
See info at the publisher's site, greenronin.com.
See a "companion guide" by Matt Tarbit.
Also read some interesting factoids compiled by Alan De Smet.

Family Games - The 100 Best
Edited by James Lowder
See info at the publisher's site, greenronin.com.

Dice Games Properly Explained
by Reiner Knizia


See a short video review of the Rubik's Slide.

See a gallery of antique dexterity puzzles. (Be sure to scroll right.)


Child's Play, a new twisty puzzle designed by Eric Vergo [T]: 

The Yankee Puzzle - a vintage route-finding puzzle patented in 1896 by W. G. Adams (554565), described in Slocum and Botermans New Book of Puzzles on page 110:

A vintage Jig-O-Pin puzzle:

A tangle set, an inexpensive wooden tray-packing puzzle by Toysmith, the vintage 1968 Double Disaster puzzle by KMS Industries, and Yankee Ingenuity by Tucker-Jones (new for 2010):

       


20 moves suffice!

Morley Davidson, John Dethridge, Herbert Kociemba, and Tomas Rokicki have proven that every scrambled position of Rubik's Cube can be solved in 20 moves or less. (Finding those 20 moves, however, can be quite a challenge!)

Read more at www.cube20.org.


I believe the rest of the group will agree with me when I report that the Rochester Puzzle Picnic hosted by Jeff Aurand on 8/7 was a success! I certainly had a great time chatting with fellow puzzlers and puzzle craftsmen, and assaying the wide variety of puzzles on hand. Jeff has amassed an impressive collection of Karakuri boxes, Jim brought some rare pieces, Kelly and Jim let us try Kelly's latest creations, and we got to play with the competition entries from Stephen, Peter, and Soahn. I was also able to pick up the batch of puzzles Brian was kind enough to collect for me during IPP30 in Japan. Thanks again to Jeff, and to Brian! You can read more about the event at RenegadePuzzlers.ca.

Brian opened my Strijbos Aluminum Cylinder Box: 

Brett got me a copy of "Knotty Number Problems" by Ivan Moscovich (thanks!): 


I found a vintage sliding piece puzzle, and a wooden interlocking puzzle:

 


July 2010

 


Quintessence
Copyright 1970 by gametime, Inc. of NY, NY
A 5x5 Graeco-Latin Square - arrange the 25 pieces in a 5x5 grid such that no row, column, or diagonal contains more than one instance of a circle color or tile color.

1x3x4 Designed by Ola Jansson, made by Tanner Frisby

Terra-Toys offers a series of four "3D Puzzle" animals in their Wildlife Conservation Collection, made in China from woods claimed to be certified by the Forest Stewardship Council.
I picked up a Polar Bear and a Panda. Both have unusual opening tricks - not difficult, but distinct from the typical Kumiki-style animals.
There are also a Rhino and a Sea Turtle. The Rhino is very similar to the Nanook Polar Bear.

In and Out Boxes by Loftus
I know, I know - magic tricks usually make poor puzzles.
But this effect sounded interesting -
you start out with the red box inside the black,
then remove the red and put the black one inside it.

Two vintage folding puzzles from Binary Arts: GeoLoop and GeoMorph12

The new DaYan GuHong Cube allows reverse corner cuts.
This particular version is molded from six colors of plastic
so there are no stickers to wear off or tiles to fall off.

ShengShou Circle Ball Cube

Dian Sheng Hexagonal Dipyramid

Dian Sheng Tank Diamond

Pepsi edgematching puzzle (Spanish)

Hanayama H&H - designed by Oskar van Deventer
Thanks, Brett!
This one seems very similar to Oskar's "Key Ring" design.
See Oskar's web site.

Handcuffs - from Teddy Sakamoto

Hanayama - Mickey Keys
Thanks, Brett!

The set of eight types of DaYan Crazy 3x3 Plus Cubes - "Eight Planets"
The circle pieces either do or don't turn with the face. The eight types are different ways of arranging dos and don'ts.
I got mine from Mefferts but you can find them at several vendors.


The IPP30 Design Competition entries have been posted at PuzzleWorld.

For great coverage of IPP 30, see:



From Mr. Puzzle Australia, new for IPP30, One Four All and Mt. Fuji.

A vintage Think dissection puzzle in its package.

An assortment of vintage puzzles, from the UK.

An order from Lightake.com:


"Gem" from DaYan
A Magic Jewel clone

Six-armed spider cores
by MHZ and Maru

QJ 3x3x3 RD black

Intellect Ball - 13cm

QJ 2-layer Super Square-1
and a 2x3x3 cylinder

QJ Finhop 3x3x3

A Pyramorphix clone

Rugby ball

Treasure Box

QJ truncated pyraminx

Kong Ming Lock 28831

Kong Ming Lock 30394


June 2010 -- Hellooo, Summer!

A vintage (1928?) sliding piece puzzle, "Al Smith to the White House"

Read some biographical material about Al Smith at www.nps.gov.

A spherical dexterity puzzle, and a trick vesta that will prick an unwary finger: 

A new cross between the Pioneer Cube and Munroe's Marbles, and a set of ShengShou Cubes: 

Another vintage version of the classic dexterity puzzle "Pigs in Clover" - this one by Milton Bradley:

A 2x2x2 Rhombic Dodecahedron, made by Karl-Heinz Diekmann: 

Think-a-Dot, a vintage puzzle/game by ESR: 

ESR (Education Science Research) (Wikipedia entry) made a few toys especially coveted by geeks, including Think-a-Dot, Digi-Comp I and II, and Dr. Nim. You can buy a replica of the Digi-Comp I from Minds-On Toys. Jaap's Puzzle Page has an entry on Think-a-Dot. Pantazis Houlis posted a YouTube video showing his Think-a-Dot in action. Webster.edu hosts an online simulation.

Neurotic Numbers, a vintage 1968 puzzle from Lakeside: 

Thanks to Tanya Thompson at Thinkfun, I'm puzzling over their new Zig Zag Knot

Peter Wiltshire has crafted from aluminum a reproduction of the Stanley puzzle found in Hoffmann (Chapter VIII, No. 12): 

He has a very limited number for sale at Puzzleparadise.

Eureka Puzzles in Brookline had the new Philos version of Shirt Case designed by Edi Nagata

Unfortunately, the solution given for the tray side shown in the photo does not work - the pieces are a little too large and don't quite fit. Given that a cardinal rule of mechanical puzzles is "no force required" this is very frustrating, particularly since this is the kind of puzzle I like to give to casual puzzlers to play with, and this flaw encourages violating that rule.


Some additional websites of interest:


Karl-Heinz Diekmann made this instance of Ola Jansson's 2x5x5 puzzle for me:


The comparison photos show the 2x5x5 with the KHD/Olz 1x4x4 I recently acquired, and an original hand-made 1x3x3 from Okamoto I got a while ago (prior to its mass-production).



In case you haven't noticed, I've reorganized the home page to improve readability, make navigation a little easier, and to improve its appearance when JavaScript is disabled.


