What's New

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


November 2017

Finally found a Kumiki Giraffe - this one from the Yamanaka Kumiki Works...



Also very happy with this Kumiki Hippopotamus by the Yamanaka Kumiki Works...

Some keychain finds...

 


Yosegi Pattern Box - Jesse Born
I solved it! (With a small hint.) A nice first move, tricky to find.
I deduced the rest. A good, reliable mechanism - I value that a lot!


Hand-made Custom 2x6x6 Cuboid Twisty Puzzle - Traiphum Prungtaengkit [FB]


Kumiki Cigar-Smoking Man - may have been made in Germany
You can see further examples of different figures at Frank Potts' website.

Kumiki Palace


Kumiki Rocking Dragon Bank

Hikimi Cross Puzzle


Hanayama Animals Tangle Set

Disney Horseshoes Tangle

 

Several additions on my Keychain Puzzles page, plus a minor re-organization to split out a new section devoted to "Gray Area and Non-Puzzle Keychains."

Keychain Puzzle finds...

 


October 2017

Here is a wooden "traditional" 18-piece burr from France. It is a fairly simple construction, and it is not a copy of van der Poel's Grandfather Burr. It is from a company called Grandjouan (Great Toys) and according to various sources, including the solution sheet that came with my example, the burr is called Damier. Unfortunately no source I found has identified the designer or its date of production. In addition, the name "Damier" has been applied to several different puzzles.


2x2x6 - WitEden
A beautiful, hefty, fully functional puzzle.

2x2x5 - WitEden (offset center)

Void Pentultimate - Mf8

2x6x6 - hand-made custom build by Traiphum
I am very pleased to have obtained (in a private transaction) several keychain puzzle cards I had been after.

Here is yet another Cryptex variant that caught my eye - this one, according to the seller,
is an official Sony Pictures replica of the Cryptex from the Da Vinci Code movie.
The five-letter code can be changed. It is about four inches long. Overall I think it is of satisfactory quality -
it is pretty loose but it is hefty and seems decently made though an end cap is too easy to unscrew.

I found an online reference at www.noblecollection.com
(a website listed on the back of the included instruction card).
The $195 price there is about four times what this can be found for at a popular
auction website, though I believe their version is larger (6 inches) and may be a bit better quality.
The auction version does not include a screwdriver.
The auction version may be the "Mini Cryptex."

The website on the scroll shown in the photo (found inside the Cryptex) is defunct.
See the Wikipedia entry for Da Vinci Code WebQuests for more information.



 

Some very nice wooden puzzles from the two most recent offerings at CubicDissection:


Pox Box - designed by Yavuz Demirhan, made by Eric Fuller
from Sapele and Birdseye Maple

Five Duo Cubes - designed by Brendan Perez, made by Eric Fuller
from Sapele and Walnut

Spherical Packing Puzzle - designed by Laszlo Molnar, made by Eric Fuller
from Walnut and Birdseye Maple

Migraine - designed by Ken Irvine, made by Eric Fuller
from Purpleheart

Quattro Cube - designed by Peter Gal, made by Eric Fuller
from Walnut and Ash
The five pieces contain 26 units, so they can form a 3x3x3 with one void.
There is a unique solution for the void at each position.
The box can be packed only with the void in one particular position.

Repair the Cube - designed by Andrey Ustjuzhanin, made by Eric Fuller
from Wenge and White Oak - Level 11.10

 


September 2017

Some heavy metal from Russia...


Arrows - Metallofactura

Lattice Xi 2 - Metallofactura

Tripla - Metallofactura
Designed by Andrei Ivanov
Among the Top Ten Vote Getters in the 2017 IPP Design Competition

Battlecruiser - a hard (brittle) plastic kumiki-style puzzle from Bell of England

Kumiki Pickup Truck

Pyrigan #808 - from Pyrigan
An aluminum dovetail secret-opening puzzle.

Free Me 5 - by Joe Turner
Secret opening / sequential discovery puzzle
Winner of a Jury Honorable Mention in the 2017 IPP Design Competition


Accessory Box (KW-29-2) - Kawashima

Fang Duet - designed by Noboru Hayashi
Thanks, Nick!!

Adam & Eve - by Alan Rolfs, Tom Sun, George Miller
Join the heads together, leaving the apple around Adam's legs.


Moyu Fisher Yileng
Time Wheel stickerless

QiYi Mofangge Twisty Skewb

YongJun Ghost Cube Irregular

FangShi Limcube
Deformed Centrosphere

A Crystal-shaped puzzle from Kabaya of Japan. Hard plastic.
With original box.
#548 "Octahedron" in Compendium 2nd Ed.
Four vintage French boxed wire puzzles:


La Croix du Sahara


Les Anneaux Diaboliques


Paul et Virginie


L' Embarras du Marin

 


Here are some puzzling websites you may wish to visit:


Identical Twins - Yamamoto - Pelikan Identical Twins - Yamamoto - Pelikan
Identical Twins - designed by Osanori Yamamoto -
made by Pelikan from Wenge and Apple
Winner of the Puzzlers' Award at the IPP37 Design Competition
Puzzometry Jr.
Puzzometry Jr. - Jim Fox at Puzzometry

 

Some new twisty puzzles:

Royal Pyraminx
Royal Pyraminx - Timur Evbatyrov -
Calvin's Puzzle (blue)
Flower Copter Flower Copter Flower Copter
Flower Copter - LanLan

Honey Copter Honey Copter
Honey Copter - LanLan

 

Hanayama is offering some new Ultraman-themed puzzles (I ordered these two from a seller on a popular auction site):

Hanayama Ultra 7 Ultra Eye Hanayama Ultra 7 Ultra Eye
Ultra 7 Ultra Eye - Hanayama
Hanayama Ultraman Emblem Hanayama Ultraman Emblem
Ultraman Emblem - Hanayama

 

Two other Hanayama Ultraman-themed puzzles, including a Meteor Medal based on Scott Elliott's Diamond mechanism, aren't out yet (I haven't ordered them):

Hanayama Ultraman Meteor Hanayama Ultraman Meteor
Ultraman Meteor - Hanayama
Hanayama Ultraman Capsule Hanayama Ultraman Capsule
Ultraman Capsule - Hanayama

 


August 2017

From the evening of Friday August 18th through Sunday August 20th I was able to attend Jeff Aurand's Rochester Puzzle Party (RPP) - a get-together of puzzle people Jeff hosts at his home. I had a wonderful time talking with interesting folks and got to play with a variety of fascinating puzzles. Thanks, Jeff!

Brian Pletcher has been blogging again after a long hiatus - you can read Brian's notes about some of the goings-on at RPP in his latest posts.

While at RPP, I added a couple of puzzles to my collection - a prototype of an improved Melting Block design from Johnn Rausch and Tom Lensch, which John was kind enough to give away in a drawing he hosted (thanks, John!); and a new Lucida puzzle designed by Osanori Yamamoto and made by Tom Lensch I bought from Tom.

Improved Melting Block Proto - Rausch - Lensch
Improved Melting Block Proto - Rausch - Lensch Improved Melting Block Proto - Rausch - Lensch
Improved Melting Block (prototype) - John Rausch, made by Tom Lensch
Based on an idea by Thomas O'Beirne - the original Melting Block puzzle uses
nine pieces (including a duplicate of the smallest)
and is described in Creative Puzzles of the World on page 81.
John's version uses eight pieces - there are two copies of the smallest block,
which measures 35 x 23 x 15mm.
The box can apparently be filled either with only one, or both of them.
John's improved design has only two solutions each for the 7- and 8-piece fillings.

Note that at the 2016 NYPP, Bill Cutler gave a presentation on
a new Melting Block design that uses 11 and 12 pieces.

The Trickpack puzzle from HABA is an implementation of the original O'Beirne design.
In O'Beirne's design, eight pieces are constructed by taking a block and making
a horizontal cut 1/3 down from the top, a vertical cut across 1/3 in from the front,
and a vertical cut depthwise 1/3 from the side.
These eight pieces when arranged as shown apparently fill the box.
Unfortunately the Trickpack's box is overly large and will actually allow
a third small block to be packed in
!

HABA Trickpack

Another example of this style of "geometric paradox" 3D packing puzzle
is the "3D Geometrex" puzzle designed by Gianni Sarcone.
You can read about the 3D Geometrex puzzle (aka the Paradoxopiped puzzle)
at the Archimedes' Laboratory website
.
This one uses 9 and 10 pieces.

Lucida - Yamamoto - Lensch
Lucida - designed by Osanori Yamamoto and made by Tom Lensch
from Walnut and Canarywood
10.3 moves with rotation.

 

Someone brought a copy of Andrey Ustjuzhanin's puzzle Slot Machine to RPP and I got to spend some time solving it - I really liked it so when I got home I found a copy still for sale at Cubicdissection and purchased one.

Slot Machine - Ustjuzhanin - Fuller Slot Machine - Ustjuzhanin - Fuller
Slot Machine - designed by Andrey Ustjuzhanin and made by Eric Fuller
from Leopardwood and Ash

 

Someone also brought a copy of the book Meanwhile by Jason Shiga. It's a form of "choose your own adventure" book, but with a complex design and interesting mechanical implementation using tabbed pages. I just had to order one!

Meanwhile - Shiga
Meanwhile - a book by Jason Shiga
Featuring ice cream, time travel, and various mishaps.

 


From the latest over at WoodWonders:

Three Locked Cubes - Chein - Menold Three Locked Cubes - Chein - Menold Three Locked Cubes - Chein - Menold
Three Locked Cubes - designed by Tzy Hung Chein and made by Brian Menold
from Bocote
A great little three-piece puzzle to bring to get-togethers. Finally picked one up in this round.

Colonel's Bouquet - Sicherman - Menold
The Colonel's Bouquet - designed by George Sicherman and made by Brian Menold
from Honduras Rosewood
Four hexacubes - combine any pair to make a symmetrical shape
(each pair has a unique solution). Also, all four pieces make a 2x3x4 block.
An entry in the 2017 Design Competition.

 


Andrew Crowell kindly agreed to make me a set of his Exolution Cubes, versions I, II, III, and IV. He has evolved his design over these iterations but each contains a marble that complicates the solution. Check out Andrew Crowell's Etsy site arcWoodPuzzles.

