Sunday, 27 January 2019

Jewel Thief solved !!

OK, I finally solved the beast!!

This puzzle is a take-apart puzzle and has several steps.

First you need to crack the code of the lock using the brass knob which produces clicking sounds and the symbols on the back of the puzzle.
This step was hard and I even had ideas that were trickier than the solution, but when you don't make progress you try to imagine what you can :)


You need to play with the puzzle in a quiet room, analyzing the clicks, their number and other things. Trust me, this will keep you busy for some time!
And as the lock doesn't pop when it's opened, then you need to pull up the shackle each time you think that you've found the right code.

You think you've solved the hardest step of the puzzle? Hummm, I thought so, but hell is coming!!!

Now you've unlocked the lock and taken out the rod, the cage of the thief can be rotated, from time to time it blocks, from other time it seems it can be pushed a bit.....But I am sure you won't understand the feature until you've solved that part. Not only because it's tricky, but also because many things are involved in this step locking the puzzle in many ways.

Right, part solved? Thief release? Now find her jewel. I looked everywhere and I could not find it....Damn!! I even thought I lost it on the floor when solving the puzzle ;-(

Remember: solve this puzzle on a flat surface. Things can fall...roll...

But actually there is no way the jewel can be lost, it's hidden somewhere and you will need to perform some more steps to find it.

After finding it, Jon made you a surprise! I cannot tell, but there is more to discover and you will really like it I am sure ;-)

A lot of work has been put into creating the puzzle, many steps and many parts for each steps.

Strongly advised for metal puzzle collectors and for people who like to be puzzled for long time!

Resseting the puzzle for the next victim is very easy, good news, no? :)


Not sure if they are sold out now (as it's in limited edition), but if not, you'd better be quick if you want one.
You can find Jon's contact on my previous post of the tumbler puzzles.



Monday, 21 January 2019

Double Tumbler

After the tumbler puzzle designed and made by Jon Keegan that I reviewed few days ago, here comes its big brother: the Double Tumbler !

Some may wonder if it looks (and can be solved) same as the tumbler and may hesitate to buy it or not.
I always feel frustrated when I buy puzzles that are the same but with minor changes. So let me explain why it's pretty different from the tumbler and why you should get both.

As a first sight, it's a cylinder, but apart from the anodization color, you will notice that you have 3 moving parts, compared to 2 for the tumbler. Which means, this should be more challenging than the (already challenging) tumbler puzzle! ;)


You still get the holes on the core of the puzzle, which look nice and can be of a help to solve the puzzle. Well, of course it does not show everything!!

As for the tumbler you will hear some ball bearing, you may assume what you need to do and you may be right. But then how to do that?
Sometimes, the top cap can be rotated, sometimes it's blocked and sometimes you can pull the cap a bit....bu the puzzle is still locked.

As for the internals, when you open it you will notice several changes from the tumbler and you will see how Jon has a twisted mind implementing some traps here and there. And you should definitely understand such or such situation that happened when you were trying to solve the puzzle :-)
I cannot tell more without spoiling, but in my mind both tumbler are worth the case to be bought together. And you should start with the tumbler, then experience the double tumbler.

Same good point as for the tumbler: no spring involved, hence no issue with damaging the top/bottom of the cylinder with it.

Jon should still have some in stock, you can contact him to check!


Thursday, 17 January 2019

Tumbler puzzle

You may remember that Jon Keegan released jewel thief, tumbler and double tumbler.

So far, I have only solved completely the tumbler puzzle, so here are my thoughts about it.


The first thing to mention is the great quality and the nice anodized green color. The anodization is not only nice but also protects and makes the puzzle more resistant. So it has a useful function as well!

Jon got the idea from the famous first cylinder puzzle designed and made by Wil Strijbos. Despite some common features there are also some nice differences.

So let's go about the differences!

It's bigger than the first cylinder and has some holes. If I am right, Jon made these holes to help the solver because many people considered the puzzle to be too hard. I really like the idea, but despite it shows a little bit from the inside, it did not help (or maybe I did not think enough?...) that much to solve the puzzle.

The puzzle has 2 moving part and they need to be rotated in some ways...cannot talk more about that, though...But the thing is that there is no spring (compared to the first cylinder), so the puzzle will not pop when opened. I really like the pop sound, but the spring also damaged the bottom of the puzzle. Here, no issue about damaging and the moves are very smooth.