Some interesting websites:


The Aluminum Cylinder Box by Will Strijbos, courtesy of John Devost (John's photo): 

New twisty puzzles from Meffert's: The Skewb Hex, Mastermorphix (traditional shape), and an MF8 Teraminx:


May 2010

I received several great logic puzzles produced by Smart Games, many designed by Raf Peeters:

They include: Anti-Virus, Titanic, Roadblock, Alcatraz, Anaconda, SmartPhone, Chicken Shuffle, and Cannibal Monsters. Anti Virus is the production edition of Bulbous Blob designed by Oskar van Deventer and James W. Stephens - you can see it and play a few levels at the Puzzlebeast website. Thanks, Raf!


I took advantage of a special offer at Shapeways for a dyed, assembled, and stickered Floppy 2x3x3 designed by Oskar van Deventer:

I also ordered a Quartet from the Shapeways shop of "RubixFreakGreg" -- designed by "Lykwid" [T], the Quartet is a square version of the triangular Grimace made by Smaz. I'm going to dye each layer a different color and then sticker the sides.

I received a copy of the new Rubik's 2x2x4, signed by designer Hidetoshi Takeji:

Brett got me two new puzzles from RecentToys - Bronco designed by Oskar van Deventer, and Mind Jewel, designed by Alexander Polonsky: 

This vintage 1967 Instant Insanity clone by
"A to Z Ideas Inc." of California is called Psykonosis:

Here are the cube layouts:

  G      R      W      G  
R B G  B G W  W R R  G W B
  G      B      B      W  
  W      R      G      R  
                          
  1      2      3      4  
Here is the graph - Psykonosis is not isomorphic to SK!


A cheap way to make a Hexagonal Dipyramid - combine the parts from two Guo Jia diamonds:

Two new puzzles in fine woods from Eric Fuller's latest sale at CubicDissection: Luxemburr, designed by Matti Linkola, exchanged at IPP16 - made in Yellowheart and Walnut; and Padaung Rings, designed by Alfons Eyckmans and made from Tulipwood and Acrylic - it takes 24 moves to remove the first piece.

Yet more twisty puzzles! Meffert has produced Oskar van Deventer's Caution Cube [S] and calls it the Gear Cube; Swedish designer Ola Jannson's 1x4x4 design has been FDM printed, assembled, and stickered by "incredible" Karl Heinz of Germany [T].

The Svetnashki is a sliding piece puzzle design from Russia, based on polarized light:   It comes in two sizes: 7 cm. and 10 cm.

I obtained a vintage Pigs in Clover dexterity puzzle. This puzzle caused a craze around 1889, and appeared in political cartoons of the time. It was invented by G. M. Crandall, who applied for a patent in February 1889.


April 2010

I dyed, assembled, and stickered my Shim's Master Pyraminx. I really like this puzzle! It was designed by Timur Evbatyrov and is available on Shapeways.

Here are two photos to show relative size - a comparison with an original Tomy Pyraminx, and a group photo including various tetrahedral twisty puzzles:

The group photo includes, left to right, row by row from the top: the Hoberman BrainTwist, Meffert's Jing's Pyraminx (designed by Adam Cowan), Meffert's NGP (Platypus), Tomy Pyraminx, a custom Halpern-Meier Tetrahedron (keychain Skewb core) made by Matt Davis, Meffert's Pyramorphinx (a curvy Mastermorphix), Traiphum Prungtaengkit's (Traiphumi's) Mastermorphynx (a custom-made edge-turning Pyraminx), a keychain Meffert's Pyramorphi[n]x, Shim's Master Pyraminx, and a reuleaux Babymorphix custom-made by Taylor Howell.


I received two wooden burr puzzles - on the left is The Baffling Burr Puzzle ("Six interlocked pieces of wood that will challenge the experts") - there is no other information on the box. This has pieces numbers 52, 615, 792, 960/992, 975 and is Bill Cutler's #305, not Bill's Baffling Burr, which has pieces 103, 760, 960/992, 996, 1024. The second is the Burr Puzzle from Toys From Times Past. This has pieces 1, 188, 256, 960, 975, 1024 and is the same design shown in Hoffmann, except Toys From Times Past has incorporated a locking mechanism into the key piece.


A Skewb-core Rhombic Dodecahedron, from Popbuying.com:


I've provided a solution for the vintage 1904 National Puzzle (aka Saunders' Puzzle), in my Routefinding section.

For inexpensive wooden puzzles, check out PaxPuzzle.com.



Cube4You cubic 3x3x7 (black)

A set of wire puzzles, including the Valspar puzzle.

4x4x4 Trajber's Octahedron

Digits in a Box, designed by Eric Harshbarger and exchanged at G4G9.
Ten size 1x3x5 digits laser-cut from colored acrylic - just pack them into a 5x5x5 box.
Purchased at Eureka, also available at Eric's quickbrownfoxpuzzles.com.

Puzzle Impossible, from Hanayama. This is an unusual sliding piece puzzle - marks on the transparent pieces combine with marks on the tray to form digits. Purchased at Eureka.

Athena, from Popular Playthings (Huntar).
Designed by Bob Hearn.
Bob discusses the genesis of this puzzle on the TwistyPuzzles Forum. Athena is a re-skinned version of Bob's Subway Shuffle puzzle.
Purchased at Eureka.

Cobra Cubes, from SmartZone Games.
Designed by Ariel Laden.
Purchased at Eureka.

World Passport, from SmartZone Games.
Designed by Tzafrir Kazula.
Purchased at Eureka.

The Crazy Cheese Puzzle, from Blue Orange Games. A nice wooden 3x3 edge-matching puzzle with two levels of challenge.
Purchased at The Games People Play.

Holzwurm (Product No. 6038), from Philos.
Designed by Dieter Matthes.
Form a 3x3x3 cube from 9 pieces having protrusions and hollows.
Purchased at The Games People Play.

Confusio (Product No. 6170), from Philos.
Designed by Georg Pfaeffinger.
Made from Schima, Hevea, and Samena woods.
Form a 5x5x5 interlocking cube from 9 pieces.
Purchased at The Games People Play.

A vintage Saunders' Puzzle, marked National Puzzle Boston.

Wire Puzzle No. 1 - China
Purchased from EsTOYS.

The Lost Game of the Pharoahs
A simple six-piece ball pyramid.
(Pharoah sculpture not included!)

Twist-L-Dan, in Oak, Wenge, and Karin woods,
designed by Takeyuki Endo.
Purchased from the Karakuri Club.

8Pd, in Oak, Angsana, and Karin woods,
designed by Takeyuki Endo.
Purchased from the Karakuri Club.

The vintage Cubo Color Puzzle.

Shim's Master Pyraminx, designed by Timur Evbatyrov (YouTube videos here and here), available on Shapeways.

Got the Stewart Coffin Tray Puzzle Set, in Poplar and Lyptus woods, made by Tom Lensch. Purchased at PuzzleParadise.ca. This set includes six of Coffin's tray-packing puzzles - a single-sided rectangular tray (#181, 1 solution), a two-sided pentagonal tray (#181-C, The Housing Project, 1 solution each side), and another two-sided pentagonal tray having a movable wall segment on one side (#181-A, The Castle Puzzle, 3 solutions; #181-B, The Tree Puzzle, 2 solutions, other side #181-B, The Vanishing Trunk Puzzle, 1 solution).