Exolution I - Crowell
Exolution I - designed and made by Andrew Crowell
Exolution II - Crowell
Exolution II - designed and made by Andrew Crowell

Exolution III - Crowell
Exolution III - designed and made by Andrew Crowell
Exolution IV - Crowell
Exolution IV - designed and made by Andrew Crowell

Exolution group - Crowell
Exolution I, II, III, IV - designed and made by Andrew Crowell

Locked Cube I - Crowell
Locked Cube I - designed and made by Andrew Crowell
from Wenge, Yellowheart, and Zebrawood

 


In August 2017, I found the following on auction - it appeared to me to be a set of burr pieces, but the seller had assumed that the entire set would be used to construct one large puzzle - no documentation was included. The pieces bear hand-pencilled numbers on their ends, ranging from 1 to 38, and there are 90 pieces. Once I received the set, took inventory, and examined the piece shapes and numbering, it became evident that this is in fact a set of Filipiak's pieces, using his numbering scheme. I wonder who made them, following Filipiak's instructions? Whoever it was did a pretty accurate job.

There are only a few discrepancies:

The seller obtained the set at a flea market in Virginia but unfortunately could say nothing else of its provenance. They were supplied in a crude oblong cardboard box, shown first above - I fashioned a slightly less crude and more convenient cardboard container for the set, with internal separators, shown next. The pieces appear to be made from walnut. Each piece has a 1/2" square cross section and is 3" long, and notches are 1/4" so these are length-12.

I am able to construct many burrs using this set, including the complexly-notched Tenyo Brother, since in effect a 463 is supplied. Sadly, however, due to the flaws mentioned above, there are several among Filipiak's 73 burrs that cannot be constructed using this set.

Still, it is cool to have come into possession of some past puzzler's treasure - it must have taken quite some effort to craft all these pieces - chisel marks can be seen in the finely carved notches. I wonder how many other readers of Filipiak's book actually went to the trouble to make the set of burr pieces for which he evinced so much enthusiasm?

 



American Flag - soft plastic - Kabaya


The compendium identifies this as a Walker Bulldog Tank - Japan
Here is a photo I saved of an example of this in its package (I don't have this - shown for reference). It is the "M-41" tank, by ODK.

I learned from Peter Hajek of the existence of a variant of the largest Bibendum keychain puzzle - whose key piece is wider than that of the usual version, with a correspondingly smaller left hand piece. At IPP37 in Paris I discovered a copy of this wide-key variant, shown below with its accompanying card and in comparison with the narrow-key version.




Narrow-key variant on the left in all comparison pictures. Note that there are other minor internal differences, including internal grooves on the shoulder and hip pieces, and circular tabs on the sliding pieces of the wide-key version, and different tabs on the right hand piece.

At IPP37 I also found this unusual version of a dog keychain puzzle, from Druopta.
Note the "uni-ear" and the wide nose.

Keychain Druopta dog Keychain Druopta dog Keychain Druopta dog Keychain Druopta dog Keychain Druopta dog Keychain Druopta dog
Keychain Druopta Dog

Keychain dog - DDR Keychain dog - DDR Keychain dog - DDR Keychain dog - DDR Keychain dog - DDR Keychain dog - DDR
Keychain Dog - DDR - obtained in a lot from Germany
Here is a keychain puzzle dog made in the DDR -
Note the shapes of the insides of the pieces - they are blockily hollowed out and contain no lettering.

There are several versions of this type of dog with subtle differences in appearance - here are some examples...

Keychain dog examples

In general, I have found that the keychain dog puzzles of this outward appearance fall
into two classes based on the internal shapes of their pieces
and whether they contain lettering - this blocky hollowed type, versus the type where
the hollowed areas are more rounded and contain lettering.
Examples shown below.

Blocky, no lettering:
Keychain dog - blocky internals Keychain dog - blocky internals

Rounded, with lettering:
Keychain dog - letter internals Keychain dog - letter internals Keychain dog - letter internals

Of course, the Druopta Czech dog isn't hollowed out...
Keychain Druopta dog

Keychain Tank in package
Keychain Tank - in package

Keychain Devil's Knot - Franco Keychain Devil's Knot - Franco
Keychain Devil's Knot - Franco

 


Kumiki Flying Saucer Kumiki Flying Saucer Kumiki Flying Saucer
Kumiki Flying Saucer - a simple but elegant design

 


Each year in early August the by-invitation-only International Puzzle Party takes place and is held in some interesting city in the Americas, Europe, or Asia/Oceania. This year the 37th annual IPP took place in Paris, France for the first time. Many new puzzlers were invited to join and it was great to be able to meet up with puzzle friends both old and new! I'd like to herewith thank our host, Frans de Vreugd, for conducting a wonderful event! I know firsthand the work that goes in to running this, and from the outside looking in, it was seamless, Frans. Kudos! There is so much to see and do in Paris, it was impossible to do it all in just one visit - I tried to at least do some of the "greatest hits" (all photos original, copyright 2017 Robert Stegmann)...

IPP37 Paris sights - Champs Elysee IPP37 Paris sights - Champs Elysee IPP37 Paris sights - Arc de Triomphe IPP37 Paris sights - Eiffel Tower IPP37 Paris sights - Eiffel Tower IPP37 Paris sights - Eiffel Tower IPP37 Paris sights - Notre Dame IPP37 Paris sights - Notre Dame on the Seine IPP37 Paris sights - Notre Dame on the Seine IPP37 Paris sights - Place de la Concorde IPP37 Paris sights - Moulin Rouge IPP37 Paris sights - The Louvre IPP37 Paris sights - The Louvre IPP37 Paris sights - Venus de Milo IPP37 Paris sights - Mona Lisa IPP37 Paris sights - Nike IPP37 Paris sights - Liberty Leading the People IPP37 Paris sights - Opera House IPP37 Paris sights - Pont Neuf IPP37 Paris sights - Sacre Coeur from Centre Pompidou IPP37 Paris sights - Marianne at Place de la Republique IPP37 Paris sights - View from Eiffel Tower towards Montparnasse Tower IPP37 Paris sights - Grand Palais

My maternal grandfather served in World War II and died in Paris after the War.
He is buried in the Nouveau Cimetière de Neuilly à Puteaux,
also known as Neuilly-sur-Seine,
in the American Legion Vault, and I was fortunate to be able to visit.
From the cemetery, I was able to view the Grande Arche de la Defense.

IPP37 Paris sights - American Legion Vault IPP37 Paris sights - La Grande Arche de la Defense

A group of us, organized by Brett Kuehner, played the room escape called "The Metro" at The Game France. All agreed, top marks for the quality of the set design and several novel puzzles, with only a couple of duds. We escaped with only 28 seconds left on the clock. Lots of fun!

Of course, there were many mechanical puzzles on offer...

Flooring - Yamamoto - Lensch Flooring - Yamamoto - Lensch Flooring - Yamamoto - Lensch
Flooring - designed by Osanori Yamamoto, made by Tom Lensch
Fit all five pieces into each well, always creating a flat solid "floor."

Hales Lock #3 Hales Lock #4
Hales Lock #3 and Hales Lock #4 - by Shane Hales
A big Thank you to Allard for his unfailing kindness!
B-Lock - Feldman
B-Lock by Boaz Feldman

Stand By Cube No. 2 - Benedetti Stand By Cube No. 2 - Benedetti
Stand By Cube No. 3 - Benedetti Stand By Cube No. 3 - Benedetti
Stand By Cube No. 2 and Stand By Cube No. 3 - by Greg Benedetti
In each cube, one piece is affixed to the base,
and along with strategically placed openings in the base,
constrain how you must build the cube.
Halve a Heart - Elliott Halve a Heart - Elliott
S'Paid in Full - Elliott S'Paid in Full - Elliott
Halve a Heart and S'Paid in Full - designed and made by Scott Elliott
Completing his set of four card suit "screw type" dissections.
I think Halve a Heart is the best of the set!
Cubemaker - Latussek - Pelikan
Cubemaker - designed by Volker Latussek, made by Pelikan
Exchange puzzle of Marty Reis, entered in the Design Competition
Arrange the five pieces so that you form five dark cubes.
Didn't win anything, but I like this one.
Axis Hedgehog - Rademic
Axis Hedgehog - Rademic
Eccentric's Dream - Curtis
Eccentric's Dream - designed and made by Pavel Curtis
Kumiki Penguin Kumiki Penguin
Kumiki Penguin - purchased at the Puzzle Party from premier Kumiki collector Frank Potts
I am told the Penguin is a fairly rare piece.

IPP Airports - Granskas IPP Airports - Granskas IPP Airports - Granskas
International Puzzle Party Airports - designed by Juozas Granskas
Sadly, Juozas explained to me how, try as he might,
he could not fit in our IPP35 Ottawa airport YOW.
Very disappointed, Jouzas! But still a fun puzzle :-) Thank you!

Kenal Cube Kenal Cube
Kenal Cube - designed by Alfons Eyckmans and Ken Johnson, made by Alfons Eyckmans from Padauk and Oak.
A hollow cube with six sliding panels - depending on the setting of one panel, it requires either 135 or 257 moves to open.
See information on Goetz Schwandtner's website

Non-Void Cube - Rover Non-Void Cube - Rover
Non-Void Cube - designed by Andreas Röver
No internal voids, yet still manages to achieve level 4.3.3!

Double Feature - Coffin - Bobroff
Double Feature - designed by Stewart Coffin, made by Saul Bobroff
Pack in six pieces through the occluded aperture.
Thanks, Saul! And very glad to see you up and about at IPP37!
4 Huts 8 Huts - Kotani
4 Huts 8 Huts - designed by Yoshiyuki Kotani
Make the same shape from the 4 large huts, and from the 8 small huts.

The 12th Tile - Watanabe
The 12th Tile - designed by Masaki Watanabe
Hearts - Grebnev
A new tanglement (I am not sure of its name) designed by Kirill Grebnev
It was great talking with you, Kirill!

Cornucopia - Gal Cornucopia - Gal
Cornucopia - designed by Peter Gal
Thanks, Peter!

Icosa - Brainwright
Icosa - issued by Brainwright
Several challenges, including to twist the balls so that none of the same color touch,
or to twist them so that there are all groups of three like-colored balls touching in triangles.
Thanks, Alison!