The puzzle is more complicated than the Strijbos' one and when you make a progress you will know what to do, but easier said than done! ;-)

At some point the puzzle opened a bit and as you may want to do (or may will) I closed it...you know sometimes you need to close and find different ways to make more progress. Luckily I managed to open it again a bit and at some point it opened.
Not sure if it's made on purpose (I am pretty sure it is, but then I will now try to figure out how it was possible) that the puzzle could open a bit, before completely be opened after some more moves.

Once opened, you can see the internals and try to find a way to solve it faster for the next attempts.

Now, I will try to solve its big brother (double tumbler) which should be even more difficult!

You can contact Jon to check if he has some left. Definitely a must-have!


Saturday, 12 January 2019

Wave 7

After his 2 jigsaw puzzles, Yuu Asaka keeps on designing nice plexi packing puzzles and this time it have like wave-shaped pieces.

The goal is still the same and the challenge is still high! And it's definitely more difficult than the jigsaw 19 as you have a lot of possibilities to put the pieces inside the tray.

You will notice that some pieces fit perfectly with others when they have the right orientation and you will also soon realize that you will have to put some pieces vertically and some others horizontally. Now the challenge is: which pieces... :-)

I needed a bit of help for this one and even with the help it was still challenging. 



The puzzle does not require any force to make the pieces fit inside the tray. The fit is absolutely perfect like Yuu's other packing puzzles. So you need to think about to put 2 pieces so that the gap between them and outside of them is as small as possible, so that you can "save" some space for the other pieces. You need to take into account the shape of the pieces and experiment if you can put such or such piece inside them.

To conclude: a puzzle that will puzzle you for long time!

If you want to buy it, you can contact Yuu.

I would not be surprised if it pops up at next design competition ;)
We'll see!

Sunday, 6 January 2019

Jigsaw 19

Yuu made Jigswaw 29 that I reviewed previously and he made 2 new puzzles.
So far I have only solved one, so the other one will be reviewed later.

It's called: jigsaw 19. And the goal is the same: just pack the pieces inside the tray!
"Just"?....

Well if you have played with his bog brother you will see the same features that differenciate this puzzle from a regular jigsaw puzzle.

It took me less time to solve (well there are fewer pieces also) and knowing the special features of these puzzles, I tried another approach. Trying to see which piece goes with which. And I ended up with some "packs" and put them together.

Sometimes a piece can also go with several, but you will soon realize if you're doing things right or not :)

In terms of quality: perfect! Nothing to say. The fit is perfect as well and the colors well choosen. The only drawback with plexi is that it attracts dust :-(

In terms of difficulty: no doubt it's challenging. Lesss than its big brother though. For me it's better to start with this one. And give it to non-puzzle friends and watch their face when trying to solve the puzzle hahaha.

You can contact Yuu to get your puzzle. The other packing from Yuu is pretty different and super challenging! So far no real progress on it.

Friday, 4 January 2019

Jewel thief - update

Lock cracked!!
It was epic, pretty hard. Maybe I should have tried the 10000 combinations hahaha

Now I need to release the poor little thief still jailed. What? It's seems he changed position....was I so long?... ;)



I assume the code can be changed, but what's the point?
After all it's not about guessing the code, it's about finding a logical way to manage to find it using all the informatio provided to you. Got it?

1st step was hard...it seems second step is not easy as well, challenging puzzle.

I think not a lot of them are available now, so I strongly advise you to hurry if you want it!


Saturday, 29 December 2018

Auzzle

Time to review a new kind of puzzle!
Designed and made by Ilya Osipov, this puzzle got an honorable mention at past IPP in San Diego (2018).


The puzzle is made out of 3D material and obviously magnets!

The goal is to have all the magnets in the center like in the picture on the right.
You have 2 kind of moves: one is to rotate the 2 inner parts, the other move is to rotate the halves of the puzzles. After scrambling the puzzle, you will get magnets pointing in many direction, and now the fun begins!!!

I like a lot the noise of the magnets, the "clicking sound" each time your rotate something.

So this puzzle is like a twisty, but more fun. I like the look, and the puzzle is bigger than what I expected. It seems solid as well. So normally you can let your friends play with it.