Two new twisty puzzles: the Intellect Ball, and a mass-produced 2x2x4.


March 2010

I dyed my Compy Cube purple (just to be different) and stickered it:

The Compy Cube (aka Shallow Dino, aka Sausage's Cube) is a full custom 3-D print, designed by Jason Smith. It is easy to solve intuitively, requiring no memorized algorithms.

I acquired a RevoMaze Extreme Silver (V2):   As of this writing, only 3 people in the world have solved one!

Ordered three new cubes made in China by QJ - mass-produced copies of classic mods - the Trajber's Octahedron, Greenhill's 3x3x3 Octahedron, and Fisher's 3x3x3 Dodecahedron:

On 3/13, I attended an enjoyable puzzle get-together hosted by George Hart at his house. Thanks, George! We had a fun evening and a safe trip out and back, despite the horrendous weather, which brought down an incredible number of trees along many roadways.

I took along several puzzles from my collection for folks to try, including the Eis by the mysterious R.D. - George's friend Glen Whitney, who is executive director of the Museum of Mathematics, solved it! George put it back together, whereupon it defeated all comers for the remainder of the evening. I did, however, manage to reproduce the feat at home - but it wasn't easy even after having seen it done! At right is a picture of the insides.

George had plenty of puzzles of his own for people to play with. I found a large burr by the fireplace and managed to solve it. It was a model for the Giant Burr at the Math Midway exhibition - see George's Math Monday Blogs (the 1/11/10 entry). I've added the design to the catalog in my section on burrs, to which I have made several additional updates.


Check out Jim Storer's Puzzle Collection!


This six-piece puzzle is a 3-D printed adaptation by George Bell, of Stewart Coffin's Peanut design (see the original in wood at PuzzleWorld, and at Scott T. Peterson's site). I ordered the 3 cm. version from George's Shapeways store, in Alumide material. (Photo by John Devost.)

Rounded out my collection of beautiful aluminum puzzles by R. D. Rose:

Left to right, they are: #1 Double Dovetail Square, #2 Double Dovetail Round, #4 X-Y-Z Burr, #5 Vortex, #6 Double Semi-Maze.

I already have #3 Triple Dovetail Triangle, #7 Dodecahedron (both originals), #8 Iso-Crate, and #9 Six-Key Mine (copies from Bits and Pieces).



February 2010

I got a copy of Tom Jolly's great two-piece design called Tangler, made from Quilted Maple by Eric Fuller. I bought one of the large versions of Jason Smith's first run of the Compy Cube (a Shallow Dino).
I bought one of Garrett Ong's hand-made 2x2x4 puzzles (before I knew they'd be mass-produced).

Tai Yan black 3x3x3, Dian Sheng (Type E .222), "Professional Speed Cube," DaYan Crazy 2x3x3 black, Mickey Mouse head 2x2x2


The annual New York Puzzle Party (NYPP) hosted by Tom Cutrofello took place on Saturday Feb. 13, and was pretty well-attended, with about 40 people enjoying the day of lectures and puzzle buying, selling, trading, and playing. A few of us got together and stayed at Brett's house Friday and Saturday nights. You can read about it on Brian Pletcher's blog.

I found a few new puzzles - eL Perch by Rick Eason, Only 2 Sticks designed by Kofuh Satoh and made by Saul Bobroff, and Coyote Howling at the Market by Jurg von Kaenel, QJ Heart-to-Heart and 2x3x3:


Other new puzzles - online purchases and some auction finds...

  I picked up a backissue of the journal of The Conjuring Arts Research Center, Gibeciere Vol. 4, No. 2 - this issue includes a complete translation of Pablo Minguet y Irol's 1733 book Engaņos ā Ojos Vistas which contains an early mention of a six-piece burr puzzle.
A burr made by Brian Menold:
A copy of Stewart Coffin's Twelve Piece Separation design, made from Mahogany and Bloodwood, by Thomas Moeller.
Ordered a pair of black Edison 3x3x3 Cubes from edicubes.com.


Special Scoop! - Review of a production Helicopter Cube!

ADDENDUM: Jason Smith and Adam Cowan have announced pricing of the Helicopter Cube - an incredibly low $25! It is expected to be available in early March.

Adam Cowan was kind enough to loan me and ask me to review one of the first samples of his new production Helicopter Cube. I own one of his hand-cast original Helicopter Cubes, so naturally I was very interested to compare the two. I believe there are plenty of folks in the "Twisty Puzzle" community anxiously awaiting the chance to get their hands on what has until now been a fairly rare collector's item. For those who haven't already heard all about it, the Helicopter Cube isn't some rehash of an old puzzle - it's a completely new type of twisty cube - Rubik's Cube allows face turns, and Meffert's Skewb allows vertex turns, but the Helicopter allows edge turns.

Here are some photos of the sample production Helicopter Adam loaned me:

The production version is stickered using more traditional colors than the custom version - white opposite blue, red opposite orange, and green opposite yellow, with a clockwise green/orange/white corner.

The production version jumbles just like the custom version, so rest assured that you won't miss out on the jumbling madness!

Here is a size comparison. The original custom version is the "standard" 57mm - the production version is 60mm - the same size as an Eastsheen A4. I don't have a postage scale so I don't have a precise weight for the puzzles, but the production version is lighter than the cast version, as expected. It's heavier than the A4, though. Regardless, it feels good in the hand.

As to the size, Adam says, "60mm gave it just a little more room, and made the pieces a little stronger and easier to design. Also, it makes the puzzle different from the original cast puzzles."

The following are my initial impressions, and some additional comments from Adam.

The first thing I noticed is that some of the stickers were askew. Actually, no, the first thing I thought was, "Wow! Cool! I am holding an actual sample of one of the best original new designs to be mass-produced!"

Anyway, Adam tells me that he did the stickering on this one by hand, quickly and in a dimly lit restaurant at that! He hasn't yet received a factory-stickered version, but believes they'll be better.
Yeah, yeah - excuses, excuses :-)... Frankly I don't think this will be an issue - certainly not another Flowerminx sticker fiasco!

The next thing I noticed was that, perhaps due to the mis-aligned stickers in combination with some partial turning of the edges, some of the faces appeared trapezoidal and not truly square to me. Weird. Here is a picture:

I've fiddled with the cube to line up all the edges flat on the table, and perhaps this is an optical illusion due to the stickers. Not a big deal.

So, I'm sure you all want to know, how does it turn? In short, very nicely, though out-of-the-box, I don't think it's speed-solvable. The production plastic is nice and smooth, so the turns have none of the "scratchiness" associated with cast puzzles. The sample I have isn't really finger-trickable - maybe with some wearing-in and lubrication it could be improved. I'm not sure the Helicopter shape will ever lend itself to really fast finger-tricks - but then I am not a speed-cuber by any means, so someone else will have to properly evaluate the potential here. I did experience more hang-ups than with my custom version - but I have to emphasize that the catching wasn't excessive and I never experienced any pops. I'm not even sure this thing can pop. The photo below shows how it tends to catch, a little exaggerated for clarity:

It wasn't clear to me whether the cube could be disassembled and re-tensioned by the user - Adam tells me, "I had to choose between making it really easy to adjust the tension and hide the screws. With the way the geometry overlaps at the axis parts, it is pretty difficult to remove the caps without taking the puzzle apart, and it is difficult to take the puzzle apart, at least for the first edge. For a speed solver that wants to tweak the tension, I think they will want to cut the tips off of the caps to allow screwdriver access, but this will be for the hardcore speedsolvers, and not the general puzzler."

