Friday, 29 March 2019

Pin block case

Designed by Katsumoto, this apparently easy puzzle is a very clever packing puzzle.

So only 4 pieces with some pins to pack inside a box. Remember the best packing puzzles almost always look easy and almost always have very few pieces :)

Soon you will realize that putting the 3rd piece is impossible or difficult if you try to pack in a "standard" way the pieces. Sliding pieces will be needed!

For such puzzles when it's not easy to put your fingers inside the box to move the pieces, I always try to make the shape with the pieces outside of the box. Think out of the box makes sense here.
Then I see if moving pieces can be done inside the box, and if not then I try to find another shape with the pieces.
Many more moves than expected will be needed to solve the puzzle, with big "hah-ha"

For me this puzzle really embodies the perfect packing puzzle: challenging but not frustrating with an unconventional way of solving it.

I am sure you will like it as much as I did. It appears in my top best packing puzzle.


  1. Absolutely agree. Very amenable to thoughtful analysis, but without detracting from that a-ha went it all becomes clear. It's still a thrill to make the idea actually work. Eric's quality is, as always, top-notch and so worth the price. The finish on every surface of every piece makes the whole puzzle a pleasure just to hold, let alone take it through its paces.

    Medium replay value, more for the pure pleasure of seeing a concept so fundamentally realized.

    Top ten for sure.

  2. agree with you. But how often do you reply with your puzzles? What is, according you, the puzzles with the best "reply value"?

    In my mind, if you leave a puzzle and play it again some months later, that it has a replay value because you may have forgotten the steps ;)

  3. Simple question, but multi-part answer. Your case is the simplest, and yes, that would definitely make a puzzle replayable at a basic level. But some puzzles are just such a "chore" that I've squeezed all the enjoyment out of them when I finally have them solved. So those I pass on to others, usually. A good example is the Gyrotwisty. The concept is great, and yes, that moment when it just works is a pleasure, but getting there, and putting it back together, is a pain more than a pleasure. Others would be several Hanayamas, like Equa or Duet. And don't even get me started on Hourglass. Ugh. Ironically, that perfect alignment solution used for the Hanayama Marble is the same idea as Gyrotwisty, but it's a totally different feel.

    Puzzles that *were* a pleasure and are complex enough to be a challenge again are one of my primary examples of "replayable". Janus comes to mind. The Half Hour Cube. Next are puzzles that I know how to solve, but are complex and exacting and you know, maybe I *don't* always remember everything. Those are always fun to stumble back to a solution again. Strijbos first Aluminum Cross.

    Next would be puzzles that I can just walk through every time, even if they truly are easy. It's the pleasure of holding them, of moving their parts together, of appreciating the clever creativity and artistic realization of them. Hanayama Baroq, Trinity, H&H, Padlock, and the aforementioned Marble. Even Dots, and Square are just "fun" by some measure, for me, even though they're certainly not difficult beyond that first a-ha. The Cast Loop is one of my favorites (and his, too, according to Vesa!).

    Actually, that's probably my biggest replay category :-). I could continue with Jon Keegan's treasures, almost anything by Eric Fuller, Strijbos' more challenging efforts (although Lotus leaves me kinda cold for some indiscernible reason), Hanayama Dolce, Free Me 6.

    I guess my number one replayable puzzle so far is one of Strijbos' Aluminum Burrs. SO smooth, a good initial challenge - I keep coming back to it again and again.

    So I guess in response to your starting statement, "replayable" for me means it gives me pleasure the next time, for whatever of a list of possible reasons.

  4. Totally agree with you :)