Monday, 27 June 2016

L-I-Vator 2

I did not have time to write a review last week, so I will publish my Thursday review a bit in advance.

I have already reviewed the puzzle L-I-Vator designed by Laszlo Molnar and crafted by Brian Menold. And this time I will review another puzzle in the series of the L-I-Vator puzzles (maybe there will be some more?....)

So what's the differences between L-I-Vator 1 & 2 ?

The size of the new puzzle is a bit bigger and you can also notice that the bottom of the box aligns perfectly to the box for the first version and not for the second version, but it's normal!
The woods are truly wonderful for both but I still prefer more the colors of the second version.

The pieces are not the same (but this is pretty obvious) and for the second version they are pretty weird, I like them!

Maybe you've guessed that you will need some rotations? No? Now you know :-)
All Lazslo's puzzles so far need rotations to be solved and that's what make them so special.
There are fewer possibilities than the first version to make a cube with the given pieces, but that does not make the puzzle easier, and Laszlo considers it as being more difficult. But it's still less difficult than the triagonal agony (his most difficult puzzle so far!).

With packing puzzles you try to put one piece and try to fit the remaining pieces, but with these puzzles you also need to consider rotations. So you can try to see which pieces can rotate, which cannot, that reduces some possibilities. Also if you manage to make a cube outside of the box (which is advised to have a better view), you can check if you could have taken one piece of the cube out of the cage (if the cube was in the cage). If you cannot take out any, then rotate the cube and do the same process again. That will allow you to eliminate the wrong possibilities but leave enough to puzzle you for some time! :-)

This is definitely a challenging puzzle but with nice sequences of steps and a satisfaying solution. Give it a try if you can!

To better appreciate this puzzle I would advise to begin with the first version, and to get used to these puzzles by starting with the easiest: No holes barred > L-I-Vator 1 > L-I-Vator 2 > Triagonal agony.

You can find Brian's puzzle HERE, but be quick because they are usually sold out fast!
And these puzzles are only made by Brian, another reason to throw some cash to Brian :-)

Thursday, 16 June 2016

Stars that make your puzzle collection even nicer!

It's good to have a nice collection of puzzles, it's even better not to store them in big boxes and never play with them (the goal a puzzle is not to look at it, but to play with it!), and it's even better if you put your puzzles in a nice way so that it's not like a big mess in a cabinet :-)

But what makes your puzzle collection really nice is to add some thingy things: it can be spinning tops, it can be some posters about impossible things (for example Escher paintings, so wonderful!!!). And let me introduce you something that will make your puzzle collection shine a lot: folding stars made out of bronze by John Kostick.

Yes, you saw it right: they can be folded!!!! And thus, be stored really easily, look below how they will arrive at your place:

You just need to push and pull and the stars will be born :-)

I feel these stars are very aesthetic and can only highlight your collection. The ones I have put in pictures can be folded, but there are many more other stars that are bigger and with more work put on them that cannot be fold. All look very nice.

Jane and John make also wooden puzzles, just check out their beautiful website. And do not hesitate to ask them questions, they are very customer-friendly, that can only be appreciated.

HERE you can buy the stars, and why not beginning a star collection!


Thursday, 9 June 2016

Alles Roger

The name means "all Roger", so we can think it includes all the trick seen in his puzzles...but well just having a look at the puzzle seem obvious that it will not be (and is not possible) the case. In fact, the puzzle looks like R2D2: metal and plexi for the materials and the same goal which is to make the small marble go through the bigger marbles.

There are 2 obstacles to go through: the first one should not be a problem because it's a little bit of (easy) dexterity. The real challenge is the second obstacles (the 2 big marbles), because dexterity will be useless....!!

The solution is not the same as for R2D2, but I would say that they have some common points: solving one can help to have ideas on solving the other. Whereas R2D2 has 2 different solutions, this one has only one, but a nice one, of course! I would say that it's moderately difficult and you will have to think outside the box to solve it :-)

Like the other puzzles from Roger D, the trick is hard to find and when found it's not so difficult to repeat it again and again. It makes it a very nice (and collectible) puzzle to own!!

A puzzle for you: why has Roger D chosen this name for the puzzle?...


If you wonder where to buy it, you should look at: ..... here !

Thursday, 2 June 2016

Popplock T5

A massive lock (almost 1kg) made out of brass and stainless steel, this puzzle is a homage to the old bullring locks regarding the shape of the shackle. This is the only popplock that has a round shackle which rotates, making this puzzle one of a kind in the history of the popplocks!

Impressive, isn't it? :-)

Like many popplocks, this T5 has a key, and like all popplocks, the key is always useful!

As you can notice, there are 4 screws on the front cover of the puzzle, unscrewing them is absolutely safe and allows you to see the mechanism and how it really works.
Few popplocks can be opened (T2 can be, not sure about T4), so when you have in your hand a popplock that can be, well you cannot say no!

Regarding the quality, well like usually there is no debate: the quality is perfect! Fit is precise, finish is nice, solution is beautiful, puzzle is wonderful!!

Regarding the difficulty, this puzzle does not have a lot of steps and in my opinion this is the second easiest popplocks (the easiest being T7) in the series. It did not take me long time before figuring out how to solve it. Like all popplocks, you have to try many things and tricks are so well thought/hidden that you also have the famous "aha" moments. You just need the right ideas at the right time, at the righ place.

It was puzzling how to take this pictures!

So even if this is not a difficult puzzle, this is one of my favourite ones because of the shape of the puzzle and the nice steps to solve it. I am sure that the harcore puzzlers will be a bit disappointed because this is far from the diffiuclty of a T9 or a T10, but I know that everybody will appreciate it anyway.

One feature that no popplocks have is a "pop-up" shackle. I reall hope that it can be implemented for a future puzzle. It makes the puzzle looks like a more real lock and is definitely less boring than having to check all the time if you have a solved puzzle or not by pulling many times the shackle :-)

Which is your favourite popplock so far?