Extremely Puzzling - Goetz Schwandtner's Puzzles

On this page some extremely puzzling objects are displayed: My private puzzle collection consisting of a wide range of three-dimensional puzzles, from industrial produced Rubik's Cube like puzzles to my custom builds, from production range Pihilos wood puzzles to rare and special puzzles from various excellent craftsmen, and not to forget the Japanese Himitsu Bakos, including some equisite works of the Karakuri Creation Group. Please note that you won't find any jigsaw puzzles on these pages, may they be two or three dimensional.


Added on 2018-02-24
Bernhard offered a new interesting puzzle from Lucie Pauwels and with it some more nice puzzles. Tumbler is a TIC (Turning Interlocking Cube) and beside a lot of rotations separating the last two pieces, there are some interesting moves before. The Tube Cube consists of only three pieces with interlock in an interesting sequence. The Rota Cube is the new puzzle from Lucie which is a TIC with some additional features. The main frame consists of two spiral pieces that have to be rotated with a sequence of several rotations to come apart, there are some half notches, so that it is only a 4x4x4 cube from the outside view.
Added on 2018-02-07
Bautifully built by Maurice Vigouroux, the Love Cube is a new variation on an older puzzle and it is a cubic version of the Love's Dozen six piece burr. Both have six pieces and level 12, and follow the same solution sequence. The original six piece burr pieces can easily be seen in this design, as they are made from Difou wood, embedded into extensions made from Utile. Stephane Chomine created this design based on an earlier one by Jean Carle: Love's Dozen as a Cube. That one has one piece more, adding up to 7 pieces. This piece is a filler piece coming out first in one move and then the sequence is nearly identical to the one of the new cube, just that an extra move is required at the end. There are some more copies of the nice Love Cube currently available on Puzzle Paradise.
Added on 2018-01-27
Has been some time since the last update, and then today 3 packages arrived during the day. The first one are some brand new puzzles from Aaron Wang, from his chinese 99-ring series. They will go to n-ary puzzle group and compendium after I have solved them and confirmed their properties. I am still trying to solve some of the previous ones, so it may take some time. They all look nicely complex and very well made. The Mountain Trail II is the second with that name, and a variation on of my favourites in the series. There was a series of 3 I have not completely solved yet, and which are getting more complicated as numbers in the names rise. The next three continue this series: Corn on the Cob IV, Corn on the Cob V, and Corn on the Cob VI. In the Double Image, every second of the rings in the chain has two rings attached below, going forwards and backwards to adjacent connectors. For the next four, the idea is immediate from the name: Reverse Chinese Rings has everything reversed, which reminds me of the Astry puzzle by the same desigber. In Second-order Chinese Rings, every ring goes over two connectors instead just the neighbor, and in Third-order Chinese Rings over three neighbors. The Disordered Chinese Rings are a combination of these two in a regular pattern, and looks a bit chaotic at first. The Boxing Glove is obviously not from this series, but has the sturdy look and feel of the Tavern Puzzles. A beauty and definitely not easy!
The second package is from a recent auction win ("win" as in are "you are allowed/obliged to buy the items", not getting them for free): Patchwork Box and Pink Ivory Ring are two beautiful interlocking puzzles in exotic woods by a renowed craftsman and two well known designers. The Flange 99A is a nice little puzzle in a 3D cross shape and non-trivial to assemble. The third package was a win at another auction and is a classic by a well known puzzle designer Sonneveld 9 Piece Board Burr who does not like to give his designs names, and so it has a more technical designation. A beautiful piece coming with its own stand for display.
Added on 2018-01-06
Today a puzzle friend was visiting me and brought a nice present for my interlocking category: Rail Box #1. It is a nice little puzzle and fun to solve. Thank you!
Added on 2018-01-05
Today a second package from Hong Kong with some of the latest twisties: Multi-Cube. This design started its life as "Multi-Skewb" which refers to the primary mechanism visible from the outside, that of a Holey (Master) Skewb. The inside seems to be a Compy Cube, which is a tip turning cube related to the Dino/Rainbow Cubes. This puzzle is actually two in one. The TriCube looks like three intersecting cubes, and with each move, pieces from two of the three cubes will be moved (initially, until they are scrambled and each such cube contains more than one colour of pieces. There are also other colour variants available, another three coloured one and then one with six different colours, where each cube consists of two colours.
Added on 2018-01-03
The first puzzle package to arrive was from Hong Kong, containing some of the latest twisty puzzles: Crazy Comet Is a rhombic dodecahedron with strange moves, some of them shapechanging. The 2x2x2 Transform pyraminx BaMianTi is based on a 2x2x2 and has small circles in the corners. It is the lastest addition to the group of twisty octahedra. The Seven Star UFO is a collection of 7 little 2x2x2 balls, and an additional rotational axis to mix these seven puzzles by rotating the UFO halves. The Infinity Cube is a folding cube making different shapes.
Update on 2018-01-01
The first update of this year is around some puzzle solving. During the holidays, was working on the puzzle solving backlock a bit, and today I have solved the "Casino 2" and have put my solution review on the Burr Zoo group page. A nice burr puzzle of medium difficulty. Happy new year to all readers following this web site!
Added on 2017-12-27
From a private deal with a puzzle friend I received a puzzle which has been missing in my collection for some time: Juha 10. This is one of the nice Juha cubes series, but one that was not mass produced by Philos. As usual, it has some small pieces to fill holes, and this one resembles some similarity with the Juha 12 puzzle, with a stair shaped piece in the middle. The alternative name of "Zig-Zag Burr" is a well matching name for this aspect.
Added on 2017-12-26
A good friend visiting brought me a Sudoku-Cube as a christmas present: 3x3x3 Sudoku V-CUBE. Of course it was immediately scrambled, and it is a really tough challenge to solve. Needs some recognition of the patterns to be arranged on the sides, and then some planning ahead and some concentration. Thank you for this nice challenge!
Added on 2017-12-25
Beside the recent x-mas activities in the last days, I also had some time to assemble some new plywood kits, which are very well prepared and easy to assemble. One of them is a safe with a functional three digit combination lock (no puzzle), another is a puzzle box: Treasure Box. After having fun assembling this box without any glue required, I can now enjoy the puzzle box aspect. It is a sequential discovery box and some of the mechanism can be seen from the outside with the wooden gears turning. Those gears are related to the name of the company producing these kits: UGears, from Ukraine. While most of the kits are no puzzles and the instructions make it easy to assemble them (and not a puzzle how things might fit together), they already start showing up in various bigger and smaller puzzle shops. If you would like to see how this box works, there are also some videos online.
Update on 2017-12-22
As a christmas present to all readers of this website, today an update is launched, with a new feature: Interlocking Explorer. You see the yellow box that appeared in the changed menu above? You can always start this view via that button. At first, it will only show you all pictures of the interlocking category on one page, and this is nothing new. What is new is that you can click on links to sort by number of pieces or by level (in descending order). Additionally, you can filter for solutions with rotational moves (or without), and same for coordinate motion moves. This can all be combined, and for example if you are interested in all interlocking puzzles on this page with a level 6 solution with rotations involved, click on this link here.
You will also notice new fields in the puzzle detail pages for the interlocking puzzle class, providing information about the number of pieces, the solution level, and also rotations / coordinate motion moves. Fell free to click on those links, they will take you to the corresponding view of the Interlocking Explorer. Please note: everything works only for the interlocking puzzle class, no others.
The implementation of these new features was not the only task, collecting the data for the entries was also a big task, and is still ongoing. Of course, this only works for puzzle entries with the corresponding data amended, and so far, I have managed to collect this data for a good deal of the around 1000 entries in the interlocking category. Hopefully, the interlocking class of puzzles on this site will now be easier to navigate and it will be easier to find a certain puzzle. This was also my main motivation, after I spend some time flicking through all the pictures of the whole class when searching for the name and other details of a particular puzzle. I wish you happy holidays and all the best for the new year!
Added on 2017-12-19
Today a package from Czech Republic arrived, with some of the latest works from Pelikanpuzzles. Recently, the nice looking "Knot on my watch" was released, a beautiful puzzle, and from the same designer now another beautiful shape: Recede. It looks like a cube with one corner (and a bit more) removed, leaving a wide opening. The core consists of three burr sticks, and then there is a frame to trap them, augmented by some additional pieces filling up the puzzle and restricting possible moves considerably. The other two are difficult designs by Osanori Yamamoto, and of course have some rotations involved: Top and Lucida. From both, there exist versions from other craftsmen, which were offered at IPP, and which allowed me to play with them on a puzzle meeting around DCD. Unlike the current ones, those came disassembled and many puzzlers tried to assemble them without success, only very few succeeded. Especially the Lucida is a mean one: After solving, a typical comment was that the solver did not know exactly how he did it, and even worse would not get the puzzle apart again quickly. After not solving those two earlier on, I hope I will be more successful now. Two pieces in a cage, how hard can it be? Famous last words!
Added on 2017-12-18
Two new beautiful and clever puzzles form Australia today: Being the inventor of the original framed burr with 6 pieces, Juno has now created a tough level 24 one with 4 pieces only, which is more open and allows you to look inside a bit: Visible Framed Burr. This reminds me of the Framed Burr Box I picked up at IPP this year, containing a framed burr that would allow you some looks inside, once you started solving. The open frame is not the only trick involved in the Visible Framed Burr, there is more to it, increasing the level. After the Diamond Case was the first cute box with a card suite theme, the Club Case is the second one, and the design is as unusual as for the first one. When looking through the club shaped window, you will see some mazes, obviously a result of Juno's recent experiments with the CNC router. You will also see a design feature I have never seen in a box before, and which has to do with the sliders in the lower layer, right below the lid. A quick inspection shows that there are two independent sliders directly below the lid, which means they should be crossing each other and therefore blocking. This design gives a clever idea to this mystery, and makes it a puzzle box, which is not only nice looking, but also an interesting challenge to solve. Luckily it is not one of those requiring blind navigation in a maze, but to some extent you can see what is happening.