Pocky 1x2x5 Pocky 1x2x5 Pocky 1x2x5
Pocky 1x2x5

Secret Tricky Twins 1-3
Secret Tricky Twins 1-3 - designed by Tadao Kitazawa, Vesa Timonen, Mineyuki Uyematsu
Arrange each pair of like-colored pieces to make a polygon that can be divided into two identical polygons.
I find these more difficult to approach and validate than symmetric-shape challenges.
Four Ts
Pack the four T-shaped pieces into the tray -
I obtained this from George and Roxanne Miller
but I don't know its name.
Sliding Tetris - Namdarian
Sliding Tetris - Diniar Namdarian
Tilt the cage to move the pieces and open up pathways so you can move the ball out.
I got the collector's edition with extra pieces (not shown).
Romano-Celtic Mask Puzzle Padlocks - Slocum Sonneveld
Romano-Celtic Mask Puzzle Padlocks -
by Jerry Slocum and Dic Sonneveld
My World of Mechanical Puzzles - Krasnoukhov
My World of Mechanical Puzzles -
by Vladimir Krasnoukhov
ARMJ English Newsletter July 2017
ARMJ English Newsletter July 2017 -
issued by the Academy of Recreational Mathematics, Japan

Knotty 6 - Demirhan
Knotty 6 - designed by Yavuz Demirhan
Simple Sharp - Chomine
Simple Sharp - designed by Stéphane Chomine
Tetradyma 5x5 - Demirhan
Tetradyma 5x5 - designed by Yavuz Demirhan

Slide Packing - Katsumoto
Slide Packing - designed by Hajime Katsumoto,
produced by Mineyuki Uyematsu
This one took the Puzzlers Award in the 2016 Design Competition
Penta in a Box - Katsumoto
Penta in a Box - designed by Hajime Katsumoto,
produced by Mineyuki Uyematsu

Ligne Pyramide Pei Ligne Pyramide Pei Ligne Pyramide Pei
Ligne Pyramide Pei -
This special edition Pyraminx designed by Sam Baron for the Louvre
is decorated to evoke the famous and controversial glass Pyramid
installed in the courtyard of the Louvre by the architect I. M. Pei.
Purchased in the Louvre gift shop.
Here is the view from inside the Pei Pyramide looking out...

Inside Pyramide Pei

 


July 2017

I have been asked to act as a consultant on mechanical puzzles for a new publication sponsored by the Rubik's brand - a series of magazine plus puzzle devoted to mechanical and logic puzzles. The first issue is piloting in France.

Puzzle Magazine Puzzle Magazine Puzzle Magazine Puzzle Magazine

The Bow - Sheckels The Bow - Sheckels
The Bow - A beautiful coordinate motion puzzle, made by Bill Sheckels
from red zebrawood. Expertly contoured and finished!
Check out Bill's Etsy shop Black Dog PuzzleWorks.
Greek Cross - Sheckels
Greek Cross Puzzle - made by Bill Sheckels

New Secret Box III New Secret Box III
New Secret Box III - produced by the Karakuri Creation Group
All six panels move, 18 moves to open.
A nice neo-classic mechanism, not difficult, not too unusual.
Based on Kamei's M-38-3.
Sold out on the Karakuri site, but I found it at an Etsy site called "weartrip."

Pyraminx Deluxe Pyraminx Deluxe
Pyraminx Deluxe Limited Edition - issued by Recent Toys
This version has wood-grain tiles.
Thanks, Jaap!

Tvan - Askerli - Heyns Tvan - Askerli - Heyns
Tvan - designed by Émil Áskerli, made by Johan Heyns
from rubberwood (maze plates), pink ivory (end blocks),
partridgewood (bars), and wild olive (pins).

Diagonal Cube - Coffin - Crowell Diagonal Cube - Coffin - Crowell Diagonal Cube - Coffin - Crowell
Diagonal Cube - designed by Stewart Coffin, made by Andrew Crowell
Check out Andrew's Etsy Shop arcWoodPuzzles

Exolution III - Crowell Exolution III - Crowell Exolution III - Crowell Exolution III - Crowell
Exolution III - designed and made by Andrew Crowell
Check out Andrew's Etsy Shop arcWoodPuzzles
This design has six pieces and a marble inside, requiring careful orientation.

Hanayama Cast Dot Hanayama Cast Dot
Hanayama Cast Dot - designed by Akio Yamamoto
Level 2

Butterflies - SmartGames
Butterflies - issued by SmartGames
SmartEgg Spider
SmartEgg Spider
Kalamazoo K
Kalamazoo K - produced by Mike Tanoff
based on a vintage design called the "Dad's Boy Puzzle"
Mike's exchange puzzle at IPP29 in San Francisco.
Form the letter 'K' from the four pieces.

Curvy Chop - Smaz Curvy Chop - Smaz
Curvy Chop - designed by Smaz
Half of a Curvy Copter.

Great Burglar Puzzle Great Burglar Puzzle
I obtained an example of the vintage Great Burglar Puzzle that is based on
U.S. patent 993581 issued to H. Davidson in 1911.
See my section devoted to similar Combination Puzzles.

Six Piece Cube - Pussy Six Piece Cube - Pussy
I found this interesting small Six Piece Cube Puzzle purportedly from Pussy of Germany
though it has no markings or provenance.

Cracker Jack Square and Cross
Square and Cross - a tiny vintage Cracker Jack prize
Cracker Jack Lock
Lock - a tiny vintage Cracker Jack prize

Mind Block Mind Block
Mind Block - by t.c. timber, crafted by Habermaass Corp. of Skaneateles NY
Eight cubes, each with three holes.
Use twelve dowels to connect the cubes and build a 2x2x2 structure.
Journal 29
Journal 29 - an intriguing puzzle book
Solve various puzzles and submit answers online
to get keys in order to further progress.

Labritation
Labritation - by Mag-Nif 1975
A vintage dexterity puzzle - guide the ball through the maze
without dropping into a pitfall.

Rounding out my collection of Uncle's Puzzles disentanglements, with a few I didn't have: Double Image, Ring, and Rope

Double Image - Uncle's Puzzles Ring - Uncle's Puzzles Rope - Uncle's Puzzles

Two different series of "Escape the Room" card games -
Exit - Exit: The Secret Lab, Exit: The Pharaoh's Tomb;
and Unlock - Unlock! The Formula, Unlock! Squeek & Sausage, Unlock! The Island of Doctor Goorse:

Exit: The Secret Lab Exit: The Pharaoh's Tomb Unlock! The Formula Unlock! Squeek & Sausage Unlock! The Island of Doctor Goorse

 


June 2017

Revenge Lock / The Wanderer - Strijbos
Revenge Lock / The Wanderer - (re-)designed by Wil Strijbos
Beautiful, hefty, and daunting!
Wil's response to Gary Foshee's Lunatic Lock.
Originally called the Revenge Lock, now re-designed to eliminate
a false solution, and renamed "The Wanderer."
According to Wil: No magnets, no banging, no force.

Straight4ward - Molnar - Menold
Straight4ward - designed by Laszlo Molnar, made by Brian Menold
from Spalted Sycamore and Redheart
Trenta - Lohe - Menold
Trenta - designed by Christoph Lohe, made by Brian Menold
from Ash and Mahogany

Tom's Turnstile - Cutrofello - Brainwright
Tom's Turnstile - designed by Tom Cutrofello, issued by Brainwright
A nice, substantial brass sliding-piece puzzle -
I categorize as of the "No Gap, Movable Frame" type.
Thanks, Alison!

Hungarian Rock
Hungarian Rock - a vintage 3D edgematching twisty puzzle
Arancia Meccanica
Arancia Meccanica - a vintage 3D sliding piece puzzle [T]
I categorize this as of the "No Gap, Rigid Frame (Interlocking Orbits)" type.
Clover Octahedron Fragmentation Clover Octahedron Fragmentation
Clover Octahedron Fragmentation - by Verypuzzle
Hanayama Cast Shift Hanayama Cast Shift
Hanayama Cast Shift - designed by Kirill Grebnev
Level 3/6
Chain Reaction - Invermark 1987
Chain Reaction - a vintage interlocking puzzle/toy, invented by David Brown.
Invenmark Ltd. 1987
I found the relevant patent WO1988008320 A1 by searching for Invenmark 1987.
For some reason Google Patents does not show the diagrams, but Espacenet does.
(Although that link may get you into a weird "prove you're a human" loop...)
Kind of a tensegrity/dexterity hybrid. I use the term "tensegrity" but it's not really correct to apply to this construction -
I'm getting at the "push-pull" going on - the patent describes it like this:
"A first pair of limbs of the first frame holds captive therebetween a second pair of limbs of the second frame;
a first pair of limbs of the second frame holds captive therebetween the second pair of limbs of the third frame;
and a first pair of limbs of the third frame hold captive therebetween the second pair of limbs of the first frame."
Race War Puzzle Between Gold & Silver
Race War Puzzle Between Gold & Silver - a vintage sliding piece puzzle
of the "No Gap, Rigid Frame (Interlocking Orbits)" type.
See U.S. Patent 507215 - Churchill 1893.
The "war between gold and silver" referred to here was a major political issue regarding currency in late 19th-century America.
See the Wikipedia article on Free Silver.
(Another puzzle named after the same issue is the "16-to-1" shuttle maze.)
I found only the board - no pieces (the patent shows 22 pieces in each ring, with two shared between the rings at the crossing points),
but I had some time ago saved internet photos showing a cover and some pieces...

Amazers
Amazers - 1986 Tilton Toys Ltd.
New keychain puzzle finds, including a nice store card and several Japanese puzzles...


 


May 2017

The Campaign was successfully funded! Cube Index Kickstarter Campaign


Wheel Lock - Tzy Hung Chein - Menold
Wheel Lock - designed by Tzy Hung Chein, made by Brian Menold
from Tambodi sapwood, Redheart, and Maple
Level 15.18.14.4
Burrbox 1 - Jolly - Menold
Burrbox 1 - designed by Tom Jolly, made by Brian Menold
from Spalted Beech and Holly
Level 8.6.10.3
Triaxe - Chomine - Menold
Triaxe - designed by Stéphane Chomine, made by Brian Menold
from Maple and Wenge
Level 24.2
L-I-Vator I - Molnar - Menold
L-I-Vator I - designed by Laszlo Molnar, made by Brian Menold
from Canarywood, Walnut, and Mahogany
Y6BB1 - Demirhan - Menold
Y6BB1 - designed by Yavuz Demirhan, made by Brian Menold
from Tzalam, Okoume, and Mulberry
Level 3.11.2.3.4

Light in the Lantern - Shokcz
Light in the Lantern - designed and made by Czech craftsman Vaclav Skopek
See his Etsy store SHOKCZ
A very steampunk instance of the Hedgehog - the Czech national puzzle
Board 231 - Shokcz
Board 231 - designed and made by Czech craftsman Vaclav Skopek
See his Etsy store SHOKCZ
A very steampunk instance of a ring-in-plate maze

Metal Mayhem Difficult Range Metal Mayhem Difficult Range
Metal Mayhem Difficult Range - issued by Professor Puzzle (in the UK), Recent Toys (in the US)
A set of four robust tanglement puzzles, including Boomerang, Last Nail in the Coffin, Dead Ringer, and Claws.
Betcha Can't - Skor Mor 1970
Betcha Can't - issued by Skor Mor in 1970
An instance of the Wit's End design.
Packaging matches the Betcha Won't instance of the Ox-yoke design I obtained earlier.
My latest keychain puzzle aquisitions...

