Wednesday, 29 January 2020

Some pocket-sized metal puzzles

Here come 2 nice metal puzzles from Art of play webshop.

First is the famous YOT puzzle, a very beautifully made puzzle where you have to free the coin.
I am sure that seasoned puzzlers won't have any difficulties to open it while beginners may struggle a bit. So....I opened it easily :-)
However, I saw that you can open it very quickly without the people around you notice how you're doing it. And I think this may be the real challenge for experienced puzzlers: open it such as nobody notice the solution!
So far I can open the puzzle but I cannot handle that challenge. What about you? :)
I think it needs some practice:)






The second puzzle is the famous jack puzzle, here is smaller size. Well you have it under several possible names but the challenge is still the same and the design of the pieces as well.



Very easy to disassemble because when you take out one piece (the only moving piece) then the puzzle falls apart and the real challenge begins!
First, because it's not super easy to maintain the pieces in their respective position and then also because this is not obvious where you have to put such or such piece.
So even if this is a classic puzzle, it's still a nice and challenging one!


For metal lovers, then both puzzles are a nice addition to any collection and for the travellers, they are even better as you can carry them easily with you, which is pretty rare for puzzles!


You can find other metal puzzles (and wood puzzles as well) and the big brother of this small jack puzzle on Art of play webshop.

Have fun!


Saturday, 25 January 2020

Dice puzzle box

I don't review that many Karakuri puzzle boxes so a quick review to change that :)

Ok so it's about the Dice puzzle box designed and made by Kamei


The six sides of the cube have the digit 1 to 6 like on a normal dice. Should you roll it like a dice to open it? I let you figure out if you have it :)

The design is super great and as you expect from Karakuri works, the craftmanship is top to none!

To be honest it did not take me long time to solve it (well, most Karakuri are pretty easy puzzles anyway!) but the solution is very satisfaying! A bit frustrating at the same time as you cannot see the internals nor the mecanism and I would have loved to see it :-(


The puzzle works reliably and you need to make the complete reverse steps to really close it.
Basically I closed it and performed some steps and I was surprised it closed the puzzle. Great but....it could be opened by performing another move. So make sure to completely close it before handling to someone else to try it. You don't want to spoil the puzzle at all I am sure.

Kamei is one of my favourite Karakuri craftmen and so, considering the design, solution, etc, I can only advise to buy it.

This puzzle is Available at Art of Play who offers a wide selection of Karakuri puzzle boxes. Time to start a Karakuri collection!



Wednesday, 22 January 2020

Eggplant 1

This puzzle was part of a former release by Pelikan company and still designed by the famous Osanori


As usual, the puzzle is composed of 3 pieces and a cage to put the pieces inside. The fit is perfect and you should not have difficulties to put/pull/slide the pieces.

The big novelty with that puzzle is a rotation required to solve the puzzle. Basically this is not really a spoiler as you will soon notice that you cannot put all the pieces inside if you don't perform a rotation. Don't worry the rotation is not tricky and is easy to achieve!

The biggest challenge for me was to make the shape outside the cage (what I always do) sticking to the constraints of the box. Indeed, I managed to make a shape but each time, and disregarding the orientation of it, it could not be the right one...


Solved :)

When I finally managed to make what I considered (yes, I doubt about it because I could not put the pieces inside the box...) to be the correct shape, then I tried to put the pieces. When you know which rotation to make, and proceed step by step, normally you should manage to solve the puzzle. Of course it requires a bit of perseverance :)


I really like this one. Challenging but not frustrating. Original because of the shape of the box and because of the required rotation.

Definitely a must-have if you like these kind of puzzles!!

And as I said previously, I do hope that Pelikan will craft some other Osanori's packing puzzles.

Thursday, 16 January 2020

Stable boy

Stable boy is an anti-slide packing puzzle recently made by Brian Menold and designed by George Sicherman.

First, what is an anti-slide packing puzzle? Well, the goal is to pack all the pieces in the tray so that no pieces at all move in any direction. So it is easy to see if you have solved or not the puzzle by simply moving the tray in the 4 directions.



So the 5 pieces need to be arranged in a special way, but not in a fetched way (so no pieces put diagonally!)
This is my first puzzle of that kind and I must admit I enjoyed it a lot. This is a challenging puzzle (it still did not take me days to solve though) and I am sure you will have fun with it. I tried several approaches: I tried to put the square piece on a specific spot in the tray and tried to see how the other pieces would be put to block one another. So it's also a puzzle where you have to analyse the several possibilities and if they can work or not.

The seemingly basic shapes of the pieces and the "normal" shape of the tray will deceive you and the solution is very nice. This is a puzzle that can be enjoyed by anyone.