Added on 2017-12-15
Today two packages arrived with one puzzle inside each, both puzzles quite different in comparison. From Yavuz a wooden interlocking puzzle, based on boards: Transenna. It is actually two puzzles: One is with all pieces as shown in the picture, the other assembly is leaving away three of the bigger, darker boards to build a shape more like a three dimensional cross. From Diniar I received a 3D printed puzzle in colourful plastics, and he seems to explore the possibilities for 3D printed puzzles, and which types can be created. The Sewing Box looks like one of those storage containers in which various colours of thread are stored on spools, for sewing, hence the name. Of course the actual puzzle has nothing to do with sewing, but it is a take apart puzzle. It is well made with very good tolerances and right now, it does not seem obvious how to take it apart. The coloured columns have each a different stair-shaped cut, dividing each into two pieces each, but they are locked by the upper and lower rim of the container. I already have some idea how to progress, but have no idea if that will work and if it will lead to the solution of the puzzle, will have to carry on playing. The size is about the same like some of such sewing boxes and is nice to play with. An interesting new puzzle idea!
Added on 2017-12-13
Recently, on the Twistypuzzles.com forum, there was a new non-twisty puzzle released. This puzzle reminds me of the Daedalus puzzle and has some pegs and internal mazes on the pieces, mazes that are reconfigured by shifting the pieces. The puzzle is: Titan and is 3D printed. The puzzle is a 4x4x4 cube with no holes in it (if you don't count the grooves for the mazes), and quite high level of more than 14, which is all I know. It came from the 3D printer disassembled with the pieces enclosed in some wire like structure I had to open to separate the pieces. This seems to be a way to limit the number of separate pieces in the 3D print to reduce the costs. The pieces fit into each other nicely and I have already found several configurations with all but one piece assembled into a cube. The puzzle might seem a bit small, but it has a nice size and weight for playing and excellent tolerances. One nice aspect is that you can see what interactions there may be between grooves and pegs, will still be a good challenge to assemble!
Added on 2017-12-12
It is that time of the year again. Quite early this year, and much earlier than expected, I received a package from Japan with the latest Karakuri X-mas presents in it. Four cute puzzle boxes in different shapes, and not too easy of course: X-mas present 1, X-mas present 2, Aquarius Drawer 2, and The Pig. For the first two, I don't know the name yet and will add it a few weeks. The Aquarius Drawer 2 looks certainly different than the existing puzzle without the "2", but it says in the description that this is intended. This one has the usual scheme of the bean bag drawers by the same craftsman: a drawer with two compartments and you have to open them both. Kamei's new box was a bit of a surprise to me, as it does not look like a puzzle box at first. Kawashima's box seems to be cutting edge puzzle box design, it contains a warning that it has sharp edges. The last one with the same warning was the Popplock T11, but that one did not hurt me during solving, so I will be careful here. The Pig is a nice addition to the series of animal boxes in Yoh's typical style.
Added on 2017-12-06
Today is Saint Nicolas Day here in Germany and kids are surprised with people dressed up as santa clause and bringing small presents, like chocolate santa claus, gingerbread, and nuts. Instead of that, I received two packages from abroad today which arrived in Germany quickly. They contained beautiful new wooden puzzles and incidentially, each also one puzzle by the same Dutch designer. The first one from South Africa, from Johan's Intellectualcraft workshop contained the first four. Three of them are monster burr puzzles, when it comes to the number of pieces. Instead of the usual 6, 12, or 18, they have 24 to 30 pieces: Colossus, Barriere, and Grand Barriere. All designed by Alfons Eyckmans and nicely crafted by Johan. You would expect that those are also monstrous in size, but Johan has devised a new technique here, which allowed him to build these puzzles in an excellent size. Big enough to play with them and still enough room in the cabinet. According to Johan, they are all a challenge to assemble, with the high number of pieces and require some dexterity. Well, before thinking of that experience, I will have to disassemble them first, and that is a challenge on its own. Johan also included a surprise puzzle, the Archives by Klaas Jan Damstra, which I had noticed on his web page earlier. Looks like the "ring" inside has in reality some extra pieces and cubies glued in making it more challenging to move most of the pieces. A nice little puzzle, and of course this one comes with a stand. Thank you, Johan!
The second package arrived from the US, where recently Brian Menold was working on some fascinating new puzzles, all in beautiful woods, too. I knew that the Liliput would soon be available, as Chris told me at Dutch Cube Day. A small puzzle, with two pieces in a frame, but a high level. I wonder what the maximum may be for two pieces in a 4x4x5 frame. The Castle has an unusal look with a central frame and is from Klaas Jan, too. It seems that he is currently experimenting with strange frames, like the one that was published on Puzzlewillbeplayed today. The last two don't need a frame. They are 6BB, meaning 6 Board Burr, consisting of boards. To make it more interesting, they are from the subgroup of Bent Board Burrs, where each piece has a solid block at the end, spanning over two pieces in the assembled state. There have been others before, and I already have some from Frans, who is the expert for this kind of puzzles, but those are new in my collection: Bent Board Burr #4 is a non-trivial example in this group and has a quite high number of moves for the first two pieces. The other one is a variation, the Bent Board Burr #4 Too. It has two assemblies, and the first one has even more moves for both first pieces than the original one. With the uniform choice of woods, it can also be assembled in a lower level assembly.
With those puzzles to solve, there is no need to worry that I might be bored in the near future, in particular as there are other puzzles to solve, like that massive new lock which arrived last week.
Added on 2017-12-05
Christmas is approaching, and so are the first themed puzzles: Tea Box - Santa's Workshop arrived from Canada and is the latest of the Granny's Tea Box series. It is a cute little box and requires 5 moves to open. It has three knobs allowing to manipulate the lock, and it seems this is in line with Kelly's recent designs. I think for solving, it best goes along with a good cup of tea, just that the tea will probably be empty before the box is open!
Added on 2017-12-02
Today I went to a very nice local puzzle meeting Bernhard held at his place, where I met some puzzle friends for a lot of puzzle related chat, and also playing with some new puzzles, and I got to play with some fascinating possible future IPP Design Competition entries, too. There was also an offer of Bernhard's latest works, which are mainly coming from two creative and active designers, and are mainly cubic interlocking puzzles, some of them "TICs", the Turning Interlocking Cubes. The first designer is Andrey, with some interesting designs with and without rotations, some of them just published on Puzzlewillbeplayed.com: 16 Bar Cube 1, Toughie I, Toughie II, Tube Cube, Identity 4a, and Identity 4b. For these puzzles, the names give you a very good basic idea. If couse I could not resist another of Tom's designs: Loopy Cube. In the last couple of years, Lucie Pauwels has appeared as a new puzzle designer, with a variety of different designs. Her Open Cube is a typical TIC, and it is just the right difficulty level to assemble from the pieces in a reasonable amount of time (confirmed by myself during the puzzle meeting). Like the one before, most of her interlocking puzzles seem to have a name with "Knobbel" and then the number of the design, like the following three nice TICs: Knobbel 24, Knobbel 26, and Knobbel 28, which date back to 2015, but have been built for offer for this year's IPP for the first time. I have not heard from Franklin Gonsalves for a long time, and was surprised to see one of his older designs: Loopy Loops Junior, which is a nice and not too difficult puzzle, and quite big, by the way! Thanks to Bernhard for the nice meeting and great puzzle offer!
Added on 2017-11-26
This weekend, a package arrived from a recent auction. The two puzzles from this auction are nice little Japanese puzzle boxes: Packing Box (mini) II from a well known Karakuri Craftsman, and then from unknown origin: Twist Bxo - Kiasa. Both boxes are unusual compared to the traditional Japanese trick boxes.
Added on 2017-11-22
Today, I expected one puzzle package to arrive, but then it became four! Thanks to training at events like DCD or IPP, I could cope with this puzzle overload, but it is not only the number of packages, but some of the puzzles are brand new and special. Just a few days ago, a puzzle was officially announced to the collectors, which I had once seen at IPP earlier this year, when I met Rainer Popp there. After his T10 had been the biggest lock in his series so far, he was very busy working on the next one and when I first saw it, it turned out to be an impressive, big, and heavy puzzle (at around 2.5kg). I was very lucky and today already one of those beauties arrived, a Popplock T11. It comes with a key, and the key looks like a piece of art by itself. Should I mention that there is no keyhole visible? This lock comes with some rules to protect the puzzle, and one of them is that you should first find a keyhole before using that key. Well, let's put that key away again and focus on the rest. I played with the lock a bit already, and noticed several interesting things, but could not really progess yet. That will definitely not be an easy challenge, and one to look forward to!
The next package was actually an envelope from Jerry Loo's newly opened web shop with some light puzzles inside: Planex and L(8)tice-2. For the lattice puzzle, the target shape is obvious (not shown in the picture), while the Planex has a name resembling the one of a well known puzzle. It is actually a small version of the big Panex puzzle and therefore goes directly to n-ary puzzle group and compendium. It may be much lighter than the Popplock, and may have considerably less parts, but the mathematics behind it is more complicated. This is a nice pocketable version of the Panex which can be solved in reasonable time, too, and has enough pieces to demonstrate the basic ideas and algorithms.
Also around the globe, from Hong Kong, Nowstore had sent a package with some of the latest Twisties: The Curvy Ccopter+3x3 says everything by its name. It is a hybrid of Curvy Copter and 3x3x3 Rubik's cube. It has the regular face turns of the one, and the half turns on the edges of the other, but then there are also the shape shifting moves, now combined with the 3x3x3 moves. The Pentacle Cube is also a modification of a 3x3x3 cube, this time with circles, but unlike a circle cube, they come in a pentagram shape, limiting the available moves considerably. The 4-Leaf-Clover Cube is edge turning, and similar to the Curvy Copter+3x3, those can be half turns, or shorter turns leading to shapeshifting and blocking more and more moves. The Grasse and the perfume was a side order in another package and is a nice easy interlocking puzzle.
Added on 2017-11-20
Dutch Cube Day was a month ago, but today I am presenting two puzzles I received as a gift by my friend Christoph on that occasion: Torus 3D 16 pieces, Torus 3D 24 pieces. Of course these nice mathematical objects came disassembled in a small package each and required careful assembly. The smaller one was quite easy and quickly assembled, but the bigger one cost a lot of concentration and dedication. It is very easy to get some of the cuts misaligned and hard to get all cuts of a piece aligned with the crossing pieces. Luckily, this one came with a small strip of transparent as a helper tool, which made this assembly task possible. Now those two are both assembled and they look just beautiful. Despite being created from thin cardboard, they are surprisingly stable in the assembled form. Thanks for the puzzzles, Christoph!
