Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Free the marble

At this year (2017) IPP design competition, there was a puzzle awarded by a new (or let's say someone who is not used to crafting puzzles and does not belong to the puzzle community) puzzle designer: Laurence Grenier.
She designed and crafted a wooden puzzle "free the marble" which, as the name indicates, goal is to free the marble from the interlocking wooden pieces.

The craftmanship is very nice and precise, congrats for this nicely made puzzle!

Several steps are needed to solve the puzzle. First you need to disassemble the pieces, which is not that obvious because you cannot see how the marble intereacts with the wooden pieces. Sometimes it blocks any moves, sometimes a wooden piece can move it the marble is in the correct place.
Then when you have all he 3 pieces that move freely, you can think that the solving process is over. NOOOO!!! You still have a nice challenge which is not that easy. What is funny is that now you see the inside of the wooden pieces and you see the marble. Still, it took me pretty long time before solving completely the puzzle.

Guess what? The wooden pieces cannot be disassembled and that surprised me a lot. Maybe some more puzzling could have been even added with this challenge which would have consisted in separating the 3 pieces. And I am sure it's more difficult to craft 3 connected pieces than 3 separated pieces!

Not many of this puzzle were crafted and I am proud to own a puzzle made by a French person! It changes :)

I think this puzzle is a very nice idea for Hanayama cast series, and I am sure it will be successful. Let's see if Laurence asked them...

Friday, 10 November 2017

Egyptian gloves

This time an unusual puzzle, I'm calling it a "covering puzzle". Why? Because the goal is to cover a geometrical structure with fabric.
Let me introduce you the Egyptian gloves designed and made by Jon Leaman. It was his entrant for 2017 IPP competition contest.

You're provided with 3 different challenges. For the 1st one you need to cover the pyramid with a squared bag. Normally you should not have a lot of difficulties to do so, especially if you've ever played with Iwahiro's puzzles. I managed to solved it. The dimensions are very precise, so no need to use any force at all.
For the 2nd challenge (see picture above), you're provided with a band of fabric and I managed to solve this challenge as well. However, my solution was different than the official solution :-)
For the last challenge, you're provided with 4 triangle pieces, I'm still strugling with this challenge.

I am very pleased to see new kind of puzzles. In my opinion, this is a real novelty and it changes from the "usual" puzzles. Plus, here you have not only one, but three puzzles!

I really like this puzzle: it's original and fun and also challenging. I do hope that Jon will come up with new challenges with the same pyramid or with other shapes.

If you're interested, Jon has an etsy page where he sells his creations and the price is very reasonable.