Keychain Puzzles Keychain Puzzles Keychain Puzzles

 


April 2017

Twisty fans may want to consider pledging the Cube Index Kickstarter Campaign. I've backed the project and am hoping the product will be a beautiful addition to my library of puzzle books! As of this posting there are still early bird pricing slots available.


 

I received several novel tanglement puzzles designed by Mr. Wang Yulong of China, ordered from Felix Puzzle Company.

Mr. Wang Yulong also very kindly sent me four additional puzzles as gifts. Thanks!

? ?
? ?

 

I ordered three good-looking new designs from Pelikan:

Tribord - Chomine - Pelikan Tribord - Chomine - Pelikan
Tribord - designed by Stéphane Chomine,
made by Pelikan from Mahogany and Wenge
Level 17.3.4
Big Quadrox - Chomine - Pelikan Big Quadrox - Chomine - Pelikan
Big Quadrox - designed by Stéphane Chomine,
made by Pelikan from Wenge, Padouk, Acacia, Purpleheart, and Cherry
Level 29.11.7.3
Tower - Damstra - Pelikan Tower - Damstra - Pelikan
Tower - designed by Klaas Jan Damstra,
made by Pelikan from Bubinga and Walnut
Level 29.2.9.6.3

 

The price finally came down on the two new Star Wars themed 2x2x2 puzzles, R2D2 and BB8...

R2-D2 - Megahouse R2-D2 - Megahouse
R2-D2 - 2x2x2 twisty puzzle by Megahouse of Japan
BB-8 - Megahouse BB-8 - Megahouse
BB-8 - 2x2x2 twisty puzzle by Megahouse of Japan

 

Orchard - Dr. Wood
Orchard - by Dr. Wood
See my analysis of this puzzle in my Pattern section.
Helix 3 Maze Fury - Wedgits
Helix 3 Maze Fury - by Wedgits
Three solution goals and paths -
shown at wedgits.com.
Here is a Chuck burr in plastic, from Hungary.

miQube - Mindware
miQube - Mindware
Copyright 1993-2006 IQideas, New Zealand - designed by Andrew Baker
Discontinued by Mindware, but available direct from IQideas.
Four multi-player games and a solitaire puzzle -
assemble the 13 unique pieces (each is a four or five-unit polycube)
into a 4x4x4 cube such that every side is a single (different) color.
Here is a review at Boardgamegeek.
The puzzle solution is available at IQideas.
Thread the Maze: The Riddle of the Sphinx
Thread the Maze: The Riddle of the Sphinx - by Blue Opal
Copyright 1999 Dugald Keith; invented by Shane Murphy and Dugald Keith
Thread the cord through every hole just once from start
to finish but never leave the tunnels on either side of the card.
Check out a nice writeup on Thread the Maze prototyping.
Mike Desilets is a fellow puzzle collector - he specializes in the Setko line and is working on a book about the history of the puzzles. We've never found an instance of this particular design by Calvin O. Brown, so we refer to it as the "Lost Setko." U.S. Patent 2778641 2778641 - Calvin O. Brown 1957. Mike made an example and kindly sent me a copy. Thanks, Mike!
Start with the silver peg in either of the two circled holes. Place two black pegs to either side of the silver peg. Now, using only jumps of one peg over one other peg into a vacant spot, with no removal, get the silver peg to the other circled spot, again with two black pegs on either side.
I discovered a sequence that moves the whole "train" one spot along - so the solution entails repeating this sequence until the whole train arrives in the proper positions - it's lengthy!



The Mystery Key issued by Peter Pan UK
See my section on the Boomhower patent. Does the Mystery Key predate him?


A Kumiki Pyramid.


Charpente Diabolique - A vintage French boxed burr puzzle.
Several Keychain puzzle finds...

 


March 2017

Vega Mate by Raphaël Mouflin Vega Mate by Raphaël Mouflin Vega Mate by Raphaël Mouflin Vega Mate by Raphaël Mouflin
Vega Mate - by Raphaël Mouflin [T]
The Vega Mate is a compound of five tetrahedrons; the base puzzle is a Pentultimate.
Keychain Ultimate Skewb group
A nice group of keychain twisty puzzles issued by RecentToys
- including the Ultimate Skewb. Thanks, Jaap!
Calibron Twelve Block Puzzle Calibron Twelve Block Puzzle
Calibron Twelve Block Puzzle Calibron Twelve Block Puzzle
I obtained an original instance of the Calibron Twelve Block Puzzle, produced by Theodore Edison,
son of the famous Thomas Edison.
All twelve puzzle pieces are present and intact, but the spacer piece is missing.
George Miller and Nick Baxter wrote an article The Mystery of the Calibron Twelve Block Puzzle
published in the 100th issue of the CFF newsletter, in which they explore the confusion surrounding the piece dimensions.
They say reportedly less than 200 units of this puzzle were sold, so it is fairly rare.
Betcha Won't Betcha Won't Betcha Won't
Betcha Won't - "The 'Togetherness' puzzle made by C. B. Enterprises exclusively for Skor-Mor." Copyright 1971 by C. Schieber.
A version of the Ox Yoke - move the beads so they are side by side on the same loop of the cord.
Heavy Metal Tangles group Puzzlers Tangles group
Some tanglement puzzles, purchased from Calendars.com
The group of five bronze-colored Heavy Metal puzzles come with stands and are produced by Go! Games of Texas and made in China -
(clockwise from back left) Cowboy, Bullets, Saddle Up, Big Slick, and Aces Up.
The three chrome puzzles are lighter gauge and were also produced by Go! Games - Vertigo, Bad Trip, and Sink or Swim.
1936 Zimmerhackel Sliding Piece Puzzle 1936 Zimmerhackel Sliding Piece Puzzle
A vintage 1936 sliding piece puzzle, urging folks to vote for Harry Zimmerhackel
My copy is missing two rectangular blocks that belong where the quarter is.
Recently acquired keychain puzzles and cards!

Keychain Pig DDR Keychain Atomic Jet Plane Card Keychain Cum-A-Part Football Card Keychain Jig Toy Liner


Timothy Hall wants me to let you know he has re-created the Rhoma wooden assembly puzzle originally designed by Marvin Solit and has copies for sale along with a variant Tim designed. Check them out at his website Hallcastle.com.


I'm posting about it late, but I had a great time in Manhattan on the 18th of February at the annual New York Puzzle Party Symposium hosted by Tom Cutrofello. It was well attended this year, featuring presentations on a variety of topics, puzzle buying, selling, and trading, and plenty of socializing with interesting people. The weather was very mild this year - almost 70F!

After we got back to Brett's on Saturday evening, we played the first two episodes of the tabletop "Escape Room The Game" - "Prison Break" and "Virus." Our team of four was able to crack both and each was enjoyable. On Sunday the 19th we were back in Manhattan to play a couple of real life "Escape the Room" events - four of us attacked and beat "Submarine" at Escape the Room NYC, and with only three we won "BioTech Labs" at Mystery Room NYC. Both were fun with novel elements and we beat both with plenty of time to spare. You can check out reviews of such puzzling experiences at RoomEscapeArtist run by co-founders Lisa and David Spira.

I picked up a couple of Escape-the-room-in-a-box offerings produced by Thinkfun: "Mystery at the Stargazer's Manor" and "Secret of Dr. Gravely's Retreat."

Mystery at the Stargazer's Manor Secret of Dr. Gravely's Retreat

At NYPP I picked up a KA-LOK trick knife, a dissected A, and a Bram's Magic (thanks, Brett).

KA-LOK trick knife KA-LOK trick knife
KA-LOK Trick Knife - issued by Ka-Bar ca. 1981
Easily opened - but how does it close?
Patented in May 1981 by Merwyn Reinschreiber - US4268960 A
Dissected A
Dissected A
Bram's Magic Bram's Magic Bram's Magic Bram's Magic
Bram's Magic - designed by Bram Cohen and Oskar van Deventer

 

Marbles the Brain Store is closing and has been having sales, so I ordered a few discounted items.

Marbology
Marbology - created by Dan, Jon, and Keiran Barvenik, with Tyler Somer.
Circuit Maze - Thinkfun
Circuit Maze - produced by Thinkfun
created by David Yakos, with Wei-Hwa Huang and Tyler Somer.
Little Bits Arduino Coding Kit
Little Bits Arduino Coding Kit

 

I received several novel tanglement puzzles designed by Wang Yulong, ordered from Felix Puzzle Company.

Wormhole I Wormhole I
Wormhole I - Wang Yulong
Wormhole II Wormhole II
Wormhole II - Wang Yulong
The Leo The Leo
The Leo - Wang Yulong
Doraemon Doraemon
Doraemon - Aaron Wang
Sandwich Sandwich
Sandwich - Wang Yulong

 

Additional tanglements I found - a set of three "Palm Puzzles" issued by MindWare a while back and now discontinued, and a box of three wire puzzles from Taiwan:

Palm Puzzles - MindWare Palm Puzzles - MindWare Palm Puzzles - MindWare
Palm Puzzles - Hand, Dog, Duck - MindWare
Tangle Set - Green Box - Taiwan Tangle Set - Green Box - Taiwan
Tangle Set - Green Box - Taiwan Tangle Set - Green Box - Taiwan Tangle Set - Green Box - Taiwan
Tangle Set - Green Box - Taiwan

 

More puzzling finds...

Coloured Triangles Puzzles Coloured Triangles Puzzles Coloured Triangles Puzzles
Coloured Triangles Puzzles - British Caledonian Airways
Magnetic pieces.
Similar to Jinxed a vintage edgematching puzzle from Tryne.
Puzzles using triangular tiles are discussed by MacMahon in New Mathematical Pastimes on pages 2-22.
The Suitcase Puzzle The Suitcase Puzzle The Suitcase Puzzle
The Suitcase Puzzle - made in China for Bear, Bear, & Bear Ltd. England 1996
Hanayama Cast Dial Hanayama Cast Dial
Cast Dial - Hanayama
Level 4
designed by Vesa Timonen
Antivirus Mutation - SmartGames Antivirus Mutation - SmartGames
Antivirus Mutation - SmartGames

 

And, surprise, I found some keychain puzzles to add to my collection - including a baker's dozen from Japan and a few from France and elsewhere!