Added on 2017-11-17
Today two packages arrived with nice puzzles inside. One contained one of the latest works from Pelikanpuzzles: Knot on my Watch. It looks indeed like a wristwatch and as it is an interlocking puzzle, there is also a knot of some sort involved when disassembling. It cannot be worn as a watch and it will not show the correct time, but it is a beautiful puzzle and fun to disassemble and reassemble. I wonder if the other interpretation of the name has some meaning for the designer, maybe relating to the story mentioned, about the wristwatch he was not able to repair.
The second package had a longer way coming from Taiwan and contained brand new puzzles for n-ary puzzle group and compendium. These puzzles are all variations of the classic "The Brain" puzzle, just with 6 instead of 8 sliders. David took that design and modified it to be a ternary and quaternary version, too: xBrain binary, xBrain ternary, and xBrain quaternary. These three puzzles nicely demonstrate two asspects of n-ary puzzles: They can be transformed to other arities and different number of special pieces. They are 3D printed and high quality, and fun to play with, and the size is even better to handle than the old puzzle. Of course for the pictures (more in the compendium!), I had to solve them all, and they operate well. They have a shortcut, but that wasn't used here. David has improved the original concept in several ways and made some really nice new puzzles here. Thank you for building them for me!
Added on 2017-11-10
A puzzle lock does not need to be big, heavy, or made from metal, to be an interesting and complex trick lock. Louis has proven this with his excellent 2015 and 2016 designs (which are currently for offer at one of the big puzzle auctions), and now there is a brand new one: Trick Lock 2017. I have first played with some prototypes at DCD a couple weeks ago, and that convinced me that I wanted one for my collection. Not wanting to give away any spoilers, let me just remark that the solution is unusual in several ways. A really nice challenge in this little puzzle!
Added on 2017-11-05
From Australia, Stuart sent me a box full of nice little puzzles, all made by himself. Buggin is one for n-ary puzzle group and compendium. This is a variation of a binary disentanglement puzzle, by creating two copies of it, and joining them at the end. The first steps confused me a bit, but after having a closer look, I managed to run through the sequences and solve the puzzle. The two binary puzzles meet at the end, so for the second copy, you will have to traverse through the end of the first one many times, but luckily those two sequences are basically traversed one after the other. The next two are nice variations on classic disentangelment puzzles (names unknown), and the goal is to move both beads onto one side of the loop, and then onto separate loops again: Move the beads 1* and Move the beads 2*. The Broken Jewel looks like a nice jewel shape, until you try and disassemble it. After that you will end up with a ring of pieces to be entangled into the jewel shape again. A variation of this in cubic shape is the Checkered Steady Cube. The Butterfly Puzzle is sometheing completely different. The pieces consist of hex sticks of length one and two, and you should build a butterfly shape of height two from them — or some other shapes if you like. Four Square is like a "Sudoku" puzzle with colours. Use the L and I shaped pieces to form a square, so that each row and each column has no colour occuring twice. Shape Maker also consists of cubies on a string loop, and the challenge is to create some 8 shapes provided with the puzzle, and others if you like. Six Corners* consists of six identical pieces with two cubies and two boards each. After trying to disassemble this shape, the goal is to restore it, of course. Thank you for these nice puzzles, Stuart AKA "Puzzle Man Australia"!
Added on 2017-11-03
From Austria, from Stephan Baumegger, a package arrived today, and in it was a very interesting design made of beautiful woods: Pandora. It looks like a caged 6 piece burr at first, but there is much more to it: the cage consists of boards of three different woods, and everything comes apart — eventually. Before that, a solution has to be found for disassembly, and the level tells you it is not easy. For similar puzzles I have seen so far, like Alfons Eyckmans' "Al Capone" puzzle, first one or more sticks come out before the first board can be removed. In the Pandora puzzle, the boards have additional guides attached, making them harder to remove. Despite that, in this puzzle three of the boards come out before any stick can be removed. Luckily this is a very beautiful puzzle, so you can enjoy it as a piece of art before actually solving it.
Added on 2017-10-26
Today I went to the "Spiel" in Essen, the biggest games fair for board games and the like, and it is getting bigger every year. The main focus is on games and I acquired quite some new games there, and test played some more, but there are also well known puzzle shops/manufacturers there, and I met some puzzle friends also being on the hunt for puzzles and games. The first puzzle was Crown Shape Lock, a huge lock in traditional Indian style commissioned by Jean-Claude Constantin. From Hendrik's Puzzle-Shop, I got one of the last Redi Cubes I missed out so far. A well known puzzler got the last one after me. A nice and not too difficult twisty, as it seems. Famous last words? We'll see! Rombol had nice puzzes by various designers for offer, but this time I concentrated on designs by Volker Latussek, most of them being part of the latest two IPP Design Competitions: Curling Box, Bastille, and Black and White Antislide. The House of Tangram I have never seen before and it seems to be a classic Tangram, once you get the pieces out of the "house". Of course you will have to put them back in after playing. Or maybe this is still part of playing, actually! One of the winner puzzles of the IPP36 Design Competition is also offered: The "Marbles Cage". There is a wooden version available by the name "Tower of London" via their web site.
Added on 2017-10-23
Yesterday, the biggest European puzzle meeting saw another incarnation in The Netherlands, the Dutch Cube Day. Of course, I attended this event and several side-events to meet many puzzle friends, see new (and old) puzzles, discuss excellent prototypes with the designers, and also enjoy solving puzzles not usually available to me. One new puzzle is Sixfold, a set of six folding puzzles by Markus, and one has also a picture of the Crazy Elephant Dance on it! This was the present for all attendees. One intended side-effect of DCD is a haul for my collection, which has a clearly noticable bias: More beautiful but difficult wooden puzzles from Alfons. The following wooden puzzles extend some of the group pages I have on my web site. The Burr Zoo group page is extended by Casino 2, which does not really have animal pieces inside, just two dice, but is one of the designs that started this group of puzzles. Ignoring those two hidden extra pieces, it is also part of the 18 pieces burrs group, as are the following ones: Earrings, John's Goliath, and Hooks 2. That last one is an 18 piece burr mounted to a base plate via four hooks in the corner, which we have seen in the Dog Catcher puzzle before, which was a 12+3+1 piece puzzle. Similarly, the Hooks is a 12 pieces burr mounted to a base plate with four hooks. The puzzle Silene looks like it also has four supporting pillars in the four corners, but this time, those more look like an exoskeleton, and the four long sticks are firmly held in place by the crossed sticks in the middle. An interesting looking design and two very beautiful species of wood (the picture not doing them much justice). Plaza caught my attention because it looked like an easy puzzle with an unusual shape, which also allows you to see inside the puzzle while solving. This view is an advantage, especially when it comes to the unusual third move I have already found. The next two are very similar puzzles of two halves in contrasting woods: Oximoron and Siamese Twins. After this series of two, there is one of three, all very recently released: Tricolor, Tricolor 2, and Tricolor 3. They all have four central sticks and four L-shaped boards locked onto them. Two of the L-shaped boards are a bit bigger than the other two. While the first and third puzzles have a mirror symmetric look, the second one is point symmetric.
At DCD, I also met the host of this year's IPP and he had one of the missing exchange puzzles with him for me, after it had been caught in German customs earlier this year on the way to IPP. Now I also have Euro Star on my Edward Hordern Puzzle Exchange page.
There were several n-ary puzzles for offer, similar to existing ones in n-ary puzzle group and compendium. The one I chose to add is: The Bell, which is like a Panex puzzle with only 6 levels. There were also some IPP Exchange puzzles for offer, like the The Moose Ball. Leaving the DCD without a twisty puzzle feels strange, and those two are simple and basically a 2x2x2, but look very nice: Hex-X 2x2x2 and 2x2x2 Mini Fisher Cube. The Saturn is a vintage puzzle with not so obvious goal and solution. A novelty is also the Floppy Ghost Cube, which may have better been named "Floppy Ghost Megaminx" or "Ghost Floppy Pentagonal Prism" in a more technical fashion, considering that it is based on a pentagon, not a square.
After wood and plastic, there is also another material category, the heavy one: Cast Dot is the latest Cast puzzle, flat, but folding into interesting shapes before coming apart. Cast Beta Capsule is a remake of some hedgehog puzzle in a different setting. The 3 Circles and Cross the Ball come from one of Wil's business partner in China.
Finally, there is also one trick box in this update, an IPP 36 Exchange puzzle: Bolt. It is a box from Japan, and from this country are also the following not quite so standard sliding piece puzzles: Tricky?, neo SLIDE-9, Easy?, and SOLO are well known designs by one expert of such puzzles: Minoru Abe. The "Easy?" has also made it in several puzzle games I have seen on mobile platforms, where it was used as a mini game, but in an easier version without the red square piece. Making the "Easy?" puzzle easier? Probably that was a good idea for those games, where not everybody is a puzzle solving expert.
This DCD was a great event and I will have some fun working myself through all the new puzzles. No chance to get bored anytime soon!
Added on 2017-10-17
Today I picked up two packages at the customs office ordered on the same day, arriving on the same day, but one from far east and one from the west, an interesting coincidence! The first one contained what you would easily identify as the traditional not so cheap Japanese puzzle box, and it is therefore called The Traditional. So this must be from the east? Wrong! This is Robert Yarger's latest release of Stickmanboxes. After playing with it a bit, you will soon notice that it looks like a traditional Japanese box, and has some similar elements, but then also something typically not found in such a box. Will take some tricks to open the four compartments.
From the east, from Australia, a package arrived with Juno's latest works. The A Mazing Burr was offered as a prerelease in a charity auction and I was lucky to win one. It was labelled "second grade", but looks like a high quality puzzle and is certainly not a normal six piece burr. There are mazes inside which lead to coordinate motion moves appearing in sequences and regular moves, raising the level to 17 for the first piece. A well deserved name for this puzzle! The Diamond Case was thought to be a small box after the big Framed Burr Box (see below on this page), and not so difficult. That does not mean it is trivial, and it is definitely a cute little box. The Skewed Six Piece Burr* will support Juno's reputation for unusual six piece burrs. This one has a crazy look and hints that something has gone horribly wrong with the angles of Juno's saw and jigs. At a closer look, you will see the nice symmetry. It is only level 1, but the odd shapes make it difficult to re-assemble. Still being a prototype you might want to keep a look on the Pluredro shop for this one to be released in the future. Thanks for the nice puzzle!