Here is a comparison of the custom version on the left and the production version on the right, showing the difference - the custom version has easily accessible screws. It's a question of aesthetics versus function. I'm sure there will be folks who prefer each over the other.

Bottom line? If you have any interest at all in twisty puzzles, you're going to want one.


Some news: the Teraminx is available from Cube4you (560g version) and Mf8 (760g version) You can see videos here, here, and here. According to Drew, who originally designed it, the Teraminx contains 555 pieces.

Try two online puzzle games: Loops of Zen, and Planarity.

 

I've ordered a Mini Mini Rhombiminx from Eric Johnson.
It's a vertex-turning Rhombic Dodecahedron, but unlike the similar-looking DRD,
the Rhombiminx is order-3 and only the 4-part vertices turn.
It's hand-made using cast custom parts and an Eastsheen mini 2x2x2 core.
You can join the waiting list at Bedardpuzzles.


Here is a hand-crafted puzzle from Eric Fuller at CubicDissection - the Tornado Burr designed in 2007 by Junichi Yananose.
My copy is made from Padauk wood.
Eric says, "This is one of the most difficult puzzles I've ever made. They are extremely time consuming to make, requiring many specialized jigs.
I doubt I'll be making these again!"
This burr, with its unusual and interesting movement, won an Honorable Mention award in the 2007 IPP Nob Yoshigahara Design Competition.


A "Blue Diamond" (Truncated Hexagonal Dipyramid shape mod to a 3x3x3).
These are being mass-produced in China, and may be available from Popbuying.com.



I finally got a vintage Rubik's Cheese from Hungary.

A vintage 1933 F D Puzzle -
celebrating President Franklin D. Roosevelt -
made by Perry and Elliot Co. of Massachusetts.
Form the letters F and D.

A Domino reproduction based on the new 2x3x3, by Smaz.


January 2010 - Wishing all a happy, prosperous, and peaceful New Year!

A final January update, then on to some new puzzles I'll be receiving in February...


The vintage 1975 sliding piece puzzle Dormitory Dash from Peterson Games.

A vintage Cylinder Ten by Masudaya.
Ten rotating disks each with ten color segments.
Align the disks to get ten different colors in each row.

A Crazy 2x3x3 designed by Daqing Bao.
Genuine DaYan versions made by Witenden.
Available at Cube4you.

I've added a section on Cuboid Puzzles, with a lot of info on the origins of different designs.


The Path - from Family Games

Plexle Water

A group of twisty puzzles including "Maze Cube" -
stack the four bricks together to make a 2x2x2
having four colors on each face.

A keychain clock
The Willey and Barton coin puzzle from the 1904 World's Fair:
A 3x3x3 Heart:
From Thinkfun, Rush Hour Ultimate Collector's Edition and Subtrax:
On sale 75% off at Borders, Ken-Ken:

 


On the 9th, I drove up to the Boston-area puzzle shops. At Eureka, I found The Black Jack Labyrinth by Constantin, and both the Mini and Braille Eni Puzzles:

 

At The Games People Play, I found Linking Squares and Sheffield Steel 6BB, both from Philos, and Blockout and Straight Arrow, both new from Thinkfun:

Linking Squares consists of 12 pieces with embedded magnets, that must be constructed into an octahedral shape composed of three interlinked rectangles. It was designed by J. Verhoeff.
Sheffield Steel 6BB was designed by the prolific Ronald Kint-Bruynseels - it is a six-piece burr at level 17.14.5.2.3 (see the pieces at Ishino's site; Richard Whiting describes the puzzle on his site, and gives a solution).

The Thinkfun Blockout is a nice, portable, inexpensive copy of Bill Cutler's Blockhead. Thinkfun's Straight Arrow is a nice, portable, inexpensive copy of Iwahiro's Rectangular Jam.


The Rubik's Touch Cube, which debuted at $150, is now on sale for $50 at Best Buy

I finally found a vintage Trick Haus puzzle: 


December 2009

Ordered an Arusloky Puzzle: 

 

And, in other puzzle news (I haven't ordered any of these yet)...

Tom van der Zanden has announced the availability of his Holey Octahedron, at Shapeways:
Hidetoshi Takeji (creator of the famous Bump Cube / Mirror Blocks) has announced commercial production of his 2x2x4 puzzle (see Amazon Japan). Cube4You has announced a cubic 3x3x5:

Note: this is very similar to the puzzle first sold by Adam Cowan and Jason Smith.

 


Here are my four (out of 11) Karakuri Club Christmas boxes for 2009:

     

This year I chose the creations from Kamei, Iwahara, Satou, and Ninomiya. They're all beautiful! Can you tell which is which?

Gifts from Susan (Thanks!) - the 2010 puzzles from LiveWire:
An order from Popbuying.com:
A copy of Jerry Slocum's new book (with Jack Botermans) Het Ultieme Puzzelboek (it's only available in Dutch):
The vintage 8 Blocks to Madness puzzle - invented by Eric Cross of Ireland, and issued by Austin Enterprises of Ohio:
A Gentosha Slim Tower 2x2x3, and a "Lanlan Mask Cube" (truncated Rhombic Dodecahedron 3x3x3):
Brett got me the Hanayama Globe Ball and Dual Rings (Thanks!):


I've added a good bit of information to my section on Instant Insanity - type puzzles.


Our puzzler (and magician) friend Mark Setteducati told us about the Jigazo Puzzle when we talked at Brett's puzzle dinner a while back. It's made the Geek news on SlashDot as well as Gizmodo. It comprises a set of 300 pieces, all various shades of a monochromatic color, that interlock interchangeably. They can be assembled using supplied instructions to represent (when seen from a distance) almost any face or scene! There is an option to email in a photo and receive instructions for constructing that picture with the pieces. This is similar to the art of Ken Knowlton, where a set of objects with different shadings are carefully arranged to make an image.

Possibly available from FlutterScape.com.


Bob Hearn has an interesting book out, Games, Puzzles, & Computation.

Be sure to take a look at Jonas Bengtsson's blog.


New puzzles from CubicDissection: The Lolly Box, designed by Alfons Eyckmans and made by Eric Fuller - a walnut box, with Bubinga, Pau Ferro, Purpleheart, and Paduak pieces; and the Yamaosa 3 Piece Burr, designed by Osanori Yamamoto and made by Eric Fuller from Walnut.