Keychain puzzle Keychain puzzle

 


February 2017

I have put up revised, easier-to-memorize instructions on solving the 2x3x3 Domino twisty.


A group of new Megaminx speed-cube type twisties, including:
a Lim Cube Fangshi Megaminx, a QiYi Galaxy Sculptured stickerless Megaminx,
and the YJ Moyu YuHu R Megaminx, which is my favorite (be sure to get the 'R' version).

I put up what I believe to be fairly straight-forward instructions on solving the Megaminx.


A group of new Skewb speed-cube type twisties, including:
a Shengshou Skewb, a QiYi QiCheng stickerless Skewb, a Cong's Design MeiCheng stickerless Skewb,
and the Moyu Magnetic stickerless Skewb.

I put up what I believe to be very easy-to-memorize instructions on solving the Skewb.


A group of twisties including:
a DaYan Master F-Skewb (black), a DaYan Tangram Cube (black), a Moyu Aosu Axis 4x4 (blue),
a QiYi stickerless Pyraminx, and a Shengshou 2x2 Mastermorphix (Babymorphix).

Le Fer a Cheval - a vintage French boxed tanglement puzzle
I received two slightly different boxes and an instruction sheet with the puzzle.

A keychain push-fit Jalopy, from Germany.
Not really interlocking, but I've seen it accompany other keychain puzzles.

Keychain Cowboy Straight Shooter, with card
This puzzle gun has also been offered as the "Roy Rogers Straight Shooter."

Keychain Terramycine Bottle (yellow)

Wandering Cubes - designed by Peter Gal
Made by Eric Fuller from Carolina Ash and Canarywood

ODD - designed by Hirokazu Iwasawa
Made by Eric Fuller from Bird's Eye Maple and Walnut

Seizaine - NOS #7 - designed by Gregory Benedetti
Made by Eric Fuller from Ambrosia Maple

 


January 2017

I came across a fascinating article by Arthur L. Smith in the March 1926 issue of Popular Science, describing a set of traditional six-piece burr puzzle pieces and puzzles, which I believe sheds light on errors in Wyatt's list of burr puzzles. I have added material to my Catalog of Burr Puzzles.



PM Whiskey Puzzle
A nice large vintage cardboard advertising version of the square dissection devised in 1873 by Henri Perigal.

Japanese Rocket Puzzle Set

Lanlan Crazy Comet - designed by Oskar van Deventer

Clover Cube - Verypuzzle

Kumiki Geta - a pair of Japanese wooden sandals

Kumiki Tyrannosaur

Kumiki Locomotive

Setko Scramble
Arrange the pegs so that no row, column, or main diagonal contains a duplicate letter, and so that "SETKO" is not spelled in any line.


Here are some interesting puzzle websites:



Plywood Puzzles Compendium - a vintage kit from Dolphin Games & Toys of Britain -
including pieces to try six different sliding block puzzles A-F.
Appears in Hordern - C55 on p.94 is A (48 moves), C58 on p.95 (aka Tit Bits Teaser No.5 or the Train Puzzle) is equivalent to C (59 moves),
C59 on p.96 is B (61 moves), D9 on p.109 is F (63 moves), D10 on p.110 is E (76 moves). Hordern omits D.
Slocum dates this to 1890! It is feasible, since plywood was introduced prior to 1865, and the cardboard box in 1890.

 

I took advantage of a 20% off sale at Shapeways and picked up several puzzles - here are some I particularly like:


White Design Four Piece Pyramid - Bill Darrah
Purchased from Bill's Shapeways shop.
A nice compact challenging puzzle!

Dodecafé - Rik Brouwer
Purchased from Rik's Shapeways shop.
Difficult to assemble and even more difficult to take apart.

 


The past year brought around 55,000 visitors to this site and added 77,000 sessions and 115,000 page views. The traffic definitely took a dip in late 2015 when free hosting of personal web pages by my ISP ended, but it has been slowly recovering. I'd like to thank my friend Brett for continuing to host this site. My website isn't the busiest site on the internet by any means - but it's still among the first results for many puzzle-related searches. Almost 10% of visitors stay for 10-30 minutes or more. The visitor gender distribution is about 54/46 M/F - it's not 50/50, but it's nice to see that my content seems to have general appeal. The most popular pages are Tanglement and Interlocking, followed by the Home page, What's New, Pattern, Disassembly, Assembly, Rearrangement, Jumping, Allother, Links, Sliding, Keychain, Routefinding, Dexterity, and Books. Folks who come in via the Home page often then visit What's New, the Main Menu, Links, or the Classification page.

More than 50% of visitors use Chrome, about 25% Safari, 12% Firefox, 10% IE/Edge, 1% Android browser, and 1% Opera. Almost 30% of users come in via mobile devices (Apple and Samsung phones and tablets) - I have spent a lot of time re-vamping several of the pages - most recently Tanglement - to be responsive and mobile-friendly. The biggest challenges have been converting all the images from fixed-height to relative width with appropriate maximums, reducing my layout densities, and finding and breaking up long strings within table cells so they don't throw off the layout.

For those of you who recall my 2014 summary - now I have had one visitor each from the Congo (DRC) and the Solomon Islands - leaving only the holdouts Western Sahara and Svalbard and Jan Mayen Islands.

Welcome to my new guests! I hope you find this website entertaining and informative.

I don't know what the new year may bring - but I wish my readers health, happiness, and the joys of intellectual challenge and achievement!


To kick off the New Year, here are three beautiful puzzles I won in auction:




Six Piece Tetrahedron - designed and made by Wayne Daniel
I had been after this one for a while, to round out my set of tetrahedrons by Wayne Daniel -
and it does not disappoint! Beautifully made and quite a challenge. I love it!
Just look at those intricate pieces! How did Wayne manage this??


Zulu Box - a vintage turned puzzle
Boxwood - appears in Hoffmann's classic volume

Corollary Dovetail - designed by Norman Sandfield
made by Perry McDaniel from Mahogany and Padauk
Exchanged by Norman at IPP15 in Tokyo

 


December 2016

Here's wishing all my puzzle friends around the globe Happy Holidays, whatever your persuasion. And if it fits, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!


Lightbox3 - designed by Eric Clough
Lightbox3 Kickstarter campaign (over)

Dispersion - designed by Tzy Hung Chein,
made by Brian Menold
from Redheart, Box Elder, and Ziricote
Level 31.2.4.4

Marin - designed by Jos Bergmans,
made by Brian Menold from various woods

Blue Planks - designed by Jos Bergmans,
made by Brian Menold
from Padauk and Osage Orange

Little Bruce - designed by Ken Irvine,
made by Eric Fuller
from Canarywood

Mensa's 8 Square Puzzle
Made by China Industrial Ltd. Wow!Stuff.
Starting with four of the eleven pieces, make a square.
Then make squares with five of the pieces, six, etc. up to all eleven.


Roddy Square Puzzle
A nice vintage item from England.

An example of the Cowboy keychain puzzle produced in the UK.

An example of the Goose keychain puzzle produced by Bell in the UK.


Amazing Cube #1 - ThinkIQ, Mi Toys


Amazing Cube #2 - ThinkIQ, Mi Toys

 

Amazing Cube #3 - ThinkIQ, Mi Toys

 

A selection of the latest puzzles from Brainwright. Thanks, Alison!


Dog Pile - Brainwright

By the Book - Brainwright

Cross the Line - Brainwright

Loyd's 15 - Brainwright

QBoid - Brainwright

 



I bought this aluminum Russian 1980 Olympics Bear Puzzle from a seller located in Belarus.
I do not know who made it.
It stands about 14cm tall and is an interlocking sculpture of 16 pieces.
Like much Soviet architecture, it is blocky and brutalist - but I like it a lot!
I call it a "Russian Bear-o-cal." Ha, ha! I crack myself up.

Oliver - Derek Bosch's latest helical burr puzzle, printed by Steve Nicholls.

Triple Triads - designed by D. Goodman and Abraham Jacob
This was Abraham's exchange at IPP35.
I really like this one - 3 copies each of simple tetracube pieces.
Use the three copies of a given shape to construct a form,
but construct the same form with each of the three triples!

 


Make My Day - by Markus Götz
This hefty version was Markus' exchange at IPP34 in London.
A gift from Markus - thanks!
Now mass-produced in a lighter form by PuzzleMaster.

Simplexity - by Markus Götz - his exchange at IPP35 in Ottawa.
Move the cord to lie along the opposite branch.

 


This tanglement puzzle was Wil Strijbos' exchange at IPP35.
Free the metal U.

Smiley - designed by Kunio Saeki and Frederic Boucher -
Frederic's exchange at IPP35.
A 3x3 edgematching puzzle. Each piece is basically a 45mm square
where each side has one of four types of triangular notches or corresponding tabs.
Each piece has a smiley face on only one side, so the pieces cannot be flipped,
though they may be rotated. Any piece may be placed in the center.

An oblong 2x2x2 twisty in the rough shape of a bus, complete with wheels.

 



If you are near Burlington Wisconsin, be sure to visit the Logic Puzzle Museum run by Judith Schulz.


 

Here are some of the latest puzzles by SmartGames from Raf Peeters - Thanks, Raf!


IQ XOXO - SmartGames

IQ Puzzler Pro - SmartGames

Parking Puzzler - SmartGames
A tray-packing puzzle with graduated challenges.
(Not a sliding-piece puzzle.)

Penguins Pool Party - SmartGames
Tray packing on a hexagonal grid - graduated challenges using
four "ice floe" pieces and up to four single-hex penguins. Charming!

Dinosaurs Mystic Islands - SmartGames
Arrange the six 1x2 rectangular pieces in the 3x4 grid such that
the red and green dinosaurs are on separate islands.
Graduated challenges, becoming surprisingly difficult. A favorite!

Deducktion - SmartGames

 


From Lee Krasnow at Pacific Puzzle Works, a machined stainless frame for Lee's
Sonneveld Four Piece Cube, making it a keychain puzzle!

 


Kumiki Empire State Building
A simple one but I really like it!

 


Space Plane - Bell (UK)

 


This is a custom commissioned metal version of the Bell Atom Gun

 


Here is a version of the Jet Fighter in hard plastic that features a pilot!

 


Ivy Cube by QiYi - licensed from and designed by Eitan Cher -
originally called the "Eye Skewb" [T]
a form of the Cubominx designed by Tony Fisher [Y] which was based on a Pyraminx.