Added on 2017-10-10
Today some beautiful wooden puzzles arrived. The first one gave me a slight headache because it came disassembled, and it has a fitting name: Migraine It did not take me too long to work out the positions of the pieces in the solution, and to start assembling it. With a nice click the first 4 pieces slid together forming a cube, leaving only room for the L shaped piece to be added last. But then I had a hard time developing into a slight headache adding this piece, because the others wouldn't open any more. After some time, I found that special move and now I know why it is sold disassembled. It is just so much more fun that way and gives you the "ah-ha" moment mentioned on Eric's web site. A nice addition to Ken's two Little puzzles! With the others, I have only started playing, but they all don't look too normal or too easy: Amulet adds some cubies/cuboids to raise the level of the six piece burr, and has very interesting move sequences. Board Burr Rack has more pieces than it looks like. There are two additional cubes inside, blocking the board pieces. Wedged has some four burr sticks packed into a corner box, and has the highest level of this update.
Added on 2017-10-09
From time to time, some new twisty puzzles catch my attention, and today a package quickly arrived from Nowstore with such twisties inside. At IPP, at the banquet, I joined a twisty puzzlers table and saw some of the latest mass produced ones from China. I was happy to receive the easier one (the Honey Copter), which is a nice easy puzzle, but which I have seen fool some of my puzzle friends. The other one was another copter puzzle, this time not corner turning, but the traditional copter edge-turning: Flower Copter. To be completely honest, this is also corner turning, so it can do both kinds of moves to confuse puzzlers. A nice looking puzzle which feels it has many movable parts. The second new puzzle is the Fisher Yileng Wheel of Time, and if you have some knowledge of twisty puzzles, this name exactly describes how it works. It is a nice shape changing variant of the Wheel of Time puzzle by the same company. The last one I just had to order, because it enhances my collection of twisty octahedra a bit more: Octahedral Mixup. Looking like a Greenhill's Octahedron, this one is also capable of Mixup moves by only 45 degrees.
Added on 2017-09-17
From a little puzzle meeting this weekend, I got the Clamped Cube from a puzzle friend. A nice little variation on six piece burr, with two cubes made of beautiful wood. Thank you!
Added on 2017-09-12
Today a parcel arrived quickly from the US with a nice little puzzle in it: In a Cage. It is an entry of this year's IPP Design Competition, and also an award winner! It is a tiny box caught in a frame, which explains the name. This well crafted Japanese puzzle is not an easy one and offers a nice challenge. After first playing with this puzzle at IPP, I was able to win this one in a charity lottery. Thank you, Matt!
Added on 2017-09-06
Today a small parcel from the U.S. arrived with a very nice puzzle inside. It is an entry to this year's IPP Design Competition, and not only that, It is one of the prize winners, too! After my experiences with this puzzle in Paris I agree that this is a well-deserved prize. It is an interesting multiple step sequential discovery puzzle, and I have seen it hitting some seasoned puzzlers by surprise with some steps. Well, the instruction sheet warns you that there are some pieces that could come out and try to vanish, but I like the last part of the instruction most: "No banging, bending, or burning required". Time to reveal the name, details, and picture of the puzzle: Free Me 5. It is a nice pocket-size puzzle offering a lot for its size. Mine came in a different wood than the one in the competition, brighter and not well suited for the heavy use during the competition, but more beautiful, I think. Once disassembled the matching wood grain of the part will leave no doubt how it should be reassembled. However, the real difficulty of that are the inner parts not to be seen in the picture. It will be interesting to see what Joe will come up with in the future.
After latest count, this is number 16 of this year's IPP Design Competition entries I have in my collection, and one more will be on its way soon. If you haven't noticed yet, the Puzzler's Award winner is also in my collection, just created by a different craftsman and added last October and I had some good fun with it since.
Added on 2017-09-02
The first September package contained some beautiful new puzzles from Pelikanpuzzles: Camera Conundrum is a re-relase of the puzzle from the IPP23 design competition, which was sold out for over a decade. This second edition has an additional piece and an additional step, a very nice touch. The other puzzle is Scotsman 2, a puzzle on its own, but also the tender to the steam locomotive puzzle by the same designer and craftsman. Both are gorgeous puzzles for looking at and also for playing with them. It seems that unfortunately the Camera Conundrum has sold out already, but the Scotsman 2 is still available, together with some other nice puzzles.
Added on 2017-08-30
Today a small package from the US was available for pick-up at the customs office, with my first order after IPP in it. Two interesting and beautiful wooden puzzles, the first being the Worm Cube. This 5x5x5 cube has pieces mostly coming as worm-like shapes with a 90 degree bend in the middle. Even without rotations, this puzzle seems to be quite difficult to disassemble, and even more to reassemble. The basic concept is "pull the pieces away from the center by one unit until one comes out". Well, it looks pretty chaotic after some moves and this is not all that there is to remove the first piece. The pictures on Eric's page made me curious and I am not disappointed! The Dinlas reminds me (and not only me) of one of my favourite additions this year: MINE's Cube in a Cage. In this case, we only have one challenge (not 8), but the grid is bigger being 4x4x4 rather than the 3x3x3 of MINE's puzzle (and 2x2x2 of the smaller variant). It is nicely made in beautiful woods and I was only brave enough to remove three pieces from that frame, and to put them back inside. Even then I found a little surprise in the design hinting for a complex overall puzzle, and it seems getting those three out was easy part of the solution.
Added on 2017-08-25
The first update after the huge IPP update is about the last puzzle I ordered before going to IPP. It ia s new puzzle from a new designer, and I was quite puzzled to meet him at IPP as a greenhorn. His puzzle is the Pyrigan Puzzle Model #808, which is a puzzle built from custom made metal parts and looks very nice and professional. As a puzzle, it has more to offer than one might think at first. It has several different settings for complexity, which can be set when re-assembling the puzzle. Coming in the easiest setting, I was able to open it and the solution works nicely reproduceable, no luck involved. I appreciate the different challenges, which give the puzzle a really nice touch. It is nice to play with and there is only a small warning I would like to give: If you open it, be careful not to loose a small part of the mechanism coming out. A nice and well designed puzzle, looking forward to explore the other, more difficult solutions!
Added on 2014-08-13
Usually once every year since 1978 the biggest puzzle related event takes place: the IPP (International Puzzle Party). I have just come back from this amazing event where I met many old and new puzzle friends and brought back some nice puzzles. About 100 puzzles are from the Edward Hordern Puzzle Exchange, where you bring about 100 copies of a new puzzle and exchange with 100 other puzzlers. Please see the special page for these puzzles. My puzzle in the Exchange was the Bastille EscapeRing, combining the two concepts sliding piece puzzle and ring maze into a new one. IPP34 Exchange
Beside the great haul of Exchange puzzles, I also took some more with me, some of them being presented to me, others bought directly from the designers, and then some more. From the IPP team, I received The Paris IPP Cube, which consists of several pieces of pre-cut and pre-folded paper and which can be folded into three dimensional pieces for an assembly puzzle.

The Framed Burr Box was the biggest puzzle I got at IPP. After seeing it on-line in Juno's Pluredro shop website, I thought about getting it some time. Meeting the designer and seeing one standing on his table at IPP made it clear to me that I really wanted this box. Meanwhile, I have solved it and it is an excellent puzzle for both puzzle box enthousiasts as well as puzzlers interested in high level framed burrs. The inventor of the original framed 6 piece burr has combined these two puzzle concepts, leading to a very interesting experience when solving the burr part. It is the first framed burr I know that will open up the frame more and more during solving.

From the IPP Design Competition, I received the Jury Honorary Mention prized Burrnova, a beautiful puzzle with a surprise in it, which seems to have developed from Jerry's earlier concepts with pins and magnets. The new semi-automatic move sequence of 11 moves will hit you by surprise and you have to be careful not to drop this nice puzzle then. The No Full Pirouette! is unmistakenly Namick's usual style, but this time the n-ary elements appear in a somewhat randomized and decorated fashion. For each of the modules you have to determine the arity, and then also the sequence to solve the whole puzzle. Not the everyday n-ary puzzle, but a very interesting one, which probably also lead to the well deserved Jury award of a first prize! The second n-ary entry is the MiSenary Puzzlebox, a puzzle box that works differently than initially expected. Only if you find out that n-ary nature and the right sequence, you will be able to open this box. I am happy that I could play with a prototype earlier this year and provide the designer some advice for improvement which has found its way into the final version. Those two puzzles can of course be found in n-ary puzzle group and compendium. The Unlawful Assembly is another competition entry, nicely made and easily explained. Just put the four identical pieces and the cross into the tray.

Shortly before IPP, I received word about a new puzzle from Australia and after the initial surprise, I had to reserve myself a The Louvre of course. Makes up for a trip to the real museum, I think!? After the Exchange had shown an unusually high number of trick locks, there were also more to be found in the puzzle party: Tibetian Puzzle Lock and Popplock T3 by specialists in this area. From Iwahiro, I could catch up with some of his unusual works still missing in my collection: 5 Yen in a Jam is another Jam puzzle, while the Zipper demonstrates another unusual application of everyday objects. Scott had some of his 3D printed puzzles for offer, Halve a Heart completing the series, the Peppermint from a previous exchange, and the Deux Nuts being an improvement of an earlier screw puzzle, and being an impossible object in several ways. This IPP I had the pleasure to meet Stephan Baumegger and he had many of his puzzles for offer, including the Maahes made by him and designed by Terry. This one has a really nice look! Some other items to pick up were: Varikon, Helix+ (TIC or not TIC? both!), Honey Copter, and Magic Wire. Thank you for all these nice puzzles and entertaining conversations!

With so many puzzles to solve, I am just starting to solve and will replace the pictures with solved versions once I have solved the corresponding puzzles. This may well take some year or more. I noticed that I already have 14 puzzles of this year's Nob Yoshigahara Puzzle Design Competition in my collection, among them 4 prize winners. Can you spot them and name them all?