 


Jinxed, a vintage edgematching puzzle by Tryne:


New puzzles from Mefferts:


From Mf8, a Crazy 4x4 II:


Other new twisties: a 2x3x3 (Domino), a "Ghost Hand" 3x3x3 (this turns very nicely), a "Square Octahedron", a "Yuxin" 2x2x2, and another Cube4You Gigaminx (this one from DealExtreme):


A vintage acrylic diagonal burr, the Prism Puzzle, issued in 1970 by the Pacific Game Company of N. Hollywood CA:


November 2009

An order from Bits and Pieces -

An order from Puzzlemaster -

An advertising edgematching puzzle from Australia: 

A sculpture puzzle (I believe this is a Paracelsus puzzle): 


Had a great time the weekend of the 14th at a puzzle get-together organized and hosted by Brett Kuehner. Read all about it on Brian Pletcher's blog.



Babymorphix - Taylor Howell
This is a Reuleaux Pyramorphix.

DCD '09 Cube
Thanks to Geert Hellings!

Switch Cube - Richard Gain
Thanks, Brett!

Barb's Cube - John Devost
A miniature 3D print from Shapeways
Thanks, Brett!

Qubami - by Kelvin Stott

Jing's Pyraminx - Mefferts
(a Reuleaux Halpern-Meier Tetrahedron)

Enigmus

Bump Floppy
Gamesters of Triskelion,
a multi-stage challenge by Pavel Curtis:
Three different 3-D sliding piece puzzles by Doug Engel (Blocked Barrel 15, Barrel Slide 121, and Barrel Shuttle 11), and also several sets of his Elictrihedron pieces:

Lolo's Octahedron, custom-made, from Uhrik:

Turbo Mind Twister:

Octamania:

Logicubes by Kaufmann:


October 2009

I completed my first real twisty mod! I made an Octaminx (a design originated by Tony Fisher) from a couple of old Tomy Pyraminx puzzles. This is an "old school" mod - done with a saw, and various other implements of destruction - not casting. I've got the sliced and abraded fingers to prove it.

I hand-cut the stickers myself - I got the vinyl from Mike at Fast Signs of Manchester, CT.


I've put together a little Halloween-themed web puzzle here .

No prize or anything, but see if you can solve it before the 31st.

And as added incentives, first, here is an article citing evidence that online searching activity boosts the brain; and second, I've added a "wall of fame" - you might still be among the first ten solvers!



A Fisher Cube (aka King Cube), now legitimized due to efforts by Uwe Meffert on behalf of its inventor, Tony Fisher. Available from Mefferts.

I found an "it" puzzle really cheap, possibly because its photo showed the 13 piece missing. But I opened it up and fixed it!

I got a Truncated Trajber's Octahedron from Tanner Frisby.

Rack 'Em Up - Milton Bradley 1987

A Floral Derangement - Peterson Games 1972

Grandpa's Wonder Soap puzzle
 
Based on a glimpse of the insides in the photo, I've found what I believe is a Russian Domino. We'll see when it gets here from the Ukraine.


September 2009

Updated my Wish List page.
In fact, I've now updated almost every page with some new puzzles.

Master puzzle craftsman John Devost, and friends, have started a new website called Puzzle Paradise, at which you can find various mechanical puzzles for sale in an auction format.

Kim Klobucher, who makes nice puzzle boxes, has a new website.

You should check out Flexagon.net!

Several twisty puzzles, including a Gigaminx, can be purchased at Deal Extreme.

At www.povys.cz, there are several new twisty puzzles based on the GloBall.

Brian Pletcher has started a Puzzle Blog. Interesting reading!

Jeff Chiou has also started a blog, MagicPuzzles.org.

Check out photos of Maarten Bos' collection.

Also check out Goetz Schwandtner's Puzzles.

See a Make article about some of Bram Cohen's puzzles.

Verdes (makers of V-Cubes) has a couple of new puzzles out: the Illusion and the Dazzler.

You can buy custom twisty puzzles from Clay & Eva, and Olz.

Please note that I do not endorse any website mentioned. I'm just reporting on them.


Ordered the new Crazy 4x4 from mf8:

This cube was discussed on the Twistypuzzles forums in threads 14856 and 7918. You can see how this cube moves on YouTube here.


Got a new puzzle book - Professor Stewart's Cabinet of Mathematical Curiosities by Ian Stewart: 

A vintage advertising Graeco-Latin Square puzzle issued by Stephens Motor Works: 


Here's my chart on Dodecahedral Twisty Puzzles:


At IPP, my daughter found a nice birthday present she wanted: an Illusionist Locket, made by Jim Anderson (Illusion Lockets LLC of Idaho). Jim figured out a way to realize the trick locket that appeared in the movie The Illusionist. (See various videos on YouTube...) According to Jim: "This locket transformed from an oval into a heart shape and opened to mysteriously reveal a picture. There was no apparent way the locket could function in this way without tearing the picture in half." The puzzle here is "How does it work?" You might be able to find one on eBay. (There are several makers, I think Jim's is of the highest quality.)


Found a Closterman 5x5x5 Caged Cube (type 4-125-13, from 2-99) made from Jatoba, at a bargain price! 

 

Finally put stickers on my DRD:


A great way to start a new month!

I received a Nightmare Cube from Tanner Frisby:

And I received my long-awaited Pillowed Hexaminx and Mastermorphynx (Edge-turning Pyraminx) from Traiphum Prungtaengkit, of Thailand:


August 2009

James Lee at Cube4you (also Cubefans) has issued two great puzzles, previously only available as expensive hand-made custom creations, at mass-market prices - a fully-functional 3x3x4 (based on Jin Kim's design - get STLs by Tom van der Zanden at TwistyPuzzles.com Forums, thread #12134), and a Gigaminx:

 


For some time now I've been intending to feature George Hart's "Screw Cube" - a two-piece interlocking puzzle George invented and 3D printed with white nylon. I got prototype number 1 from him at one of Brett's Manhattan puzzle dinners. Previous photos I'd taken of it just hadn't come out well, but I've got a new DSLR...

It's not too difficult, but everyone who plays with it likes it and is a little stumped at first. I think it's a classic. Thanks again, George!


If you're in the area, be sure to visit the Logical Puzzle Museum in Burlington, Wisconsin.


Back from IPP29 in San Francisco, and my trip up the coast to Seattle...

 

 

Lots of new puzzles...

Mark McCallum made this beautiful Sphinx Transformed for me. Thanks again, Mark! It's a rhombic triacontahedron, a relative of Stewart Coffin's Design No. 72. The woods include: Kingwood, Spotted Ebony, Bird's Eye Maple, Ziricote, Ceylon Satinwood, Chakte Viga, Narra, Tulipwood, Redheart, Macassar Ebony, Ebony, and Bocote.

Mark also made me a Ring of Diamonds (STC #13-B) in walnut - and as you can see, I am still trying to put it back together...


From Traiphum Prungtaengkit, of Thailand, an Edge-turning Pyraminx!

(There is another very cool puzzle on the way here from Traiphum, too...)