No algorithm exists yet, and I hope one will be created. It's like rubix's cube: without algorithm it's not possible to solve. But....for this one, Ilya said that a person should be able to solve it under 2 hours, by just rotating again and again.
And he is quite right. For me it's took probably around 30 minutes (definitively less than 2 hours) to solve the puzzle. I had no strategy at all, I tried to elaborate one but I failed. But at some point, I came up with a solved puzzle!
However, again it would be nice to be able to solve it faster with an algorithm.
And a good idea would be to make like a "pro-auzzle", a professional version for speed solving ;)

If you want your auzzle, you can contact Ilya: HERE

There is also a mathematical demonstration HERE with a youtube link as well in case you're wondering about the moves ad the clicking sound, don't expect to understand anything as it's in Russian haha

Ilya's facebook can be found HERE




Monday, 24 December 2018

Jon Keegan is your new metal puzzle designer!

This is a great news for the metal puzzle collectors!
Overall, most puzzles that are released are in wood and not a lot in metal, this is going to change!

Jon Keegan has submitted 2 puzzles for the design puzzle competition in San Diego (in 2018) and he did not receive a prize (but should have received!!). Among them was the Jewel Thief puzzle which is a massive take-apart puzzle.

Jon will sell 3 puzzles:
-tumbler (100 USD)
-double tumbler (140 USD)
-Jewel Thief (450 USD)

The tumbler puzzles are improved versions of the cylinder puzzle designed by Strijbos, with additional features and a nice color.
The Jewel Thief is a totally new puzzle with nice features, using a lego guy as a thief to release. And it's limited to only 100 puzzles, don't miss it!! ;)


Jon can send you the flyer he made (with some more detailed precision about the puzzles, and a surprise at the end). Just ask him by email by clicking HERE.
I do advise you to be quick if you want the puzzles (you need them for your collection anyway hahaha), because they will be sold out fast.

Jon created some nice wooden boxes!

Jon is the new Strijbos, I am sure he will design some more wonderful puzzles.
So far I cannot be more precise regarding the puzzles (except saying that they are very nicely made with stunning design and color anodization), but I intend to make a complete review a bit latter after playing more with the puzzles.


Merry puzzling X-mas to you & your family !!! :)

Monday, 3 December 2018

Neat lock

This lock was an exchanged puzzle from IPP 23 by Peter Hajek.

It's supposed to be an old mechanism (so not something new), but old mechanism does not mean bad!

And this is so neat that Peter decided to exchange it. Let me tell you that turning the key again and again will result in...nothing special :)

The main difficulty is that you cannot see the mechanism. To be honest, I managed to solve it several times but I am still unsure about how it looks from the inside...

With a pretty unusual keyhole you have plenty space to try and turn the key inside. No banging is necessary.
Your only hint is a slight click sound. Maybe this is useful?....

Solved!!!

Wednesday, 21 November 2018

Hexahog

A new kind of hedgehog puzzle!!!!!
Let me introduce the HEXAHOG

Designed and made by Rademic puzzle company in Czech Republic, this puzzle has 2 challenges: you need to free a piece and you need to build up a cage. Double challenge for more puzzling fun :)




The original thing is the shape of the hedgehog. See it does not have any spikes. It's "just" an geometrical shape...not sure of the name though. No spike does not mean it's easier. Indeed you have many holes and many orientations of the piece...
Can anyone count the possibilities??? :)

With a bit of trial and errors you will  solve this first challenge, that still took me a bit of time.

Try to make a picure of the "secret" entrance when the piece is freed, so that you can remember how to restart the puzzle. Anyway the piece is easier to manipulate when it's outside rather than when it's inside the cage :)

Now the second challenge...!!

So you have many pieces and the goal is to make a cage around the existing cage.

Honestly this is very difficult because many possibilities and positions of the pieces. I did cheated and even with the solution you have 2 difficulties: to recognize the pieces and follow the solution picture and the other difficulty is that the pieces may crumble when you're building up the uper ring of pieces. So a solution is to have a friend helping you. Or putting an elastic ruber band on the base to maintain the pieces. Or even puting in the center like a paper rolled so that the pieces cannot fall inside. Try to figure out the best way :-)

So in my opinion, a very nice puzzle not for the faint of heart. I wish the locking mechanism of the pieces for the cage could have been stronger to avoid the pieces to crumble and to cary the solved puzzle without fearing that timelapse the puzzle crumble ;)

You can find it HERE along with other nice hedgehog puzzles. I like them overall because of the different variations in terms of design and solving process.