Update on 2017-07-30
Last week, I mentioned a puzzle of the the Chinese 99-ring series causing me some headaches: Corn on the Cob II. After looking at an easier puzzle first, I picked up this one again, just to be confused again. Only this time, I soon reached a better understanding of the puzzle and in the meantime I have solved it. Like the first puzzle of the Corn on the Cob series, it is a complicated binary puzzle, meaning it has "only" binary sequences to offer, like in the original Chinese Rings puzzle, and then some additional features to confuse people. The confusion can be reduced by discovering another similarity of I and II: while the primary rings are arranged like a Chinese Rings puzzle, the secondary rings forming a zig-zag chain together with the connectors are only touched once per ring during the solution. Okay, it is a bit more complicated than in CotC I, but in CotC II, just a little more binary sequencing is added. If, however, you try to run the secondary rings through a sequence, you will soon end up in a confusion and special disentanglement puzzle waiting to be restored to a meaningful configuration again. Both CotC I and CotC II are two very nice extensions of the classic binary Chinese Rings puzzle, and the second one adds a bit more difficulty to the game — or a lot more difficulty if you don't get the point of the solution in time. A nice series of puzzles and now I have some idea what to expect from CotC III to be attacked next. Before that, CotC will need proper reassembly, but now I feel confident that I will not be confused a lot any more. With the corresponding comments, the puzzle has recieved a compendium entry.
Update on 2017-07-23
Of the Chinese 99-ring series I have played with, the Corn on the Cob II proved to be more difficult than expected. I got five of the ring pairs of the loop before getting confused, and decided it needed more analysis. In the meantime, I have managed to get it back to the starting configuration. Postponing that one for a later time, I decided to go for an easier one, which has been labled "Level 8" instead of the 10 or 10+ of the others: Bald Eagle. Finding the first move was more difficult than expected, and after a short conversation, Kevin tried the puzzle and his comment was that it was indeed an easy one. Trying again, I found the missing moves and solved it. While it has components of the others from the series included, like the zig-zag chain of rings and connectors, the solution is surprisingly an easier one: Each of the rings is only traversed once, leading to a linear solution. With the corresponding comments, it has received a compendium entry. It is a nice puzzle with a surprising difficulty: Finding the first move is the challenge, not the sequence.
Added on 2017-07-06
After successfully solving the first couple of challenges for the Sliding Tetris, today a new multiple challenge puzzle arrived, and it is huge, in size and also in the number of moves: Num Lock (mixed base). Nicely built in beautiful woods by Johan, it comes with a frame, with 9 sliders in it (and 16 of the small knobs), a stand, and additional 13 pieces, adding up to 22 slider pieces alltogether. Those pieces come in arities 3, 5, 7, and 9 with different counts, and allow you to combine up to 9 of them in the frame, mixing their bases as you like. The common piece (C) is always the rightmost piece and the first to move, and has only two different positions. With the pieces of highest arity used, this set has 50009399 moves to remove the first piece. Maybe not something to try for yourself, it will take a long time, very long! After playing with the ternary only setup it had in the beginning, I started off with the configuration of arities 9,7,5,3 and common piece, one of each kind, with 9 as the leftmost piece. I only managed to run through the sequence lifting the arity 9 piece by two steps, but that felt like many moves already. Luckily Jack Krijnen has already derived a formula for the number of moves and Johan provide some sheets with the number of moves for the various configurations, and it seems my choice would require 4199 moves (had I run through to the end of the sequence). There are smaller versions of this puzzle Johan made, and this big one comes with a health warning, and all move counts of above 34991 (maximum of smaller version) are highlighted in red. One fascinating aspect of Jack's formula is that it has the arity of the "start block" (i.e. leftmost) included and then only the product of all other arities involved, which means it does not matter in which order you arrange them. For example the configuration 9,7,7,5,5,3,3,C will have the same number of moves for the first piece to come out like 9,5,3,7,7,3,5,C. What I have not explicitly explained so far and what is not shown on any picture is how setting up the frame with less than 9 pieces work. It is a nice solution, and Johan made it an additional puzzle to figure that out. Unlike Tom's version, the frame cannot be opened, but this additional mechanism serves also as a reset feature. This puzzle is of course part of n-ary puzzle group and compendium, and the mixed base approach and the variable number of pieces nicely demonstrates this fact. There are more pictures and some mathematical background information to be found in the compendium entry. A nice and beautiful puzzle, and a challenge both in theory and implementation. Now I only have to solve a different puzzle, and this relates to puzzle packing and display cases, and the available space.
Added on 2017-07-04
From Diniar I received a nice small package today, with a lot of puzzle in it. It is his newest creation Sliding Tetris, which consists of a frame with transparent walls with holes in it, a ball inside, and some three dimensional tetris like shapes, all very nicely built. Goal is to move those pieces and the ball in such a sequence, that the ball can go out through the one bigger hole in the cage, which can also be seen in the picture. A nice puzzle and pushing those pieces around works nicely and smoothly. The puzzle is the collectors edition coming with many more of those tetris like pieces. Well, they are actually three dimensional, not two-dimensional like in the original Tetris, and most of them are more complex shapes. They are no spare pieces, but used for additional challenges, for which the frame can be opened and an alternate setup be created. 15 challenges are provided with the puzzle, with up to 37 moves, which leads to a lot of puzzling fun!
Added on 2017-06-30
Today a package arrived with a key puzzle for n-ary puzzle group and compendium: The Key Puzzle. Sorry for the pun! This is the original version of the binary key puzzle, which lead to the new version and the ternary version later on, and many others listed in Goh Pit Khiam's article "The Design of N-ary Mechanical Puzzles", which can be found as reference item [12]. It is not only a nice and well-made puzzle, but also an interesting piece of puzzle history.
Added on 2017-06-23
Today a package arrived from Eric Fuller with some of his latest creations: I already have "Wunderbar Inspriration" in a 3D printed version, now I also have a beautiful wooden version: Wunderbar Inspiration. It looks like 18 wooden sticks, but to see the true structure, you have to look for the different species of wood. The sticks of each species are glued into one piece, 6 pieces overall. The 3D printed version has a different colour scheme with 3 colours only, and came disassembled with the 3 colours as a hint for assembly. Siamese Burr II is an unusual fusion of two standard six piece burrs, and it has one longer, common piece in the middle. Repair The Cube came assembled, and maybe then the name of the puzzle is misleading. There is a frame and two pieces and they have to be assembled into a cube. A nice version in beautiful woods. Boxes And Frames is much smaller than the others, a pocket size puzzle. Those three burr sticks and three frame plates have some nice interactions. Maybe I will not spend too much time on those puzzles today, as another item arrived, a beautiful puzzle book to read.
Added on 2017-06-15
Today's update features three puzzles from Wood Wonders. The first one, Trenta, is a beautiful wooden puzzle with a very interesting concept. There are three pieces in the frame with a level of 30 to remove the one piece coming out. There is also a rotational move, shortcutting this to 24. The puzzle came disassembled and to insert the free piece, the other two had to be rearranged, even involving a rotation. A very tough challenge. I did play with some design prototype earlier, and had several conversations with Christoph earlier. It is fascinating how difficult such a puzzle with 3 pieces in a 5x5x5 unit frame can be. The fact that the two remaining pieces cannot be removed, seems to add more room for complex moves, leading to this high level. Chapel #1 is another beautiful puzzle in a well known category demonstrating new complexity. In this puzzle, the pieces are two units longer than for the usual 6BB puzzle, allowing for many more moves. The last one, Tourelle, could also be classified as a packing puzzle. The pieces have to be packed into the frame in a particular order, with some multiple move sequences, which makes it more complex than just a packing puzzle.
Added on 2017-06-14
From Hong Kong, from Nowstore, some nice new twisties: The lastest tetrahedron: 5 Layer Mastermorphix. And then various cuboids: 2x2 Windmill Cube, Super 2x2x4 Cuboid, 2x2x5 Cuboid, and 2x2x6 Cuboid
Added on 2017-05-28
Coming home from a short trip over the long weekend, I have just found a package from Puzzle-Shop at home, with the three of the latest Siebenstein puzzles: Euro-Falle 1 looks a bit like Euro-Falle 2, but works differently. It also solves the mystery why there were the models 2, 3, 4, and 5 but no 1. Puzzle-Box 03 is the next form the series with the jigsaw puzzle shape on top, and also not opening with a mechanism like in any of the others. Lock 64 they claim to be their most difficult trick puzzle.
Added on 2017-05-22
Today a package arrived with Wil's latest creation, the: Revenge Lock named The Wanderer. It is a new version of the Revenge Lock, which was Wil's answer to Gary Foshee's Lunatic Lock. This new version of the Revenge Lock is not only a lock, but it comes enclosed into a metal block. There is also another new part in the lock, the Wanderer mentioned in the name, making it more difficult. There are several steps to solve in the puzzle, with the first one finding the number, and the last one restoring everything back to the beginning. That last part sounds familiar from older puzzles by Wil, also one with a lock, and there it showed how challenging the puzzle really was. I am expecting something similar here, and while I have found the number (first challenge), already I am unable to restore it to the initial state, and there are more challenges in between. There seems a lot to be going on inside. A very fascinating puzzle! It comes with a nice story and is beautifully made.
Update on 2017-05-21
The third puzzle from the Chinese 99-ring series I solved and analyzed is Corn on the Cob I. After playing with it a bit, I recognized some well known sequence and noticed that there are only a few additional elements to it. I have created a compendium entry with more details. I have started playing with the II puzzle, the next in the series. It has more links between the different loops, and seems to be much more complicated. At the moment it is all tangled up and I need to find a way to untangle. A typical issue for disentanglement puzzles, will take some time until the next update.
Added on 2017-05-19
Today a parcel from Alfons arrived, with one of his latest creations in it: Alken/Kenal. It is a box with a lid and offers many challenges, which is actually more than one puzzle. The puzzle Kenal comes with a lid that can be used in two orientations and leads to two solutions, one with 135, the other with 257 moves. Alken is the same puzzle, but with the other lid piece, and two solutions, one with 135 (again), and one with 321 moves to remove the lid. The shapes and positions of the sliding pieces is similar to the ones in the B-Box, and indeed most of the solution of Alken/Kenal is similar, and binary too. This puts the puzzle into n-ary puzzle group and compendium. However, with the two lid pieces and their irregular shapes, there are many new moves to discover, which are deviating from the binary sequence. They add some up to 6-ary elements to the puzzle. Take a look at this picture to see the lid pieces and their structure. In some way, the 135 moves configurations are more difficult, because at the end of the solution, you have to find exactly the right position for the last few moves. Otherwise, you will be going into a dead end. For the Kenal piece, this also offers an interesting aspect: Instead of performing the last few moves to remove the lid, you can also slide it open widely, like a puzzle box without removable lid, as seen in this picture. This is a very interesting and well built puzzle, and one of the rare cases where I have examined the puzzle including all solutions before putting it into this gallery. Have a look at the compendium entry for more technical details.