By the way no force allowed nor necessary. If the space is almost but not enough big to put a piece, it just means you're allowed to put it. Precision is key for these kind of puzzles!

It work more or less, but this is not the solution!!


I highly advise you to buy this puzzle while there are copies left and I wish there will be more puzzles of this type in future Brian Menold's releases :)

You can buy the puzzle HERE


Saturday, 11 January 2020

Where is my hammer???

Where is my hammer?? (WIMH in the post) is not a real question. Who cares where it it actually....
It's the name of a wooden puzzle box made by an American guy, Dee (I will provide more info at the end of this post) who sells his nice puzzles through the well known etsy.

How many different wood species can you see?

The name of the puzzle has a funny story. It's pretty strange for a puzzle name indeed :)
Basically Dee asked his son to try the puzzle, he could not manage to solve it and asked for a hammer to solve it faster....solve? well it would be a pitty to destroy such beauty! Don't worry, you don't need a hammer to solve the puzzle!

Starting with the appearance of the puzzle, it looks a puzzle box (it is!) with a lid not completely closed, not completely opened....weird. And many wooden tiles on the lid and on 2 pannels of the box.
I need to point out that this is very very rare that a puzzle has so many wood species and if you love, like I do, wood species then you won't be disappointed. I don't know all the names but I can clearly recognize leopardwood which is one of my favourite wood. So if you cannot solve the puzzle, it's still a nice item to show :)
It's a puzzle box but also a sequencial discovery puzzle as you will find tools to use along your journey.


So the goal is to open the puzzle, I won't show a picture of the solved puzzle as it spoils many things. So I will stick to describing my difficulties to open it lol.
I did not have too many difficulties to find the first steps and got soon some tools.Think about this sentence when you're at these steps: "appear/disappear" lol
Then was the difficult part (for me. I know people who had difficulties for the first steps!). I could not figure out how to progress on the next step at all.
Amazing!
I tried something which did not get me further (but that was a good idea!!), I just could not do it....hard to say without spoiling.
After some pain I could manage to accomplish the hard step and then I immediately knew what I needed to do and then it opens!!! well I opened it...


In my opinion, this is a challenging puzzle and some (or maybe all?) steps will puzzle you for some time! In addition, as I said earlier, it's a very nice puzzle. I can only recommend to grab one while Dee still makes them. He also crafts other puzzles and I am sure he will be pleased to make you something that suits your puzzle tastes.

You can find Dee on etsy HERE
You can also search for the keyword on etsy: DEDWoodCrafts




Wednesday, 1 January 2020

The smart eggs serie

So far I have not really seen blogs speaking about these nice puzzles called the smart eggs. There all in plastic consisting of an egg with an internal maze and a stick. The goal is to put the stick in the hole on the top of the egg and free it from the bottom hole of the egg...no pun or dirty meanings intended! :-)


There are several eggs in the series with an increasing difficulty. I advise to start with the easiest so that you can see how you have to play with it and how the moves are done. Basically you put the stick on one hole and usually you have to slide the stick to reach another hole and so on until you solve completely the puzzle.

Of course for the easiest eggs the internal maze is easy but when you reach a certain level of difficulty you will realize that the internal maze is more complicated and there are more holes as well. For some eggs there are not a lot of hole but it is because you will have to move the stick several time inside the egg to finally reach a hole.

Process of solving below




I don't have the specific material to make a video so I will just put some youtube links I found. It shows the solving process for some easiest eggs, so spoilers included! It allows you to better understand (if my explanation was not clear lol) how to play with them.

HERE and HERE



To be honest I did not have difficulties to solve these eggs. It just took me a bit more time for the most advanced eggs and also for one egg that the internal maze was not cut super super "clean". I mean I needed to use a sligh amount of force. Still all the maze are very nicely made. I did not have any issues when playing with them and I did not break any sticks nor any eggs!!

So far I have spoken about the "static" eggs. But there are also 3 bigger eggs, which are also the most difficult in the whole series, that involve a movable core. This makes the eggs even more difficult to solve because you have to take into consideration more parameters to solve them.
The thing that I like is that for these 3 eggs, the stick is in metal, it's clever because maybe with plastic stick they could break if you move the core a bit too hard....


I still need to solve these 3 beast!


In my mind, the series of smarteggs are in the same spirit of the hanayama puzzles: they are collectible and fun.
I like them a lof and I let friends play with them and they had great time. So very suitable for puzzlers and non-puzzlers! I like the way they look and I keep them in their original packing to display them. I don't really see the goal of the base provided with each puzzle because you're not going to play with the base (they are not magnetic) and I am not sure you will display the eggs on their base and you would prefer displaying them in their packaging.



You can find these eggs HERE