Thursday, 1 November 2018

The best packing puzzles

I will write several reviews in the same spirit in the weeks/months to come. This is only my point of view, so you may disagree.

In my mind, packing puzzles are boring and can be too difficult if the goal is just to put a lot of pieces in a tray. What's the fun?....
For me a good packing puzzle does not need a lot of pieces, but needs a good idea and clever steps. Most of the time with just 3 or 4 pieces you can have a very enjoyable puzzle with a challenging level.

So I will put below some puzzles that I like and that are worth playing with. I won't rank them, because it would be a bit difficult for me to say which is the best and which is the less good. For some of them, I may have written a review, for some other I will do so in the future. But ayway, I will put some pictures with quick explanations.

So let go with a selection of 10 nice packing puzzles!!


1. String octet
Designed by Goh Pit Khiam / Made by Brian Menold
The goal is to pack the pieces but you have to draw a continuous line and of course if you reverse the pieces you have another path.
Many challenges and the challenges are far from being easy. A very good puzzle(s)!



2. No holes barred
Designed by Laszlo Molnar / Crafted by Brian Menold
The goal is to pack the pieces inside the box. But you will have to make some rotations and see the box has something unusual. Laszlo designed several puzzles in the same spirits. Both are very enjoyable and challenging.




3. Pack 3
Designed by Osanori Yamamoto / Crafted (recently) by Eric Fuller
This embodies the parfect packing puzzle with only 3 pieces (and the wood is wonderful by the way). The goal is not to pack the 3 pieces (which is easy) just in the box but to pack them so that no holes are visible like in the picture on the right. Many moves, this is definitely a nice and challenging puzzles. Be careful, something looking too easy has usually many hidden tricks :)




4. Pin block case
Designed by Hajime Kastumoto / Crafted by Eric Fuller
Only 4 pieces to pack, but see there are pins (so grooves on the reverse side of the pieces). A very enjoyable puzzle, with several moves




 5. 4L puzzle
Designed by Yasuhiro Hashimoto / Crafted by MINE
The puzzle with only 4 pieces gave a lof of puzzling frustration to many puzzlers. Inside you have a lot (!) of moves to fit the pieces inside the box and the plexi is not here to help you :)
This is a very very good puzzle!



6. Slide packing
Designed by Hajime Katsumoto / Crafted by MINE
It has 4 pieces to fit into this sliding box. What is very interesting is that first it's a sliding box. Then the shape of the pieces look pretty basic. Then the solution is just super nice. This puzzle has a brother called "penta in a box" designed by the same guy. And it has a very nice solution as well.
Very well made, nice solution, it's a must-have!



7. Chain store
Designed by Goh Pit Khiam / Crafted by Tom Lensch
A very unusual packing puzzle, not overly difficult but still challenging



8. Stumbling block
Designed by Goh Pit Khiam / Crafted by Tom Lensch
4 pieces to pack. Not super difficult but still challenging, I am sure that you were amazed (if you have ever played with it) by the sequence of moves. Seriously, you will have you "aha-moment"!!
It has some brothers: road blocks, number blocks. All super nice



9. Magnet mania!
Designed and crafted by Chris Morgan
The goal is to pack the 9 magnets in the holes. I managed to solve it in the not intended way (but I was very lucky). But the official solution is so clever, that you have to still try it. Challenging and interesting mathematical properties





10. One piece packing
Designed and made by Simon Nightingale
The only one packing puzzle with one piece to pack. And this is not an easy puzzle. As you will notice you have magnets. So there are many ways to pack the piece inside (24 if I am not wrong) and you will probably forget what you have done and so try the same configuration several times :)
I really wonder how it's crafted...

Tuesday, 9 October 2018

A new service for you!

I will offer a new service for puzzle collectors who are willing to sell some puzzles (or their entire collection)!!