 


November 2016

 


Kumiki City Hall, with instruction sheet.

Small Kumiki Pagoda

Super Stumpa - a vintage plastic six-piece burr from Executive Games.
The pieces are { 1, 188, 512, 832, 975, 1024 } - the "Cross of Marseille" set.
The instruction sheet mentions other interesting puzzles, including the
"Barry Pitt Original Third Dimension Stumpa" that resembles a Paracelsus Puzzle.

Peter Pan Speed Cop
Same architecture as Hi-Way Patrol, but smaller - see comparison photo.
Speed cop is on bottom.

The Mini Ferryboat or Mini Showboat -
I found one in a capsule, with instruction sheet.

 


Papa Chuck - by Pentangle

7 Nut Puzzler - by Shackman
I believe this wooden version predates the Milton Bradley plastic version of "Drive Ya Nuts" (copyright 1987)
but this has the same set of nut configurations and the same solution.

 


Butagaz Bear Keychain puzzle
Very rare! Mine is slightly damaged - the piece in the lower right should
have a tab projecting forward and up to lodge between the legs.
Still very happy to have found it.

Sedan keychain puzzle by Pussy of Germany
The chassis piece has "DBGM" and a logo.

Mushroom keychain puzzle by Pussy of Germany

Rhinocerous Beetle keychain puzzle

Indian on Horseback keychain puzzle
Tomahawk in right hand.

 


Hales Lock 2 - designed and made by Shane Hales

 

Starting November with an appropriately themed puzzle...


The Presidential Muddle Puzzle
See U.S. Patent 524703 - Carter Aug. 1894

 

Followed by some items manufactured in China...


Shengshou 4-layer Pyraminx

Verypuzzle Void Tuttminx

Witeden 3x3x7

 

More products of the global economy...


Hug - designed and made by Alfons Eyckmans
from Vitex and Padauk
Level 19

Venus - designed and made by Alfons Eyckmans
from Ash and Purpleheart
Level 16

Infinity - designed and made by Alfons Eyckmans
from Ipe, Oak, Okan
Level 25

Lolly Box 2 - designed and made by Alfons Eyckmans
from Walnut and various woods
Level 5.29

Lolly Box, Lolly Box 2, and Four in a Box - all designed by Alfons Eyckmans

Heart Tangram by Pussy Puzzles of Germany

Avenger Puzzler

 

And finally some items hand made by craftsmen right here in the U.S.A. ...


Triangular Prism - designed by Stewart T. Coffin
made by Wayne Daniel

Stumbling Blocks - designed by Goh Pit Khiam,
made by Tom Lensch from Maple and Jatoba

Burr Noose - designed by Tom Jolly
made by Brian Menold from Ash, Osage Orange, Iroko,
Lacewood, Padauk, Tzalm, and Holly rings

Tricolore - designed by Frans de Vreugd
made by Brian Menold from Padauk, Holly, and Katalox
Level 3.15.11.2

LooZ Fit - designed by Laszlo Molnar
made by Brian Menold from Koa (tray) and mixed woods

 


October 2016


Hanayama Cast Cake - designed by Bram Cohen

Hanayama Cast Diamond - designed by Scott Elliott

Hanayama Cast Infinity - designed by Vesa Timonen

Artefacts - designed by Frederic Boucher
made by Eric Fuller, from Walnut, Baltic Birch, Chechen, Maple, and Steel.
The five wooden pieces pack flat in the tray with the steel dowel three ways,
but with the dowel in the hole the pieces pack only one way.

Small Button Puzzle Box - designed and made by Eric Fuller
from Zebrawood and Padauk


Carni Chaak 3x3x3 Puzzle - in time for Halloween!

Shengshou Master Kilominx

Verypuzzle Lovebird

Happy to have found this type of Keychain Dog puzzle!
Check out my comparison of ten different keychain dog puzzles.

Another nice find - a Berlin Bear, with claws and crown.

 


September 2016

Fellow puzzle collector Colin James kindly sent me a care package
containing several puzzles, including three in the "Instant Insanity Family." Thanks, Colin!

I purchased four new acrylic laser-cut tray-packing puzzles from Jerry Loo -
clockwise from top left: Tick-Pack-Toe, Fish Tank (designed by Pit Khiam Goh), Fly in My Pumpkin Soup, Hash Pack

I found an interesting sliding piece puzzle crossed with an edgematching puzzle -
a Roalex Numb Skull puzzle on its original card:

I found a vintage metal Liberty Thrift Bank Puzzle - how does it open?


From the Liberty Thrift Bank Co. of Rochester NY.
In great shape, with no rust.
I have seen instances of this marked "Patent Pending"
but mine says "PATD APRIL 26 1921."
After some searching, I found the relevant patent -
it is 1376036 awarded to inventor James Pearsall in 1921 and filed in 1918.
Jerry Slocum's collection at the Lilly Library
contains a copy of the Liberty Thrift Bank.
The notes say it was made in 1892 by Baumgardner & Co.
for the 1893 Columbian Exposition,
but not sold there - the Columbus Egg by Baumgardner was sold instead.
I am surprised by this, given the almost 30 year discrepancy in dates.

I was happy to acquire Pyro Puzzles' Nutty Bolt No. 1
and Nutty Bolt No. 2 from designer Stephen Miller:

With this instance of Berrocal's Micro Maria, I have completed the trio of Berrocal's Micro puzzles (the fourth Micro is not a puzzle).


The trio:

Micro Maria with Mini Maria:

Here is Mini Maria disassembled:


Lional Speedway Racer keychain puzzle with original card

Puzzler Duck in Cannon Package

Mini 2-Piece Owl Keychain Puzzles

 


August 2016


Clamp
designed by Tim Alkema
Made by Eric Fuller
from Sapele, Maple, and magnets

B-Box and Reactor
designed by Pit Khiam Goh (B-Box) and Eric Fuller (Reactor)
Made by Eric Fuller
from Maple, Walnut, Mahogany, and Padauk
B-Box is level 135.9.2.
Once you get that out of the way, inside is Eric's
Reactor Box puzzle.

Gravity
designed by Tim Alkema
Beautifully made by Pelikan
from Cherry, Wenge, Purpleheart, Acacia, and Padouk
Extract four pieces plus a cube from the sleeve.
Level 14.2.2.2


ACDC
designed by Laszlo Molnar
Made by Brian Menold
Sequentially pack the 8 pieces
into the box through the opening.
Two differently patterned solutions.

BDSM
designed by Laszlo Molnar
Made by Brian Menold
Sequentially pack the 6 pieces
into the cage through the openings.



A set of the latest tanglement puzzles,
via Wil Strijbos
They are (top photo): 4 et 4 U, Zauberschlüssel, OUU Metal, OUU Wood
(bottom photo): 8U8 Large, U-Twins, 8U8 Small, U-Sockel, Und+Kugel, U-Loop

iQube set with Communist theme


Lional Hi-Way Patrol Keychain puzzle

Puzzle Puss Keychain puzzle

Bowling Pin with Ball Keychain puzzle

Merit Covered Wagon Keychain puzzle

Merit Stagecoach Keychain puzzle

Merit Racing Car Keychain puzzle

Merit Space Pistol Keychain puzzle

Renault Floride miniature puzzle
Robot Keychain Puzzle
I found a robot puzzle with an unusual chain mount embedded in its left shoulder.
The head piece has bejeweled eyes and the marking DGBM.
Comparison with other similar robots shown.
Usually the left shoulder either has an external eyelet, or no provision for a chain.




I scanned the instructions that came with the black and white Russian Robot.

I found an unusual version of the Spunky Dog - marked Made in Hong Kong in a circle on its head, and "WY No. 50" on its left rear flank. In size it is comparable to a normal Spunky (maybe a tad larger) but definitely less accurately made.

Other Keychain Puzzle finds:


Viking, Atalanta, and Viscount Airplane puzzles
U.K. cereal-box prizes

 


Esso Oil Drop Man interlocking keychain puzzle
Hard plastic, 8 pieces. The chest is a front and back fixed together.
(Seems permanent to me and I didn't try to pry it apart -
the legs and arms have flanges and slide into it in grooves.)
Very happy to have found this extremely rare keychain puzzle!
In pristine condition, to boot!

Since this one is so rare, I have taken photos of the [dis]assembly steps.



July 2016


Mekaniko, Mekano, and Gaveta Cross
designed, made by, and purchased from Yavuz Demirhan.
Cleverly designed, beautifully made, substantially sized, and reasonably priced.
Check out Yavuz' Etsy site Cubozone.


Try Nine - Copyright 1981 Reiss Games
Arrange the nine octagons in a 3x3 grid such that abutting edges match.
You must simultaneously match edges diagonally across the small void squares!


Bognar's Brainteaser Smile
produced by Huch!

Qiyi Ciyuan 3x3x3
I actually got this a while ago
thinking it would just be another novelty 3x3x3,
but it has a great mechanism that cuts well,
doesn't pop, and is very smooth without overshooting.
It has become my main 3x3x3!
It is translucent gray and its color outlines
are actual plastic pieces countersunk into the cubie faces.


Bubbloid 4x4x5 - designed by Carl Hoff,
produced by Calvin's Puzzles
I got a limited edition blue.

Bubbloid 4x5x5 - designed by Carl Hoff,
produced by Calvin's Puzzles
I got a limited edition blue.

Megaminx 2x2
produced by Shengshou

Ghost Cube 2x2x2
produced by Lim Cube

Elephant 2x2x2
produced by Yongjun

House 2x2x2
produced by Yongjun


Renault Dauphine - Blue
I found a rare blue version -
Unfortunately the top was cracked in half down the center, but I superglued it.

Keychain "Lucky Dice" by Pussycat of Germany

Keychain Czech Robot

Keychain Czech Dog
This is the interesting dog with the two-piece "inverted" head.

Keychain "TECNOA" advertising cube

Keychain Pig
This one got damaged in transit due to poor packaging.
I superglued it.

Keychain Sombrero
Not a puzzle, but sometimes seen
with the Mule Train (Mule Rider)


Kumiki Kangaroo - and that's baby Joey in her pouch!

Richter Stone Puzzle No. 26

Richter Stone Puzzle No. 28

Richter Stone Puzzle No. 29

Pointed Scorpius - six identical pieces - each in turn made from 4 sticks

I found a group of miscellaneous keychain puzzles - a few intact examples mixed with several broken or incomplete specimens.
Among them was a wonderful surprise - a complete example of the Mini Space Gun, including an instruction sheet!