Added on 2017-05-12
Today two packages arrived from different continents: 3 Piece Burr Cube 50 from South Africa is a beautiful wooden interlocking puzzle, or better than that: It is two puzzles in one. You can assemble the whole puzzle with all pieces, or you can just assemble the three fame piecs as three piece plate burr with a nice level.
The second package came from Hong Kong and contained some brand new twisty puzzles: Deformed 3x3x3 Centrosphere looks like a sphere in a cube, and it needs two looks to see why it is called "Deformed". The Clover Octahedron Fragmentation is a massive puzzle, the biggest so far in the twisty octahedra. The whole group of mini octahedra can easily sit on top of it. The COF is wildly shape-shifing, and this is surprising, as the groups of pieces around the tips of the octahedron only have tiny overlaps in the center of each edge. So far, I have only found moves also possible on the non-fragmented version, but I will keep trying.
Update on 2017-05-11
The second puzzle of the Chinese 99.ring series I have completely analyzed and solved is Reflection. At the beginning, I was only able to perform a handful of moves before getting stuck. In a "Heureka!" moment I found what I called the "double ring" configuration, which is a central part of the solution. With this, the puzzle basically becomes a classical chinese 9 rings with some extensions (and a much longer solution sequence). I have created a compendium entry with more details. With this insight it is much easier than the Mountain Trail, which is less regular. It is a fine example of an implementation of the n-ary sequences, and it forces you to actually develop a solution idea right at the beginning, a very nice aspect. The name "Reflection" is also a very good choice to describe the solution sequence.
Added on 2017-05-09
Today a package from Japan arrived, with some of the latest Karakuri works. Aquarius Drawer looks like it has many drawers to open, but there are only two of them, the rest are "5 devices", as mentioned in the description. These function in a ternary scheme, which puts this nice puzzle into n-ary puzzle group and compendium.
Update on 2017-05-07
The first puzzle of the Chinese 99.ring series I have analyzed and solved is Mountain Trail. Its main structure is binary, with some short additional chains leading to ternary and even some quaternary elements. I have created a compendium entry with more details. Before understanding it and gaining some routine, this puzzle can be quite confusing at times. As a general rule: if a little force is required for a move, even after rearranging the rings, it is not part of the solution sequence.
Added on 2017-05-05
Today a small package arrived and inside was a small, but very beautiful puzzle: Mini Mirror Octahedron. Like the other mini octahedra, this one was created by Raphael Mouflin and is built at very high quality, turns nicely and is a real beauty. Obviously is part of the twisty octahedra group, which is growing beyond what I was expecting years ago. While the Mirror Blocks (as a cubic puzzle) has 90 degree turns, this one is based on 120 degree turns, and therefore plays quite differently. One fascinating thing is that you see a different number of pieces on the faces, as the deeper cut ones introduce little triangles from the truncation of some of the pieces. Only two sides roughly look like a classic FTO side, all the others don't.
Added on 2017-05-04
Today a package from Brian arrived with some of his latest creation in beautiful woods. The first two are to extend the collection of Tom Jolly puzzles. Mean Cube has an interesting name, and Burr Box 1 is a box with some burr sticks in it, which have to be shaken out a bit by gravity as the first move. 4x4x4 Elevator is a relative of the Elevator puzzle I already have. Y6BB #1 adds to the growing collection of six piece board burrs. Trilogy is three puzzles in one: depending on the order of the boards, a different solution with different level appear.
Added on 2017-04-30
Today I went to a private puzzle event and met many old puzzle friends there. We had a lot of fun discussing new and old puzzles, playing with puzzles, and solving them. Aside from that, I was able to add a nice puzzle to my colletction: Pod. It is a small box with many moves, some of them unusual, and none of them directly leading to obvious progress. A nice challenge, and well-made as expected from this craftsman.
Added on 2017-04-28
Last year I heard from a new master of higher order chinese rings puzzles: Aaron King (Wang Yulong). I already have his Fishing Hook Chain 9-Ring, which is a ternary version of Chinese Rings, has very many moves, and can confuse you deeply, if you are not careful. A very interesting puzzle and well made. This puzzle and the following (non n-ary) puzzles are available via Felix Puzzle from Hong Kong: Lucky Lantern, Beyond the Ying-Yang, and Detachable Ball and Chain. This last one has two special features: It comes with a quick release hook and 6 different challenges to try, of different difficulty. Another one available in that shop is Astray, which looks like a chinese rings version, but with three extra rings adding an element to it, which may be ternary or even higher order. I have yet to find out and confirm, and this is one challenge I have with this update: Higher order chinese Rings puzzles with some other more or less regular elements in it making it a puzzle to classify them, requiring the appropriate amount of time to avoid any mis-classifications finding their way into n-ary puzzle group and compendium. You will certainly appreciate my approach to gradually put these puzzles in their respective category.
Why all the fuzz? Maybe just a look at the rest of today's update will convince you of the sheer complexity of those puzzles, which are from Aaron's "Chinese 99-ring" limited series: Bald Eagle may be the easiest one, my fist guess is binary, but it is already a challenge to pass the first couple of rings. A very unusual puzzle with the big ring being foldable in the middle, becoming a crescent moon like shape. Reflection looks ternary at first sight. It has pairs of rings, of which the top row look like the usual chinese rings chain, but there is the middle row of rings carrying the bar. This gives the puzzle a reflected look with rings above and the small rings below, not a far-fetched explanation for the name. Mountain Trail seems to be a distant relative of Astray, with a binary chain, and some pairs of rings raising it to a higher order puzzle. There are three chains of two rings each attached to the basic chain, so that makes it ternary? Quaternary? I have to find out.
The next three bear the same name and have 18 rings each, arranged in a zig-zag pattern on the main bar. These rings are connected with little metal pieces with two loops at the ends. So they are basically the same puzzle? Not from what I have seen so far: Corn on the Cob I looks and plays like a typical ternary puzzle. Each pair of rings shares one connector, and each pair of rings is surrounding the adjacent connector. Corn on the Cob II seems to have a more complicated pattern. The top ends of the connectors have two rings connected each, one going forward and one going backwards. The bottom connector holes have only one ring, connected not to the next lower one, but skipping one and then connecting to the one-but-next top connector loop. The other rings in the top connector holes "only" reach over the central bar and have only one connector attached. Corn on the Cob III features also connectors with two and with one rings in their loops, but in an alternating pattern. Instead of just going top-down and skipping, those rings form a continueing zig-zag-chain to the next top or bottom connector loop, respectively. The other rings are just linking the main bar with one connector hole. So far, I have figured out how those rings are arranged, but that is only the very first step in the solution. Playing with those puzzles and unlinking the first couple of rings from the main bar each, provided me an idea how different those puzzles really are.
What they all have in common: They are very well made and at first sight you see that they are complex puzzles requiring a systematic approach, not trial and error. Will keep me busy for some time to analyze and solve them all! Very nice puzzles and those great puzzles show that there is potential for new ideas based on chinese rings.
Added on 2017-04-22
Today I went to German Cube Day (GCD), a yearly meeting well organized by Frank Tiex, where I met many puzzle friends, and enjoyed puzzle collecting, puzzle solving, puzzle talks, and many nice conversations with puzzle friends. For the puzzle addiction: Wunderbar Inspiration is a new design based on Stewart Coffin's Wunderbar puzzle with a nice easy solution involving rotations. D-ICE is a puzzle linking with another hobby of mine, board games. However, this die seems unsuitable to generate random numbers, but is a nice heavy metal puzzle. I also got some IPP exchange puzzles from this year and earlier Board an Cube Burr (Katsumoto Cube) (serially interlocking with a secret inside), Vapors Puzzle (the missing piece in the Helical Burr series), and Cross-Keys puzzle (a one-dimensional projection of a 2D maze). Oskar's Disks is also such a projection of a maze on lower dimensions, but now with round pieces. Hex Pyramide is one of Diniar's latest creations and a fascinating new interlocking puzzle based on a triangular grid. Cast Shift is the latest in cast puzzles, still to appear on the European market. An old design with unknown name is W disentanglement puzzle*, which Jan created for Wil Strijbos. Brass Pin Bolt is a nice addition to the bolt collection. On a smaller scale than the others it offers a similar challenge, to be solved! Alf 3 is an easier one from the 18 pieces burrs group, should not be difficult to solve — famous last words! Thanks everyone for the nice event and chats, puzzles and puzzle deals!
Added on 2017-04-21
Today two different packages from two different countries and both arrived very quickly, right in time for some puzzling before the weekend. The first one was lighter and contained beautiful wooden puzzles from Pelikanpuzzles: Big Quadrox is actually smaller than the Quadrox I already have, but only because it uses a smaller unit size, and has more units in its grid overall. That makes up for a more complicated version and the first few moves I have seen so far look very promising. Tribord is just three sticks in a frame, but with a catch as you are going to find out when trying to solve it! Tower looks like the ice pillar puzzle by Osanori Yamamoto, but the wider 3x3 piece crossection allows for more complicated moves.
From the German Knobelbox shop a smaller, but much heavier parcel arrived, which is no wonder considering all the nice heavy metal in it: Swing Trick Lock 8 and Side Trick Lock 4 are two Constantin trick locks with JCC written on them. I have seen a similar traditional lock from India like the Side Trick Lock now. They both are not overly difficult, but have nice and new tricks (new to me!), which is hard to find in this category of trick locks. One of them has even multiple mechanisms you have to solve and operate before opening! They came together with some nice small metal disentanglement puzzles, hopefully easier to solve the ones I got recently: Remove the U-Stick and Carousel on Stand*.