If you want to sell some puzzles:
1. Either they can interest me and we can have deals
2. Either they don't interest me and then I auction them


How to do:
1. You provide me several pictures, don't try to hide the flaws, people will notice them!
2. You provide the description, any comment regarding the mechanism/damage, etc.
3. You tell me your minimum price you want to get
4. I won't sell puzzles that are already on the post and if 2 buyers want to sell the same puzzle I will only only put one (the best quality one, if both are on the same level then I will put the one from the seller who contacts me 1st)

If you know how to ship puzzle, how to fill in custom forms:
1. You don't send me the puzzles
2. A buyer pays me
3. I pay you
4. You ship the puzzle to the buyer

If you don't have time or if you don't know how to ship parcels:
1. You send me the puzzles at your own cost
2. A buyer pays me
3. I pay you
4. I ship the puzzle to the buyer (the shipping cost to be paid by the buyer)


How it works:
1. After the puzzles at put in my blog with description and so on, the buyers can send bids.
2. The best bidder will be able to buy the puzzle.
3. After one bid, the puzzles will remain 2 weeks in my blog.
4. If the bids are enough high for me, then the puzzle is sold (it can consist of only one offer!)
5. The minimum price the buyer wants to get is kept secret


Payment
1. The payment is with paypal only
2. If I need to pay custom any fees, they will be deduced from the money I send to the seller
3. I take fees on the final price (shipping not taken into account, of course)
4. As soon as I receive the money I pay you (final price of the puzzle -% fees I take - any fees that I may have paid)


The advantages compared to auction:
1. It is not once of twice in the year, always opened!
2. You receive very fast the money
3. If you know how to fill in custom forms you save one shipping (and so less risk of damage for the puzzles). If you don't know, I know perfectly. So great quality service!!
4. I should shipped faster because I don't expect to ship 100 puzzles in a short amount of time
5. I can reply to any of your questions/concerns very fast and can advise you


Monday, 17 September 2018

Jigsaw puzzle 29

This seemingly innocent puzzle was designed and crafted by Yuu Asaka for IPP design competition in San Diego (2018) and it received a prize!

Many times I wonder why such or such puzzle receives a prize because in my mind it's not deserved. I mean, all puzzles are usually nice, but most of the time (if not always....) the jury committee does not choose puzzles that really deserves to be awarded!!! What's going on in their head?....

So I was thinking: "why the hell did this jigsaw puzzle received a prize"?....until I got one and started to play with it :)






Ok so first it looks very nice: the colors are well choosen.
Then the cuts are very precise and you won't need to use any force at all. I was worried with that point because it can be tricky with plexi puzzles....

Now the serious part, and why in my mind it's a good (and then why it obtained a prize) puzzle: you won't solve it in a "conventional way".
I mean, usually with jigsaw puzzles you know how to start, right? Do the same thing (yes, please do!) won't lead to anywhere and so you will soon realize that you will have to think way more!!
And yes you need to pack all the pieces flat inside the tray :-)

This puzzle is very difficult and could only come from a crazy devilish puzzle designer's mind ;-)

With many possibilities and pieces that have the same color, this puzzle will puzzle you for long time.
With a low price, this is clearly worth the money.

Did I said that Yuu is from Japan and Japan has the best postal service in the world?...Yes it already happened that I got a package 4 days after it's been mailed. Impressive!!

You can contact Yuu to get your copy


Thursday, 13 September 2018

How to conduct a puzzle business: the way to success!

 As a first warning, this post does not aim at giving good/bad points to such or such puzzle firms/designers!!!
I don't mean I am right on all point, even if I am sure many will agree on several points.
I don't also mean this by applying (and nor that it's an easy task) the below, you will be the Bill Gates of the puzzles ;)

I am only sharing my point of view, after seen many people designing puzzles who would like to be better known or gain new customers.

So let's GO:



1. Be visible, be famous
You won't make advertising for your products in the subway, nor in the streets. First because you would not afford that. And your target is not the same as well.

So how can you get advertising for low cost?
  • Puzzle blogs
  • Puzzle forum
  • Puzzle parties: international and national
  • Specific parties dedicated to such or suck logic games for example

 2. A website can help....a lot!
Even if you can clearly see your puzzles through other way and from hand to hand, a website can help you for several reasons:
  • Customers can buy and pay directly, so they don't spam you with emails to buy puzzles
  • It's more professional. If it's your job, then you have to give to yourself the best means to be successful
  • You can put pictures and description. And it's even better if their is a countdown to see how many puzzles are left to be bought