Ordered some new puzzles from Meffert's:

     

Some additional new twisty puzzles:

   


July 2009

Here is a diagram I made to show the relationships among octahedral twisty puzzles:


I finally rounded out my collection of vintage Odd Ball interlocking puzzles, with the Football and the Baseball:

Found another weave puzzle:    Found a copy of the vintage 1913 Cross and Crown


Two sliding-piece puzzles from Popular Playthings - Sink or Swim, and Outta Gas: 

A burr puzzle called Mercury Star    A vintage advertising premium for Dickinson's Witch Hazel - the Double Puzzle


An original Dogic!    A Rubik's Passion Cube - a Rubik's Cube intended to appeal to girls:     A vintage Rubik's Domino


Rhinocerous and Confused Pillow cubes from "Socube" 


Check out Tom Cutrofello's new website, Gotta Solve It, home of Lab Mice puzzles. (Try some samples.) Tom organizes the annual New York Puzzle Party.

Martin Watson made me aware of this online puzzle called 3D Logic which I think is a kind of 3D version of the Lab Mice idea.


Some new links to explore:
Stella, a "Polyhedron Navigator."
Gerhards Spiel und Design
Kniffi
CMC Puzzles
Geduldspiele Blog
Peter Chapman Puzzles
Troels Eriksen's website
Michael Gottlieb's blog

 


From Puzzlemaster, a Double Kongming Lock, the Destroyer, and the Hanayama Medal:

The Destroyer (and the Keyhole) were designed by Markus Goetz.

The IPP 28 book:     Another trade with Brett - the Steady State Cube by Richard Gain


June 2009


The No Dexterity maze, designed by Oskar van Deventer and made by Tom Lensch.

A JCC tanglement "S270" from the recent Baxter Ergatoudis auction.

A vintage sliding piece puzzle advertising premium from the "Hartford Despatch & Warehouse Co."
It's called The Moving Puzzle, but this is a 5x6 version I haven't seen before.

Arjeu CT14 "Criss Cross" (Altekruse)

Tern-Key - designed by Goh Pit Khiam, purchased from CubicDissection.

The Blockword Crosspuzzle from "Products of the Behavioral Sciences" ca. 1970


Made a trip up to Boston 6/14, to attend a Twisty Puzzle enthusiast meet-up instigated by Jason Smith, who flew in from California along with George Miller. George brought some interesting designs by Bram. It was great meeting Jason - I got to hold the Pentultimate (which, sadly, has seen better days). I made a trade with Jason and got an eight-color Mozaika:

Adam Cowan also drove in from Saratoga, and brought several interesting puzzles, including proofs of his 3x3x3 Egg being sold by Meffert. I am very pleased to have finally obtained a Helicopter Cube from Adam! The Helicopter Cube was first discussed in the TwistyPuzzles forums in thread 6253 - a particularly rich thread in which several ideas, including the concept of jumbling as opposed to shape-shifting, were broached. (More discussion on jumbling: 13071, 11126 .) Katsuhiko Okamoto mentions that he had completed his equivalent Bevel Cube the previous month. Robert Webb extrapolates a rhombic dodecahedral puzzle and Matt Shepit hints of its realization - it will be Shepit's Rua. Various folks have discussed their attempts to make their own Helicopter Cubes: 13856, 13520, 12030, 12423, 11679.

Drew brought a few of his version of Adam's Super-X for us to play with - they are very nicely made. The Super-X is very "squishy!"

I also stopped by Eureka and picked up a few puzzles:


Here is another chart I made, to organize information about cubic puzzles and their relationships.


A 1x2x3 by Scott Bedard

A vintage 1932 sliding piece puzzle, "The Presidential Puzzle" (Hoover vs. Roosevelt): 

I have made some updates to my Sliding Piece Section.


May 2009

A Morph Egg from Meffert's, designed by Adam Cowan

Two puzzles from Popular Playthings - Hedgehog Escape, and Kayak Cove: 


I made the chart below showing a way to think about the relationships among some tetrahedral twisty puzzles. Check out the Gelatinbrain applet to try some of these puzzles online.


More new twisty puzzles...


I bought the Dino-Rhombic Dodecahedron (DRD) DIY from Drew Cormier. This puzzle is a vertex-turning rhombic dodecahedron where all 4-part and 3-part vertices turn. Pictured is the de-flashed and assembled puzzle - I need to sand and sticker it. It turns well, but due to a design issue the 3-part corners turn only counter-clockwise.

With the help of Roxanne Wong, an Edges-Only cube from "Smaz." Thanks, Rox!
Be sure to check out Roxanne's puzzle page at http://www.roxannewong.webs.com/

Curvy Mastermorphix
Available at Meffert's.


Brett K. held a puzzle dinner get-together in Manhattan Saturday night - great fun and Chinese food. Lots of puzzles, discussion, magic, and tales of legal derring-do! And Ed Begley, Jr.

Brett got me several 3D printed micro-cube puzzles issued by Richard Gain via Shapeways:


Primary Gain
designed by Richard Gain

The World's Smallest Commercially Available Cube Puzzle
7.5 mm side

Inside Out
designed by Richard Gain

Cubed Burr II
designed by Tom Jolly

Seldom Seen
designed by Richard Gain

Happiness Cube #20
designed by Sekoguchi Yukiyasu

Tertiary Gain
designed by Richard Gain

See also Richard's YouTube channel.


Also, Hanayama's new Cast Marble


A version of Altekruse, from Adam's: 


April 2009

A set of four Karakuri Cube Boxes, from the Karakuri Creation Group.



Dodek-Duo

Outrageous Rings, by Dr. Richard Hess.

The Floppy Cube, designed by Katsuhiko Okamoto and produced by Gentosha.

A vintage Toyo Glass Asparagus packing puzzle.

A plastic folding-plate "puzzle" - make different shapes.

A white Skewb Egg from Meffert, designed by Tony Fisher.


KCube puzzle boxes, designed and made by Kim Klobucher

The left-hand model requires 50 moves to open; the right-hand model only 16. Here is a YouTube video of a box being opened.


March 2009 - Comes in like a Lion...

 
An Icosaminx made by Matt Davis

A transparent Tetraminx

The set of nine Warner cartoon character 2x2x2 puzzle heads

Meffert's Beachball

An Impossible Lock from Grand Illusions

The Cubedron, designed by Pantazis Houlis at Mindstrat Puzzles

A Golden Mirror Blocks cube


From Eric Fuller, a Tease Cube by Sam Cornwell, and a Three Piece NOT by Frans de Vreugd:


A vintage Adams' Rastus tanglement puzzle:    A vintage 1971 Chadwick Miller Pocket Puzzles set: 


A vintage Saunders' Puzzle   Vintage green plate metal horseshoes: 


A Halpern-Meier Tetrahedron (or Pyramid), made from a Skewb keychain core with cast pieces by Matt Davis (also showing comparison to regular Skewb): 

I was brave and mixed it up - but I figured out how to solve it. Turns out, this is very similar to a Pyraminx. The only extra alg needed is to swap two pairs of centers (which don't exist on the Pyraminx).

