Thursday, 10 March 2016

Some wooden wonders from Brian Menold

I recently received a nice package with one packing puzzle and one co-motion puzzle, packaged and crafted carefully by Brian Menold who is running a puzzle company in the USA.

I could say the same things about Brian Menold than for Pelikan puzzle: that was my first order to Brian because he is used to making burr puzzles, and most of the time when I can be interested by a puzzle, between the time he puts some puzzles on his website and when I can place an order they are all sold out....!!

So this time I was lucky enough to order on time a packing puzzle designed by Laszlo Molnar and one co-motion puzzle designed by Gregory Benedetti :-)

Front: co-motion puzzle / Back: packing puzzle

The first puzzle is a co-motion puzzle called "Little Slide Plank" and is composed of 3 (pretty weird) pieces. It is not difficult to solve. Actually you just need 2 fingers (from the same hand) and if you hold the puzzle with your 2 fingers correctly placed then the pieces disassemble by themselves. So in case you're lucky I would advise you to hold it on a soft surface....

The craftmanship is very good: not too tight, not too loose. Just the right fit that allows you to solve the puzzle in a "peaceful way" ;-)
With co-motion puzzles it's usually (well, that's my feeling) more difficult to reassemble them than solving. If you try to reassemble it just after disassemble this puzzle that should be easy. But just wait one or more hour(s) and "scramble" the pieces, then it's more challenging.

But normally you should not be stuck because there is a features that is very useful: the color of the wood, especially the color of the small bands on each side, which form a cross. Just looking at the colors then with a bit of trial and errors your life will be made easier :-)

The second puzzle, "No Holes Barred", I ordered is a packing puzzle designed by Laszlo Molnar and which goal is, of course, to pack all the pieces inside the box.

The pieces are almost the same and then you think that it will be easy....Sorry, but no it's not...It's challenging! So it's definitely good!!

The thing you notice is the small cube already attached to the box. So well, it's not a surprise that you will have to take it into account when putting the pieces inside the box (because it blocks pieces in some orientations).

In my opinion, there are 2 challenges with this puzzle: try to make a cube with the pieces and then try to find the way to make these pieces fit inside the box. The 1st challenge is the most difficult one.
Indeed it's pretty difficult to make a cube because it will not be a "regular cube" but will have some holes. I managed to make a cube but could not put the pieces inside the box: one was just not possible to fit inside...So I needed to give up with this idea and as I could not figure out any other configurations I asked some help from Laszlo who was kind enough to help. Thanks!

It seems that this puzzle is not the most difficult from Laszlo, I whish I could have tried some of the other, which were also crafted by Brian.

To conclude: nice and original puzzles crafted with great woods by the seasoned Brian Menold. Next update for Brian's puzzles will be at the end of the month. So check out often his website and be quick!
HERE you can find some of the other puzzles Brian crafted. Some puzzles are still available but only burr puzzles.

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