Added on 2017-04-19
Today a package arrived from Eric with some of his latest work: Burr Lock E and Rift. The Burr Lock is well known to me. End of last year, Christoph brought a 3D printed prototype to a puzzle meeting and I could play with it. That was when I discovered the rotational shortcut leading to level 13. There was an easy fix to save this design: change the key starting position form horizontal to vertical (which looks more like a typical padlock in my opinion), and have the key stick out to the other side. So far, I have not found a rotational shortcut for that one (before the first piece comes out). It is interesting to see the puzzle in different materials, and both are nice to play with. I have put this puzzle in the Locks category, but of course it is also a high level interlocking puzzle, and a very nice one! About the other one I nearly know nothing, but it looks quite unusual, and the first moves I have seen are also unusual.
Added on 2017-04-15
Today a package from the US arrived, and it seems there must have been some very wet weather somewhere and DHL had to repackage it. It contained the latest of Tracy's latest puzzle box: Stuck in Limbo. It is a nice looking, massive box and probably the name is hint on the solving experience, meaning that it will take some time until it is open. There should also be an interlocking puzzle inside, but before I can have a look at that, I need to open the box, and that does not seem easy. There seems to be a knob on the top turning just a little bit, and then the box makes all kind of noises when you tilt it.
Update on 2017-04-10
Today I finished another visit to the zoo, to see some big and wild animal, read more of my experience with Rhinoceros on the Burr Zoo group page.
Added on 2017-04-03
In a recent auction, I won a mysterious green box I have never seen before: Knowhow Emerald Puzzle Box. It comes with a key, two keyholes and a lid to be opened. Shaking it, you can hear some more components inside and it seems to be a challenge to open it.
Update on 2017-04-01
After around a week, I have already solved two of Alfons' new puzzles and one is from the Burr Zoo group, read more of my experience with Dog Catcher on the Burr Zoo group page. A very interesting puzzle!
Jack sent me a picture of a puzzle he made based on Pit Khiam's design, for the compendium: Double Helix
Added on 2017-03-24
Today a package with some beautiful and complex interlocking puzzles arrived from Alfons. These are all new puzzles, designed within the last half year or so. The first one is an easier one to start with: Agapan. This is one of the group of three sticks in some ring shaped pieces, with an additional hidden piece, of which we have seen works from other designers recently, too.
The 5 next puzzles all go into the 18 pieces burrs group: Rombak is a traditional 18 pieces burr in a frame. Eiger has a detachable frame of 4 boards added to the 18 pieces burr, and the first part of that frame can be moved as the first move, so it is all but static. Phoebe comes with four additional pieces, too. In this case, they are four additional smaller sticks in some corners, leading to an interesting symmetric shape. Smeagol is an 18 pieces burr guarding his preciousss — a wooden ring, and of course the solution is heavily influenced by that ring. A fitting name for such a puzzle! While the puzzles so far were traditional 18 pieces burrs with some extra pieces, the next one has only 17 pieces, and that is including the stand: Gateway has a base plate with a gateway of two adjactent burr sticks attached to it.
The remaining two puzzles are 12 piece burrs with / without a frame and additional pieces inside, perfect to add them to: Burr Zoo group page. 12 piece burrs can have a lot of storage space in them. Maybe the biggest additional animal piece put in such a burr is the Rhinoceros. The Dog Catcher contains three dog pieces, like the "Beware of the Dogs" from last year. However, this time, there is an additional frame involved mounted to the base plate. This puzzle also comes with a small metal tool reminding me of a dog lead, so it seems that these dogs will need some convincing to be freed!
Added on 2017-03-07
Last weekend, a puzzle friend visited me and he had some nice old Constantin disentanglement puzzles for offer. For two of them, I don't even know the name, and I have not found them on the internet yet, so I had to guess. They are: Binary Ladder Disentanglement*, The 23rd Labour of Hercules, and Disentanglement Puzzle S61*. For the first one, I chose a name, which makes it obvious that it should go into n-ary puzzle group and compendium. It has some binary sequence, but with two alternating intermingling rows of rings, it is designed to be more complex than the average binary disentanglement puzzle. There are also some other new pictures in the compendium, of a prototype of a well known puzzle. It is a bit smaller and thinner than the regular version, and I am happy I could take some pictures of it. All three puzzles are definitely not easy and I am in danger of entangling them rather than disentangling.
Added on 2017-02-27
Today some nice and new puzzles from Pelikanpuzzles, all beautifully made in fine woods. The puzzle Sucrier looks like one of the typical four sticks in a frame puzzle, but there is more to it: The frame comes apart in two pieces and the sticks have internal extensions, very interesting. The Two-Tone Zero is one of Osanori's designs, this time with two frames, and of course involving rotations to make it more interesting. For the other three, they all are not what they seem at first: Proteus has four (not two) pieces in a frame, Campanus has an extra piece well hidden, and whithout which it would not move at all, and Confluence has two large brackets and three sticks in a frame. All very well built and beautiful puzzles!
Added on 2017-02-22
Today's puzzle concludes the series of daily puzzles. It is an IPP Exchange puzzle: 6GA Six Gates Arranged. This burr could probably best be described as an L-burr, where each of the 6 pieces is combined of two more or less L shapes, but in different layers. While the long parts of the Ls are glued on top of each other, the shorter parts are distributed over two layers for most of the pieces. A nice little puzzle and not too difficult.
Added on 2017-02-21
Today's puzzle is another unknown puzzle, a puzzle box, which does not seem to open. No obvious ways to open it, an interesting challenge: Metal Puzzle Box*. Unfortunately, I do not know anything about it.
Added on 2017-02-20
Today's puzzle is an unknown puzzle with an unknown name: Wooden Coin Trick*. The aim is to get the coin out, which you can clearly hear rattling inside, but there does not seem to be an obvious way of reaching it.
Added on 2017-02-19
Today two puzzles which do not seem to be what they actually are. The first is a burr puzzle of 12 sticks, but not a 12 pieces burr, and the second a burr puzzle of 18 sticks, but not an 18 pieces burr. Both look like 6 piece burrs and that is closer to what they really are: Nesting 6 Piece Burr and 3set Nesting 6 Piece Burr. The first is one six piece burr nested in a second one, both to be solved separatly, and the second burr to be assembled around the first one. The other design takes this puzzle (in a much smaller version) and adds another 6 piece burr as a third layer around it. Not very difficult burrs with level 1 and 2, but a very interesting idea and well implemented.
Added on 2017-02-18
Today's puzzle is an old design from 2003, a 3 pieces burr with level 19 without rotations, or 16.3 with rotations: Grand Giga Burr. From the outside, it looks like the Giga Burrs, but when opening, you see the reason for the higher level. Instead of a 5x5x5 grid, it is based on a 6x6x6 grid. One piece looks quite complicated, while the other two look quite simple. Together they assemble into a very interesting puzzle.
Added on 2017-02-17
Today a package from Hong Kong arrived, with an Armadillo Cube. This is a 3x3x3 twisty cube with an interesting colour scheme and an easy reset mechanism. When solving this with the usual 3x3x3 algorithms, you might run into some interesting parity problems.
Added on 2017-02-16
Another break in the daily puzzle series for the completion of another series. From Eric Fuller came the last 3 of Greg Benedetti's NOS burrs. "NOS" that is for "New Old School", and a corresponding old school 6 piece burr might be the U-Nam-It-Burr. The series of NOS burr is anything else than old school, but features crazy designs, which no one before Eric dared to build: NOS4 Go Back has a unique (?) solution with level 15 including 4 coordinate motion moves. NOS6 Dodge has "only" level 10, but it features both coordinate motion moves and a rotation of one piece. I played with a 3D printed version of this last year, and it is my favourite of the series. The NOS7 Seizaine tells you more by it's name, it is an amazing level 16. Of course including coordinate motion, and Eric built it in a beautiful wood. If you would like to know why nobody dared to build these puzzles before, have a look at the piece shapes at Puzzlewillbeplayed and try to understand them. Currently, there are some left in stock in the Cubicdissection store, so you might better order some while you can!
Added on 2017-02-15
Today a second plywood burr by Vesa and Matti, the Vesa Burr 8. This one has 8 pieces and several assemblies. The level 13 assembly is the one with the IPP letters on one side, and 25 on the other. A nice little puzzle.
Added on 2017-02-14
Another break in the ongoing series for a major coincidence: Two packages arrived from two far apart countries. From Japan: Slide Packing and Penta in a Box, two of the top puzzles in the IPP36 Design Competition last year. Cute puzzles and both with a clever solution. Just pack the pieces into their box and close, how hard can it be? The second package contained some carefully crumpled Canadian newspaper, which I had ordered. Surprisingly, someone put two small puzzle boxes in that box with the newspaper, too, and for that surprise, I immediately forgot about all the nice newspaper. The boxes are the cute number 5 and 6 in Kelly's Granny's Tea Box design series. I already have two early designs from that series, and two more: Tea Box - Sugar Bush and Tea Box - Lil Lunchbox. They look cute and unusual. One like a little sled with runners and a bench, and it also has a painting of a horse sled on the sides. The other like a lunch box with a sturdy handle, a tool and some mysterious holes in the side. Four very nice puzzles!
Added on 2017-02-13
Today's puzzle originates in Finland and was an Exchange puzzle from a Finnish guy: Vesa's Four consists of only four pieces, but requires 14 moves to remove the first piece, quite impressive!
Added on 2017-02-12
Yesterday I was at a small private puzzle gathering and was offered a very nice puzzle for sale of a spare copy. It is excellently made by Tom's usual standard and the design by Pit Khiam is very clever, too. It seems that other puzzlers thought so, too, as it won an award at the IPP35 Design Competition. It is Number Blocks, a sliding pieces puzzle with only four pieces, where you have to re-arrange the numbers as shown in this picture of the solved state. How hard can it be? Well obviously, one piece comes out directly, then another has to be moved only by one position and re-inserting the first piece, you are done. If it only was that simple! That second piece does not move and there are two additional tricks needed to solve this puzzle. As a said, a very nice puzzle!
Added on 2017-02-11
Today's puzzle is Triple Play, which looks like a three piece interlocking puzzle where someone forgot some notches and built it too loose. When you know Eric's precision, you will realize that this loose fit can only be on purpose. And indeed a rotational move is required to solve that otherwise unsolvable puzzle. It is a nice idea with three identical pieces.