Here are a couple of pix of the Axis Cube with a checkerboard pattern applied (Ow! Pointy!): 


February 2009

An Axis Cube, designed by Adam Cowan and built by Frank Schwartz: 

 

A set of Masterball variations (Dragon, Circus, Soccer): 


A vintage Celestial Cross puzzle issued by McLaughlin Bros. of NY: 


A Blue ReVoMaze I:     An Arjeu CT152 "La Lanterne" (from an Ergatoudis auction): 


Tom Cutrofello hosted the 2009 annual New York Puzzle Party in Manhattan on Saturday February 14th. George Hart gave a talk on new geometric puzzle designs, Wei-Hwa Huang talked about Algorithm X, and I gave a presentation on twisty mods. We had a good lunch at a nearby Italian restaurant (I had black ravioli stuffed with lobster, in a dill cream sauce), and later eight of us went to dinner at the Popover Cafe, where I had the Porcini-crusted Bronzini. It was great! I'd never had a popover before - man was it good! I also found a few interesting puzzles at the party:


Galaxies & Stars - JVK


"Tripple 7" - 3-piece packing (prototype) - JvK

Pack the Tray (8 triangles + 1 rectangle) - Saul

6-piece packing (Krasnoukov?) - from Rick Eason

Australia tangle (Rick)


Lab Mice Puzzles Volumes 1 & 2 - Tom Cutrofello

 

Also traded with Brett for some puzzles:


A Super-Square-1 Star mod - Brett made it in all white then I swapped in the black pieces.
You can find on-line [dis]assembly instructions here.

Aqua Drop - Bandai
The inside surface seems to be made from a hydrophobic plastic - the bead of water runs around like mercury!

Minute Maze - Mag-Nif

Mimi packing puzzles: A, F, H


Ordered three new puzzles from Puzzlemaster - the Keyhole, Metroville, and Aqube (Psychodelic version - blue pieces shown for example):


An Evil Twin Cube from Smartoyshop

The Enigma (a dodecahedral edge-matching puzzle) by Reiss, 1971: 

Two vintage 1969 packing puzzles from Lakeside - Cars and Trucks, and Fish and Birds: 

A set of tangles from Totes: 


A couple of the latest offerings from Cubic Dissection, a Cerradura Doble designed by Robrecht Louage, entered in the IPP28 Design Competition, and made from stainless steel, acrylic, and Corian, and an H Puzzle designed by Tomas Linden and made from Marblewood by Eric Fuller.

  


Reporting to you on this chilly first day of February, about our trip to Boston on the chilly last day of January. Of course, we stopped at Eureka and at Games People Play. I had a very enjoyable chat (as always) with David Leschinsky at Eureka, and picked up a few nice puzzles, including a Hanayama Equa, the Best Ever from Tucker-Jones House, and Quarks, a new kind of 2x2x2 twisty puzzle from Fourier Idea, Inc.

     

At GPP, I found a Mochalov Cube 2006 usually available from Bernhard Schweitzer at Puzzlewood.de, and an interesting 16-piece jigsaw with wooden pieces - the Plexle Fire puzzle from Mindware.

  


A Pieceless Puzzle from Ceaco


January 2009 - Happy New Year!

I'm really happy to have found a pair of vintage Piet Hein designs made (in Hong Kong) back in 1972 by the Hubley Division of Gabriel Industries - a Bloxbox and a Crux. The Bloxbox is notable since the design by Piet Hein is one of the first examples of sliding cubes in a cube. (The first U.S. patent, 416344, for a puzzle like this was awarded to Charles Rice in 1889.) The Crux is cool, too, and I was able to repair the elastic connections.

A Journet See-Saw in what looks to be very good condition:      A Lowe Wit's End in its package: 

A 51-piece Pagoda puzzle issued by Bits & Pieces: 


From Meffert's, the Lunar New Year Special Golden Cube set     From Bits & Pieces, a Curly Cube, designed by Vladimir Krasnoukhov


This is Hex, issued back when Thinkfun was Binary Arts. Fold the chain loop into a hexagon so that all arrows face the same direction. A gift from Tom Jolly - I had an instruction sheet but no puzzle - thanks, Tom!

I've seen other versions of this on Iwase's site.


Scott T. Peterson has made copies of my 2N's Cube No. 5 - he designed a very nice pattern based on the "five" theme (each face has five contrasting cubes), and made these two examples - the first from Ziricote and Orange Osage, and the second from Yellowheart and Wenge. Thanks, Scott, they're beautiful!

The No. 5 design is the result of a computer-assisted search I did (using Andreas Röver's wonderful BurrTools program), trying to find a better design than the No. 1 I designed originally by hand. I don't think any of the designs I found by computer topped the No. 1, but of them, No. 5 is my favorite - it uses eight different pieces as opposed to the four pairs in the No. 1. I think No. 5 is more difficult to assemble, too.

You may be able to buy a copy of my 2N's Cube No. 1, made by Scott from Jatoba and Yellowheart, at the CubicDissection website. There were a few left last time I checked!


The 2008 tanglements set from Target: 


December 2008

Here are the four Karakuri Club Christmas Presents for 2008 I received:


Some new wire tanglements from Livewire, from Susan and her family - Thanks!

From Chelsea (she's so thoughtful) - Rick Riordan's The 39 Clues Book 1 The Maze of Bones


I got a Trajber's Octahedron from David Calzone. David made a batch by casting pieces molded from 3D-printed masters. The Trajber's Octahedron is a vertex-turning puzzle and has a 3x3x3 cube core. The group shot shows various kinds of octahedral twisty puzzles - the vertex-turning Magic Octahedron, the Trajber's, Meffert's Skewb Diamond (face-turning), and a new face-turning octahedron from Taiwan (the next higher order from the Skewb Diamond):


I pre-ordered Jerry Slocum's new book, The Cube, and bought a copy of Greg Frederickson's Hinged Dissections, both from Amazon; found a copy of The Art of the Puzzle, a catalogue from a past exhibition at the Katonah Museum of Art; and finally took a pic of Neo Sliding Block Puzzles, a spiral bound compendium (two parts combined into one booklet) I bought from Serhiy Grabarchuk at IPP28 in Prague:

     

White Pyraminx and Megaminx clones, and a white Eastsheen 5x5x5: 


A face-turning octahedron, courtesy of fellow puzzler David Guo in Taiwan:

It arrived unassembled. Shown in comparison to the smaller Magic Octahedron, which is vertex-turning. David's site offers a solution.


Three Open Windows, designed by Tom Jolly and made by Eric Fuller, from Bloodwood, Wenge, and Holly.


From Bits & Pieces:


November 2008

A sale at Thinkfun:



One of the new Hungarian Supernova reissues (turns very smoothly!): 

Vintage dexterity puzzles Woodn't Center, and Op1,
both by Mag-Nif from 1974 (along with a game called WellKono):

Also from Mag-Nif, Even Steven and Levitation (I solved it!)
(with a color-match from Raintree):


New from CubicDissection and both made by Eric Fuller, Tri Again designed by Frank Potts, and the One Piece Packing Puzzle designed by Simon Nightingale:

A vintage Bagatelle dexterity puzzle by R. Journet:    -- From Torito, the Meiji Apollo puzzle, and Identica-L II: 


2008 has been a banner year for fans of Twisty Polyhedra puzzles.