3. Keep people aware
  • If you have a newsletter keeping people aware of your progress or even about news, that's a good point
  • If you have social media: people like to have news about your designing progress, how the production is going on, which techniques you use and so on. And you can also give estimated time of release of new puzzles.
  • If you create your own puzzle forum, you have to give some news on it. You have to keep it alive. A dead forum with old post and no new post will indicate to your customers that you're not (enough?) dedicated to crafting puzzles and they can also think you don't take care of your customers. After all, you have to take care of your walking pocket money ;-)

4. Always keep on designing
The key success is to design always new puzzles with new shapes, new mechanisms and so on.
Your customers want novely, they like to experiment new things and new approaches.
Having a good pace of new puzzles if also important. Realeasing puzzles often keeps your customers constantly aware and ready to spend some money.


5. Time is money
Obviously if you're alone to design, craft, sell puzzles and reply to your emails that can be somewhat difficult to handle...
The time you spend on replying to email you loose it as selling and designing puzzles and you already know that time is money!

If you have grown enough, you should hire some people dedicated to replying questions and shipping the puzzles. It can be the same guy or others who take care of your website and social media.
If you cannot affor hiring people ask to friends/family, they will be happy to participate in a growing business. It's rewarding


6. The customer is the king (but maybe not the king solver...)
Like in every business, the customer brings you money and can also bring you new ones, by saying good things about your puzzles. It can also, by negative things, make you loose some clients.
Bad comments can be the consequences of: you don't reply to email, you only seem to be willing to earn money and you don't act in a friendly seller/customer relationship, you don't communicate enough.
Happy customers, happy designers :)
After all, isn't it very rewarding to get nice feedback?




To finish, some links of puzzle designers:

  • Kadon Enterprises, Inc runned by Kate Jones: if you like geometry, packing puzzle, quality products, you will find what you like!
  •  IQ Lolly: created y Patrick Chan (see my review in a previous post). Website under construction but to follow.
  •  Rademic puzzles: nice metal hedgehog puzzles. They like very nice with some original shapes and features

Now you reader, what are you waiting for to create your puzzles and give birth to your devilish puzzling mind??

Friday, 7 September 2018

IQ Lolly

This nice looking sliding puzzle has been designed, crafted and presented by Patrick Chan (from Hong Kong) for the IPP design competition 38 (2018) held in San Diego.



What about the look: this is a really nice looking puzzle and guess what? It's made with 3D printers and the quality is, in my mind, stunning. It's indeed very smooth.

The goal of this puzzle is to scrambled the numbers by pushing/pulling/turning the rod and then revert to the initial position.
3 levels of difficulty: the more numbers you have, the more difficult the puzzle is, of course!

The nice features of the puzzle: when you push and release then it's goes in the "middle" position. Same if you pull and release the rod. It's like the cutting corner technique of the famous rubix's cube: it's a way to be faster to solve the puzzle.
Also if you don't turn completely the rod of a turn, there is a little somthing that prevent from screwing up the puzzle (pushing/pulling if the numbers are not horizontally aligned). See below:

When playing with the Lolly you will notice that you cannot turn 2 times on the same way (I mean 2 times clockwise or counter-clockwise).
So far I am not super fast to push/turn/pull, but I think this is just a matter of practice :)

How to solve the puzzle you may ask? Well there are algorithms (see again a common point with the rubix's cube) to rearrange the numbers and several steps to be performed.
Easy if you follow the steps. Way more difficult if you try to discover them...

A nice video of Patrick's skills to solve: HERE

I am not that used to sliding puzzles, not even with 3D printed sliding puzzles and I must admit I like it a lot. Consider asking Patrick a copy of it. I suggest to go with the easiest level ;) Don't be a fool!!

The IQ Lolly comes in 7 different colors: you can see HERE the website (it's still under construction but gives you an idea of the colors.

Did I say that there are some Easter eggs to discover? Patrick mention that on the solution he sends. So far, I have not idea about what they are....

EDIT: I found the 2 Easter eggs. Nice!

Tuesday, 4 September 2018

Coke bottle in a row

You know the guy and his famous metal puzzles? You may also know his bottle puzzles I am sure.
But did you see so many bottles???


7 coke bottles linked with a long rod and locked on each side and inside!!

A lot of care is needed to handle that. First because it's fragile. Then because if you hold the puzzle on each side you apply pressure in the middle of the rod. It would be a pitty to destroy such a beauty:)


You can unlocked the 2 locks on each side, but how to unlock the inside locks?...