It's got only five pieces compared to six for the full-sized Space Gun - the nose is a single piece rather than two.
The nose holds on only via friction so I imagine it is easily lost.


This is an alternative body piece for a keychain Atomic Jet puzzle -
incorporating the usually separate vertical rudder into the main central body piece.

Edelweiss Puzzlebox - by Stickman (Robert Yarger) and William Waite

Jurassic Pack (V2) - by Jerry Loo

Sherlock - designed by Taylor Pabst, Tyler Somer, produced by Marbles the Brain Store


The 3 Times and Out Puzzle - a vintage route-finding puzzle


The Rungsted Puzzler - two instances of a small brass burr
with instruction sheet. Made in Denmark.
The Yamato Block pieces { 1, 188, 824/975, 1024x2 }
The same small brass burr was sold by Chadwick Miller as the Ultimate Puzzle,
and they used a similar question mark symbol.


Mystic - a vintage sliding piece puzzle

The Phony Fort - 1975 Peterson Games
a "magic square" type number arrangement puzzle

Vess Billion Bubble Beverages Mystery Puzzle - a vintage 9-card advertising edgematching puzzle

Grip - designed by Tim Alkema, made by Eric Fuller
from Mahogany and Ash woods. Maneuver three pieces out of the box (then back in). Level 15.4.

Rar - designed by Tamas Vanyo, made by Eric Fuller
from Maple and Chakte-Kok woods. Level 9.15.1.6.

Camouflaged Burr - designed by Emil Askerli, made by Eric Fuller
from Cherry and Walnut woods. Level 4.7.

Disguised Burr - designed by Emil Askerli, made by Eric Fuller
from Cherry and Walnut woods. Level 7.2.2.


Hedgehog Burr - designed and made by Yavuz Demirhan
from Sapelli and Maple woods. Level 16.4.

Fossil Burr - designed and made by Yavuz Demirhan
from Wenge and Ash woods. Level 12.2.3.2.

Fossil Burr II - designed and made by Yavuz Demirhan
from Maple, Wenge, and Padauk woods. Level 9.
Keychain Sedan - Russian, pink - I found a nice instance of the Sedan puzzle, made in Russia.



June 2016


3x5x7 Cuboid - made by Traiphumi Prungtaengkit
Solid, smooth, and beautiful - as usual!
See a nice article on cuboids by Kevin Sadler at Kevin's Puzzlemad blog.
Kevin calls the 3x5x7 the ULTIMATE cuboid.

Num3er Cruncher - Mick Guy
Mick is Vice President of the British Origami Society, and he
kindly sent me a copy of his "Num3er Cruncher" puzzle. Thanks, Mick!
Packing digits in a tray (or box) has been done before, but Mick's design is a bit different.

L-I-Vator II - designed by Laszlo Molnar,
made by Brian Menold, from Redheart, Tree of Heaven, and Wenge.

Kumiki Stemmed Group - a group of three Kumiki puzzles,
each with a "stem" - Saturn, Barrel, and Strawberry.

New H Puzzle - a vintage advertising letter dissection

Sorcerer's Apprentice - a novel burr designed and made by Stephan Baumegger

 


May 2016


Collaborative Effort - Tucker-Jones House 2016
I always enjoy picking up the latest tanglement puzzle by the Sucilskys.
This isn't one of their most difficult offerings, but it still has subtleties.


Nine Blocks Box - designed by Jerry Loo, made by Eric Fuller
from Holly, Zebrawood, and Macassar Ebony
Pack the nine blocks in the box.
Thoughtful magnetic closure and extra compartment for transporting unsolved.
A fun little design I was able to solve with a bit of logic!

Attis - designed by Terry Smart, made by Eric Fuller
from Purpleheart and Yellowheart
A six-piece burr in a cage, at level 15.14.4.

Padlock Burr - designed by Tim Alkema, made by Eric Fuller
from Sappy Cherry and Marblewood
Level 24.2.8.

Two Burrs in a Basket - designed by Logan Kleinwaks, made by Eric Fuller
from Peruvian Walnut and Carolina Ash
Some interlocking keychain puzzles...


April 2016

Old Man Winter had one more blast for us in early April here in Connecticut...

All the more reason to stay warm inside and do some puzzling!


Superpagoda - an edge-8 (99 piece) Pagoda Burr made by Henry Troyer.
It is quite large and made from attractive woods.
Check out Henry's Etsy Shop.

Great Pagoda - an edge-9 (129 piece) Pagoda Burr.
Fairly compact given its complexity, but very nicely made.
Purchased from Cleverwood.
Shown with edge-6, edge-5, and edge-8 examples.
I don't know of anywhere else to get a 129 piece pagoda (or larger).

Lotus Box - a secret-opening box designed and made by Kagen Sound.
Eight circular birch rings on the lid, intricately inlaid with madrone and wenge, rotate
and form various patterns, some of which allow four drawers to be unlocked.
Clues to the necessary patterns can be found on and within the box.
A beautiful and fascinating work of art!

Triple 4 - designed by Osanori Yamamoto and made by Yvon Pelletier,
from teak and padauk. Not-a-solution shown :-)

Checkbox - designed by Goh Pit Khiam and made by Brian Menold,
from granadillo, ash, and east Indian rosewood.

Acomodo - designed and made by Yavuz Demirhan
from wenge and purpleheart. Level 10.2.2.
Visit Yavuz' Etsy Shop Cubozone.

Kumiki Bomber

Michelin X - a vintage French advertising puzzle.
Form an X from the pieces. Fit is imprecise.

Michelin Tire - a vintage French advertising puzzle.
Make a tire from the pieces. Fit is imprecise.

Keychain Mini Racecar

Keychain Wagon with Horses
Happy to have found the horse team that occasionally accompanies the Wagon.

Keychain Mini Indian on Horseback
I finally found a few examples of this fairly rare puzzle.

Norton Abrasives - a vintage 9-piece edgematching advertising puzzle.

 

More metal - Lee Krasnow, after a long hiatus, has announced his return to puzzle-making. Lee has opened an Etsy Shop PacificPuzzleWorks.


Four Piece Cube - designed by Dic Sonneveld,
made by Lee Krasnow from various metals. It's tiny!

 

And some plastic...


Rubik's Junior Bear
The Ozo bear (a 1x2x3) has been licensed and mass-produced by Rubik.
The original facial features are simplified.

 


March 2016

One more heavy metal puzzle:


Haleslock 1 - designed, made by,
and purchased from Shane Hales.

 

A couple of beauties on the way from Pelikan:


Arrow - designed by William Hu
made by and purchased from Pelikan.
Zebrano, Wenge, Maple.
Level 23.14.7

Crosscut - designed by Dan Fast
made by and purchased from Pelikan.
Cherry and Wenge.
Level 13.2

 


There are an increasing number of puzzle makers offering their wares on Etsy. Here are a few I have found:


The Nine
A laser-cut acrylic 3x3 edgematching challenge.
From The CraftySmiths (Jeff and Kate Smith)

7-4-2
Make 2 crosses.
From 1002 Puzzles (Lucie Pauwels)

River Crossing Puzzle
A nice wooden implementation with instructions for several challenges.
See the Wikipedia entry about River Crossing Puzzles,
and my section on my Sequential Movement page.
From Forest Park Crafts (David Rikert)

Scissors Puzzle (incorrectly translated as "Chisel")
From Jeux Manitou (François Vachon)
Daniel Deschamps gave an interesting lecture about
this line of puzzles at IPP35 in Ottawa.

Packed Pyramid - Next Generation
From Black Dog Puzzleworks (Bill Sheckels)

The Hive
Pack four honeycomb pieces in the tray,
and capture the bees. Many ways to capture 3, only one way
to capture all four.
From Puzzleguy (Dan Diehl)

Aggravater
Four piece tray packing.
From Puzzleguy (Dan Diehl)

 



Kumiki small Jeep

 


As promised, some metal puzzles...


Morris Bolt - a trick-opening bolt
designed by Alistair Morris.

Hanayama Cast Padlock - designed by Jinhoo Ahn.

Mini Line Cube - from Metal Art
A metal folding puzzle - make a cube.
I got a blue and a red. Identical other than color.

Chess Pieces - a set of trick-opening puzzles adapted by Hanayama from designs by Marcel Gillen.
This gold-plated limited edition produced especially to commemorate IPP35 in Ottawa, Canada, purchased from PuzzleMaster.

 

Other puzzles...


Little Kenny - designed by Ken Irvine
Made by Tom Lensch
I fiddled with this for a while at NYPP 2016 but could not assemble it,
so I knew I'd have to get my own copy.
I had Tom send it to me disassembled - I finally succeeded.
Only four pieces but a nice challenge.

Chain Store - designed by Goh Pit Khiam
Made by Tom Lensch
John Rausch brought this to Brett's house for NYPP 2016 -
I loved the way he introduced it as a "one piece packing puzzle."
Fit the links inside the box below the rim.
Another fail - I haven't assembled it yet.

Hex - a vintage puzzle from Binary Arts.

Jungle Bungle Beetles - an edge-matching puzzle by Dan Gilbert.
A kind gift from fellow collector Joe Konrath. Thanks!

Space Gun - an interlocking keychain puzzle by Pal Plastics.

Red Goose Shoes tangle - a group of vintage advertising puzzles.

Six Piece Open Drawers - real name and designer unknown to me.

 


February 2016

I received several puzzles during February - posting them belatedly...

I found another Berrocal Micro - and then there were two!


Micro David-Off - Berrocal 1971
Won at auction. Brass version.
Shown: images of the front and back, pieces, and comparisons with Micheline-X and Mini David.

 

Other auction finds...


Kumiki Ball and Bat and Kumiki Bowling Pin -
vintage interlocking puzzles from Japan.

Zig Zag - a vintage dexterity puzzle.

 


I have received several fine hand-crafted wooden puzzles from a variety of craftsmen from different parts of the globe including Turkey, South Africa, and Austria.


Volantis - designed, made by, and purchased from Yavuz Demirhan of Turkey.
Check out what's available at Yavuz' Etsy shop Creacubes.

Forma - designed, made by, and purchased from Yavuz Demirhan of Turkey.

Queen Sixteen - designed, made by, and purchased from Yavuz Demirhan of Turkey.

Really Bent Board Burr - designed by Derek Bosch,
made by and purchased from Johan Heyns of South Africa.
Made from Pau Marfim (light) and Mansonia woods with black Ebony feathers.
Johan supplies a lovely stand as well.
You can contact Johan on Facebook with your requests.