Many new twisty puzzles are being mass-produced and are commercially available. Here are some new ones I've ordered or received, plus a recap of some from prior months:


The Void Cube, designed by Katsuhiko Okamoto.
Manufactured by Gentosha Toys. Purchased from Torito.
The Void Cube won the Jury Grand Prize in the IPP 2007 Design Competition.
When solving the Void Cube, you might run across a parity problem.
To see the internals, see this thread on TwistyPuzzles.

The V-Cubes, from Verdes Innovations.

The Rubik's Mirror Blocks cube, aka the Bump Cube, designed by Hidetoshi Takeji.
The Bump Cube was entered in the IPP 2006 Design Competition. The hand-crafted version had been for sale at $320.

Meffert's Pyraminx Crystal
First patented in 1987 by Uwe Meffert: DE8707783 (U1).
Katsuhiko Okamoto had created a version he called the Mega Crystal.
Aleh Hladzilin created a version he eventually named the Brilic - he made around a dozen, some of which sold for over $1000. At first he used a Dogic core, then later a Megaminx core.
A build-up of the Megaminx, without centers. While a twist on the Megaminx moves 5 corners and 5 edges, a twist on the Crystal moves 5 corners and 10 edges.
Noah Hevey has written a nice history of this puzzle - see topic 85537 in the TwistyPuzzles forums.

The Super Square-1
Produced by cube4you. See this thread at the cube4you forums.
Watch a video.

The Ball-B
From Poland - website here. This shape - a spherical Megaminx (aka Ballminx) - was first explored by Jürgen Brandt.


Not only have there been so many new commercial puzzles released, there has been a flowering of new custom-crafted designs, brought on by broader knowledge of and availability of CAD design tools that can output STL (e.g. Solidview, Alibre, CoCreate by PTC, 3D Studio Max by Autodesk, Kompas-3D from Ascon, ViaCAD from Punch, VariCAD, BRL-CAD, others listed on Peter Eland's site ) (see Tyler Fox's tutorial on YouTube - part 1 - turn up the volume all the way), 3D printing services (e.g. 3dpartz.com, fdmonly.com, Shapeways, printo3d.com) that can take STL input and make master parts, and materials and techniques for casting parts from polyurethane plastic resin (e.g. Conap, Alumilite - get some at Hobby Engineering) using silicone rubber (e.g. Oomoo 25 or 30 - longer pot life, but longer cure time) two part molds poured in a Lego box. Don't forget a mold release agent such as Mann Ease Release 800 or 200. See the articles at TwistyPuzzles. Also this thread.

The traditional methods include cut-downs using a Dremel or hacksaw, and build-ups using Apoxie Sculpt (also here), Milliput, 1/8" ABS plastic sheet, or .040" polystyrene sheet. You can find materials at McMaster.

Many mods will use a black DIY core.

Use a Stika or some other vinyl sheet cutter (e.g. US Cutter) to create the stickers from Oracal 651 vinyl adhesive sheet.

Some of the amazing custom creations:

Scott Bedard has created a cooperative site named bedardpuzzles.com where some of these puzzles will be available for sale.


October 2008


An Isis Puzzle by Sonicwarp, Titanium and Silver Edition (from the old Sharper Image stock):

Cheater? Shortcut

A Tri-Trick

Back in the Box - a plastic packing puzzle:


From my local Barnes & Noble bookstore, a set of tanglements (in nice packaging), from stirlingfox.com...
(Note that these are the same designs from Mad Cow.)
There are eight designs in the stirlingfox series (more in Mad Cow's lineup), I got five of them, in bold:


Full Moon

Gatekeeper

Mad Cow

Wandering

Woodworm

Triangle

Quadrilateral

Drumsticks


A Cubed Electronic Puzzle, from ThinkGeek


From my friends at Puzzlemaster.ca, a Frustr8tor (thanks, guys!):


Still waiting on items from the revived Bits & Pieces:


September 2008

From Randall Gatewood at Quagmire Puzzle Boxes, a Box Joint Box Secret Box:


An order of a set of compact 2D packing challenges, from Puzzlemist (William Waite):



Some of the latest from CubicDissection's artists:


The set of Hanayama Marine Puzzles, large size, and some new Dick Hess designs, from PuzzleMaster:

A Mozaniac, Four Painters: 


Received my Elemental: Neon (Biohazard) #051, designed and made by David Litwin:


A vintage Cracker Jack premium - the "Chicken and the Egg Puzzle"


August 2008

Back from IPP28 in Prague, and a few days in Berlin.

In Berlin we visited several puzzle shops, including the shop Merlin's Spiel- und Zauberwelten ohG, and met owner Mr. Frank Lu, who shares our enthusiasm for puzzles. There were also several puzzle shops on the agenda in Prague, including SMYSL.

I got many great puzzles of all types at the Puzzle Party, and also finally got a wonderful collection of Wellingtons puzzles from the very generous Liz Burrow, by way of Watson Air Freight - a hearty Thanks to Liz and to Martin!

Naef's Kniff, Ubongo, PakoStar, Philos Magellan, Albertuv Puzzles #4 and #8 by Atlas, Tetrahedron into Octahedron, Philos Prisgon by Markus Goetz, Vinco "Not Quite Half Cubes", Philos Vesa Burr Simple, Bolaris Vastavari, the Fragmented Cube by Oskar van Deventer, the O.S.M. Ball by Jakub Dvorak (from Puzzlewood.de), a Sonneveld Box made by Tom Lensch, Stewart Coffin's "The Hill" also from Puzzlewood, a burr by Frans de Vreugd, Crossroads made by Walter Hoppe, Tirol, a Stegmann 2N's Cube #5 from Bernhard Schweitzer (Thanks again, Bernhard!), a Double Triangular Prism designed by Stewart Coffin (also from Bernhard), Half-Cubes from Vinco (Thanks!), a Perpetual Motion by Bill Darrah.

 

JVK's Tessellating Hexagons, Thick-N-Thin-7 by Serhiy Grabarchuk, Cherry Cocktail, Heart and Spade, Prague IPP28 souvenir, Wetten Dass..., Neo Sliding Block Puzzles by Serhiy Grabarchuk, IPP28 welcome puzzles by Serhiy G., 5 Yen in a Jam by Iwahiro.

 

"The Great British Puzzle" (cubes), Zoo Panic, Lagoon Jungle Mega Puzzle, Warning Puzzle, Philos Eightpack by Tom Jolly, Snookered, Snookered Again, Walk Up, Footsie, Bunkered, Frantic, 180 Top Dart, Frantic II, Bananas, Suit Yourself, Diabolical, Son of Cuss, Nuts.

 

Bolaris Vastavari, two oversized Rubik's Cubes, Magic Smile, 4-wing 4-color Roundy, Uriblock (prototype), Inca (large), Inca (small), 8-tile Magic, Perpetual Motion by Bill Darrah, Life's Maze by Kirill Grebnev, Chainbox, small black plastic burr (Dubois' pieces), The Flying Block Puzzle - thanks, Dirk!

 

Hybrid 15 from Dick Hess, Wolverine keychain tangle from Allan Stein (thanks!), #74 Orli Hnizdo (Eagle's Nest) by Jan Sturm, two sticks tangle (Bathke?), Hanayama Vortex, Philos Tricky 4, Grebnev Apple, Grebnev Spiral.

 


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