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...