Block - designed, made by, and purchased from Stephan Baumegger of Austria.
Made from Wenge, Bubinga, and Maple. Level 7.2.2.2
See more of Stephan's designs at his Facebook page Puzzleisure.

No Holes Barred - designed by Laszlo Molnar of Hungary,
made by, and purchased from Brian Menold at Wood Wonders of New Jersey.
Made from Koa and Iroko.

Klaas Jan 23 - designed by Klaas Jan Damstra,
made by, and purchased from Brian Menold of New Jersey.
Made from Redheart and Yellowheart.


Simple Puzzle - designed by Klaas Jan Damstra,
made by, and purchased from Brian Menold of New Jersey.
Made from Maple and Wenge.

Crenal - one in a series of "New Old Style" burrs designed by Greg Benedetti,
made by, and purchased from Eric Fuller.
Made from Purpleheart.

 


Had a great time at the 2016 New York Puzzle Party / Symposium (NYPP) hosted on 2/13 by Tom Cutrofello.
Turnout was very good this year, with plenty of old friends and new faces. Several interesting presentations, including by Bill Cutler on his variant of the Melting Block Puzzle, and by newcomer Eric Marx on classic and modern trick locks. In the evening I participated with Brett and some friends in two back-to-back escape the room adventures, The Dungeon of Elements, and The Davinci Obsession, both run by Mission Escape Games at their Flushing, Queens location. Our experienced team solved both rooms with plenty of time to spare! Both rooms were enjoyable, with puzzles and mechanics I hadn't seen before.

Several NYPP attendees brought puzzles to sell, trade, or give away - I managed to sell a few myself. The folks from The Puzzle & Craft Factory were there this year as well. I picked up several puzzles at NYPP:


Fulcrum - CRKT - designed by Charles Kain and Russ Kommer
A knife with what will appear to the uninitiated as a trick-opening
as well as trick-closing mechanism. Purchased from trick knife collector Tim Udall.

E-Box - Vinco
A nice little 3-piece coordinate motion puzzle.

It's a Twister - Tim Udall
Tim was giving away some of his G4G tanglement puzzles. Thanks, Tim!

Triple Play Plus - STC #194-A - designed by
Stewart Coffin, made by Henry Strout.

Tetraball - designed by John Conway and Richard Esterle
You can read about this puzzle at ludus-opuscula.org.
You may notice the label on mine is mirror-written.
That's intentional - I bought a rarer version.

Monkey Fist Puzzle - (small metal version)
from the Puzzle & Craft Factory.
See U.S. patent 5988639 - Seldin 1999.

Coils II - from the Puzzle & Craft Factory.

 


January 2016

Some puzzles...

Here are a few I received in a random lot:


Pine Six-Piece Cube
Provenance unknown.

Mummy in Coffin - Bits and Pieces
A wooden version of the "King Tut Magic Mummy" puzzle,
which was patented in 1949 by Jack Wilson - 2458970.

Zwirbel - HABA
A colorful sliding piece puzzle

Beetle - designed by Serhiy Grabarchuk in 1995
Start as shown - exchange the red and yellow body pieces.

 

A vintage version of a classic puzzle that came to me from France...


Les Crochets du Diable - a vintage boxed French wire puzzle

 

Another import from Europe...


Sweta Cross - designed by William Strijbos
A two-piece secret-opening cross, sitting in a wooden base to
give the impression of the Swiss flag.

 

Here are some puzzles I received at IPP35...



Exploding Apple (aka 1 Pinko Ringo) - made by and purchased from Stephen Chin
One of Chinny's signature pieces. He packs it in a sock :-)
This was one of the top ten vote getters in the 2010 Nob Yoshigahara Puzzle Design Competition

Restricted Soma - designed, made,
and exchanged at IPP35 by Brian Young.
Build a Soma cube within the box. Using no rotations
there is only one solution.

Triburrlism - designed, 3D printed,
and exchanged at IPP35 by Steve Nicholls.
Assemble the three pieces so the result fits in the container.

Tetrahexed - designed by Stewart Coffin,
made by Wayne Daniel, exchanged at IPP35 by Stan Isaacs
A nice wooden version of Coffin's 1971 Cetus issued by Skor-Mor

Ze Balancing Egg - designed, made,
and exchanged at IPP35 by Stephen Chin

Eurofalle 03 - designed by Jürgen Reiche
exchanged at IPP35 by Allan Stein

Restricted Area - designed by Stewart Coffin,
made and exchanged at IPP35 by Saul Bobroff.

Quadrant 1 - designed by Yavuz Demirhan
made and exchanged at IPP35 by Eric Fuller

Road Blocks - designed by Goh Pit Khiam
made by and purchased from Tom Lensch.
Fit the four pieces in the tray. Not easy, of course!
Road Blocks received a Jury Honorable Mention
in the 2015 Nob Yoshigahara Puzzle Design Competition

Mandorla

Diamond Engagement - designed,
3D printed, and exchanged at IPP35 by Scott Elliott

Matchless - designed by Ken Stevens
made by Buttonius
exchanged at IPP35 by Peter Hajek.
Remove the match from the case via
either small passage in the rim.

Cubic Burr - designed by Tom Jolly
made from Red Meranti and exchanged at IPP35
by Tim Udall

Trick Lock IPP35 - Louis Coolen

Pinwheel Burr - designed by Oskar van Deventer
made and exchanged at IPP35 by Dave Rossetti

Moose Ball - designed and
exchanged at IPP35 by Simon Bexfield

Twelve Bowties 2 - designed and made by Wayne Daniel
exchanged at IPP35 by Marti Reis

Multigrain (275AS) - designed by Stewart Coffin
made by Brian Young
exchanged at IPP35 by Jerry Slocum

Tower of Torment - designed by Simon Bexfield
exchanged at IPP35 by Chris Dalgety
a 3D maze - "Search inside for Simon and Chris,
two puzzles, four architectural features, and three
animals not forgetting the rat."

Outfox the Box (245A) - designed and made by Stewart Coffin
exchanged at IPP35 by Abel Garcia
Fit the four pieces in the box with the lid closed.

Forgotten Piece - designed and made by Marcel Gillen
exchanged at IPP35 by Tania Gillen
Disassemble the burr and reassemble with the extra piece inside.

Twins - designed, made,
and exchanged at IPP35 by Gary Foshee
Assemble the three pieces so that each
light or dark cube touches a like colored cube on at least one face,
and the light and dark shapes are identical (mirror images OK).

Lockdown (271A) - designed and made by Stewart Coffin
exchanged at IPP35 by Rob Jones
Build a pyramid from the three pieces,
within the tray - no force required.


Happy New Year!

A bit of reflection...

2016 begins the 14th year of this website. I put up an early version starting in 2003 when I moved to Connecticut. The earliest capture at the Internet Archive is dated August 3rd 2004. After the site was wiped out by my ISP during one of their maintenance snafus, I rebuilt it, with analytics, in November of 2007. Even missing several years' worth of data, this website has had over 870,000 unique visitors, over 1,116,000 sessions, and over 1,595,000 page views. As of October 2015, my ISP discontinued personal web sites, so since then Rob's Puzzle Page is being hosted privately (thanks, Brett!).

Last time I checked, even though I don't do any SEO, and despite the loss of the original ISP-based URL, robspuzzlepage.com appears pretty high (usually on the first page) in Google search results for various mechanical puzzle topics - for example: interlocking puzzles, tanglement puzzles, french wire puzzles, disassembly puzzles, keychain puzzles, and peg and jumping puzzles.

I have never solicited donations nor resorted to advertising. (Though I do greatly enjoy receiving puzzle gifts and surprises from puzzle friends!)

The past couple of years held some fun puzzle milestones for me:

In the coming year I hope to be able to keep bringing you interesting puzzle discoveries, and that you will continue to find this website useful and enjoyable. I really appreciate hearing from you puzzle enthusiasts out there - your puzzle stories and questions, and all your kind words! Please do keep writing - you can reach me at .

Some puzzles:


Twiddle Dee and Twiddle Dum
A new pair in a continuing series of fiendish helical burrs
designed by Derek Bosch
3D printed for me by Steve Nicholls
I asked Steve to make them "opposite" each other.
(Also, Dee has two slots in the end, Dum only one.)
Dee is rated the more difficult of the pair, with 10 more moves and many extra dead ends.
The colors seem to be a perfect match to Yellowheart and Redheart woods -
Here is a group photo with some beautiful wooden puzzles I recently received.


Pro No. 1
A metal trick-opening Dovetail puzzle, designed in Switzerland.
#127 in a limited edition of 300.
From PuzzleMaster.

Make My Day
A new and difficult tanglement puzzle
designed by Markus Goetz
From PuzzleMaster.

Hanayama Wire Puzzles Set 2
From PuzzleMaster.

Bon Voyage Tangle Set
From PuzzleMaster.


Double Take
From LiveWire.
Frank informs me he will be retiring and closing down,
so if there are still LiveWire puzzles you'd like,
better get them while you can!


Kumiki Cow
A butcher's version marked with cuts of beef.

Kumiki Trolley
A smaller, narrower version.


Arjeu CT109

Five-Piece K Dissection
This one I consider not quite fair -
the solution K is alright, but
the cover and guide pictures are
misrepresentative of the final shape.


Perilous Pipes
designed by Ferdinand Lammertink
Computer Analysis by George Miller
Issued by Popular Playthings 2011

This is a commercialized graduated-challenge style version of
the Devil's Gate puzzle offered by George Miller at IPP29 in 2009 -
a 3D version of the Langford Problem


3D Jigsaw Teacup, Wine Glass, and Wine Bottle
These were included in a group of puzzles I purchased on auction.
Each has a removable pin lock, and directional cuts.

 

Here are two classic burrs folks have asked me about - I realized I didn't have good pix of them:


Classic Six Plank Burr
Four identical pieces, and two special -
note the notched piece, and the piece above it
which has a short "tray."
The holes are optional decoration.

Classic Twelve Piece Burr
Eleven identical pieces and one with a notch.


Surface (aka Parquet)
An eight - piece weave type puzzle - each piece has three cubes
affixed to a notched plank (all planks are the same).
I received this in a group of puzzles with no provenance -
it seems like a Bits and Pieces product but I have seen this puzzle
offered from various places, including a Constantin version.
I have another one with metal planks and colored cubes.

 

I found a nice photographic catalogue of someone's extensive collection of metal puzzles, on flickr.

 


Truncated this file to improve load time.

Here are links to old What's New files (some overlap):