You don't have acces to them with your fingers....probably no tools are allowed....

Seriously I am (b)locked... :-(

Any idea?


Saturday, 21 July 2018

Soma tube

Laszlo Molar did it again! Brian Menold crafted it again!!  :-)

Derived from the famous soma cube, this puzzle is this time a tube! I feel that the some cube is so famous that it still gives a lot of idea from designer who enjoy transforming this common puzzle into weird and more difficult puzzles, like this some tube!

Well it's also a restricted puzzle. I am not a big fan of restricted puzzle because it can be difficult to manipulate the pieces making your puzzling experience more a dexterity challenge and less fun.
However with this one, I did not have these kind of difficulties.
With seemingly basic pieces, how hard can it be?
Well, there are a lot of possibilities but only one solutions and let me tell you this is quite challenging!!!
However I managed to solve it (and it did not take me month), maybe I just had the right idea at the right moment, who knows...

My method with these kind of puzzles is the following: try to make a final shape (here a tube) with the puzzles outside of its box. Then try to take pieces off the shape one by one, while looking at the box and if the shape was in the box if the piece you're taking off could really be taken off the box. The continue until the final piece. And then do that in the reverse order to put the pieces in the box.
If the shape you're making does not "suite" the box, then first turn the shape. If it's does not work, make another shape with the pieces.

Usually you have several possibilities to make the shape with the pieces. The real challenge it to put the pieces inside the box.

As usually with Laszlo's puzzle, you will have sliding and rotating moves.

This is again really clever and I really enjoyed it. Buy it if you like packing puzzles that have a little something extra and if you like Lazslo's puzzle and Brian's craftmanship :)


I just have a little worry with the puzzles that use plexi: if the plexi cracks or breaks, then how can you replace it....
I do think puzzle makers who use plexi should find a way to let the solver take out the plexi. Maybe by dividing the box into 2 and using magnets (of course that would increase the final price, but maybe less than shipping the puzzle back to the craftman for repairement....)



Sunday, 20 May 2018

PI box by Jesse Born

Another very nice wooden puzzle designed and crafted by Jesse Born!

Jesse updated often his facebook page (and no need to have facebook to follow his progress) about how this puzzle crafting was going on.

I must admit that he is the only puzzle maker who is doing that and I am sure people appreciate a lot (well, I did) to see his progress and issues when there were some. I feel completely like being part of the project.


This puzzle is called the PI box puzzle, the goal is to move the parts on the top and open the box.
Easy? Not that sure...

Quick words about the design: this is a big puzzle, be sure to have some space! And it's a really wonderful puzzle. It must take long time to craft one, imagine the time spent on crafting 50 as he did....!!! 


About the difficulty, this is not an easy puzzle, but it should be manageable. Just ask yourself about the name of the puzzle as it can give you clues.... :-)

You should consider to get this puzzle if there are some left and of course if you have the money. It's not cheap at all. But the quality is worth it.
Just have a look at his website and still tunned for his next puzzles !!!

Thursday, 10 May 2018

WOW 5

Designed by Carl Hoff and awarded during a puzzle party, this puzzle is a ring puzzle and seems to look like an hanayama puzzle, but obviously the quality is much better!!

It is made by Jeff, a puzzle ring maker who lives in Asia.


Regarding the quality, seriously Jeff has made a super great job!!
First, it does not look like a cheap puzzle at all, especially because it's made of top quality material: silver. But you can also choose other material like gold. Thenk you don't see where the rings went through each other before the finishing.

In the webshop you can order several size. I chose the biggest (the price is the same) because I don't intend to wear it but keep it with my other puzzles and I think it's much easier to play with a bigger puzzle than a "normal size" ring...but it's up to you!

About the difficulty, this is super easy to take it apart....reassembling is a difficult challenge. As of now, it's still in 5 pieces.... ;)
And I am not super good at this kind of puzzle, but well I will keep on trying.

Either you're a ring lover or you like metal puzzle or you want to ask your other half his/her hand you have to get this puzzle. And if you're all at the same time, then don't hesitate!!
I really like the small box where Jeff put the puzzle, it's a nice display and protect well the puzzle.

And if you want something more customized, just ask Jeff ;-)

What is your favourite puzzle ring??