Added on 2017-02-10
Today I am interrupting my series for a package from Gregory Benedetti. It contains the series of three packing/interlocking puzzles. They are all based on a 3x3x3 goal shape and consist of pices with 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7 units, alltogether 27 units. To make things more complicated, the biggest piece of each puzzle is glued to the base plate, which has no or only a few openings, making the puzzles a nice challenge to assemble. This challenge also has to be taken, as they arrived in a different assembly with the 2 unit piece outside and no chance to fit it into the assembly. As you can see from the pictures, I succeeded with the correct assemblies. Speaking of pictures, here they are: Stand By Cube 1, Stand By Cube 2, and Stand By Cube 3. Greg made these nice looking puzzles in his own 9m2 workshop and did an excellent job.
Added on 2017-02-09
Today's puzzle is six board burr from the expert for those puzzles, but this time in a cage: Boxed Six Board Burr. It is a nice little puzzle and not too hard to reassemble. One interesting fact is that the frame consists of six pieces like the board burr pieces, which gives the puzzle a unicque look. This puzzle has a second challenge: assemble the burr outside the frame!
Added on 2017-02-08
Today's update consists of two little puzzles made from Corian material, which is typical for puzzles created by Frank Chambers, and those two nice puzzles are no exception: Wheel and Axle and Captive Coin. Very well made and sturdy. Cute puzzles, but not simple to solve.
Added on 2017-02-07
Today another classic burr from the master of six piece burrs: Computer's Choice. When solving this nice burr, I was immediately reminded of the Mega Six burr, which is also designed by Bill and has also level 10. Both have a very interesting solution sequence and the Mega Six only differs by having more (false) assemblies and being more complicated to assemble from the pieces. If you are interested in six piece burrs, getting one of the two is definitely worth trying and it is your choice which. Both are currently available: via Bill's homepage, and two different wood/size variants via Mr Puzzle Australia's shop page.
Added on 2017-02-06
Today two nearly identical puzzles: Double Locked Briefcase Puzzle and Bowling Alley in a Briefcase Puzzle. At least from the outside they look identical like nice little briefcases. However, the solutions are quite different. The Bowling Alley came with an interesting article about the history of Bowling in Boston (where IPP26 was held) and the oldest Bowling Ball in the US. Not helping to solve, though!
Added on 2017-02-05
Today's puzzle is a variation of a well known puzzle. Variation of Illegal Burr is a variation of the Illegal Burr version designed by Dic Sonneveld and modified by Trevor Wood to have 5 pieces. This version also has 5 pieces, and the biggest piece only has one voxel missing compared to Trevor's version. However, the "illegal" solution with rotations is replaced by a traditional solution here. It is fascinating what difference one missing cubie makes!
Added on 2017-02-04
Today's puzzle Secret Coin Box is like one of those boxes for collecting coins in temples in Japan, called "Saisenbako". The idea is that you can throw a coin into the box without seeing the money already inside and more importantly without getting it out again. The bottom panel is supposed to come off in some way, but it only moves a bit. It is a puzzle box!
Added on 2017-02-03
Today's puzzle was not easy for me. Not easy in several ways: First to disassemble and reassemble. Secondly to classify it properly. It is an interlocking puzzle, but the solution has rotational moves involved and you can disassemble it in a way that more reminds you of a disentanglement puzzle. It is the very nice Triple Cross Burr. Nicely built by Tom Lensch in his usual top notch quality. Designed by Dic Sonneveld, based on an idea by Oskar van Deventer, and the solution discovered by Willem van der Poel involves the graphical skills by Derek Bosch. There were surely many puzzlers involved to create this puzzle, and it not easy, but very a very challenging and interesting one!
Added on 2017-02-02
Today's puzzle belongs to the group of 6 pieces board burrs and is well-known for his rounded edges and the angled cut: 6 board burr #1. This puzzle is based on Juno's IPP17 Exchange puzzle and is a variation on some other 6 piece board burrs. It has very similar piecces, just the one with the angled cuts making for an angled gap make this puzzle unique. The solution starts off deceptively easy, just to get interesting after removing the first piece, when you notice that skewed gap.
Added on 2017-02-01
The first puzzle for this month is a very nice interlocking cube requiring rotations for the solution: Tango. Luckily, there is Puzzlewillbeplayed.com, so I could identify this interesting puzzle. Several of the pieces require rotations to come out, and it is more difficult than the level suggests.
Added on 2017-01-31
Today's puzzle of the day is another nice design by Bill Cutler: Eight is Enough. It is a six piece burr and the level is not hard to guess — it is part of the name. The pieces are made of three different woods, but there is only one unique solution, with or without these colours. Disassembling the puzzle is quite interesting for a 6 piece burr with level 8. There are interesting interacting sequences, and there are also dead ends of a couple moves, a nice puzzle in Bill's style.
Added on 2017-01-30
Today's puzzle is a classic design by Bill Cutler: U-Nam-It Burr. This is a 6 piece burr, where Burr-Tools will not help you, and it is also an ancestor of Greg Benedetti's NOS Burr series. Requires coordinate motion and other moves to disassemble.
This and the other puzzles from the current daily series were offered to me by Markus Goetz. He is now offering some more of the fascinating and rare puzzles from his collection on eBay and there are some very rare pieces to be found there, among them many IPP Exchange puzzles from many past IPPs. The link to the eBay auctions can be found on Markus' home page. Make sure to have a look, and stay tuned for his future auctions! He has added several lots of puzzles recently.
Added on 2017-01-29
Today's puzzle is a nice wooden version of the Lock Nested Burr made by Tom Lensch. 3 identical pieces assemble in a level 6 interlocking puzzle (updated).
Added on 2017-01-28
Today's puzzle is an unusual 6 piece burr in a cage designed by the expert of 6 piece burrs: Burr In A Cage has a cage with four usual openings and two bigger ones on two sides. This also allows you to store the pieces in the cage in the unassembled state.
Added on 2017-01-27
Today I am interrupting the ongoing puzzle series for a small package from far east, containing the lastest Hanayama Cast puzzle: Cast Dial. It looks very interesting, a bit like some of those kitchen timers, but the puzzle will not open just by turning the dial. There is more to this little beauty!
Added on 2017-01-26
Today's puzzle is a nice looking 3 piece burr in two contrasting woods: Uncoated Burr. It was an IPP Exchange puzzle by Andreas Röver years ago, and maybe you have heard that name before? He is the developer of the excellent Burr-Tools software!
Maybe you are wondering where I got those nice puzzles for my daily puzzle series from? Time to disclose the secret: I acquired them from my puzzle friend Markus Goetz (same name like mine, just first name vs. surname), and there are more where those came from. He is now offering them in lots on eBay and there are some very nice and rare pieces to be found there. The link to the eBay auction can be found on Markus' home page. Thank you, Marcus, for offering all those puzzles!
Added on 2017-01-25
Today a burr puzzle with relatively low level, which is maybe more challenging to disassemble than to assemble. It is also not very clear what the actual level of the puzzle is, even with a burr toos file! How was this achieved? There are two steel ball bearings inside that have to be maneuvered without knowing where they are and where they have to go. Maybe you have guessed already? It is Bill's Ball Bearing Burr. Maybe not a six piece burr for everyone, but in my opinion it should be part of each collection with 6 piece burrs. Coincidentially, at the moment, there is one for offer in that well-known auction in the Netherlands.
Added on 2017-01-24
Today a nice puzzle box: Acorn Box. It is a cute little box with a wooden acorn and an interesting trick.
Added on 2017-01-23
Today's "puzzle of the day" I am adding to this collection is actually a whole puzzle set. It has the technical name MINE's CUBE in CAGE 333. The basic concept is that there is a cage of three linked wooden rings (not coming apart) and into the core you can assemble each of the eight smaller puzzles. Maybe you will first try to assemble them outside the cube, because getting them in adds a lot of additional challenges with multiple moves, including rotations, as you can see listed on Ishino's page (the standard comprehensive archive for interlocking puzzles). The version shown in the pictures is the IPP edition and actually a collection of three subsets of the frame and: I. mini cage and mono-cube (front), II. cubes a-d (on the left), III. cubes e-g (on the right). This all makes up for 8 puzzles in one, each with an easy and a difficult challenge (outside vs. inside the cage), and each with 3 pieces. If you are still not convinced that this is a great puzzle (set), let me mention that it won the IPP23 Design Competition. If you like one, have a look at the usual puzzle auctions. Actually, there is one for offer at one of the well known puzzle auctions right now.
Added on 2017-01-22
Today I am adding the first version of the L-Burr made by Pelikan. In this design, Junichi included complicated rotations, which make it more difficult than the low level 4 suggests. A few years back, I received an improved version by Brian and Junichi, which is even more difficult to solve. Both versions are fun to play with and the first one is currently available in an auction.
Added on 2017-01-21
Today a nice wooden version of Frans de Vreugd's IPP18 Exchange puzzle: Japanese Wood Joint Puzzle. It is very well made and comes with a storage box repeating some of the piece shapes. Not a difficult puzzle, but a nice little challenge from the disassembled puzzle. At first analysis, you will wonder how it can fit together until you notice some more details.
Added on 2017-01-20
"A puzzle a day keeps the doctor away." — sorry for the pun! To make up for that, I will later watch an episode of The Doctor and show you three new puzzles today. They are not new, but in fact they are all from around 2002 and belong to the group of 6 piece board burrs, all designed by Frans, the expert for such puzzles, and one in cooperation with Bill. The Chocolate Dip Burr is the most famous of the three and has the highest level, for the first piece. Just at the moment, it is listed in an auction again, and you may want to bid on that interesting puzzle with entertaining move sequences. The Chequered Board Burr is a burr with different successors. In my collection alone, I have two variants, the Doppelknoten without colour constraints and therefore different solutions, and then Chen's 6BB, with slightly different pieces and very sharp edges prohibiting illegal rotations. While Frans' version was to be solved without rotations according to the rules, the cheaper one-coloured version allows two different solutions with rotations (one of them illegal), and Chi-Ren's version can be solved with one of the rotational solutions. Then there is Tricolore, with an interesting colour scheme. It has a high level for the second and third piece, and some fascinating move sequences rarely seen in board burrs.
Added on 2017-01-19
Today two nice puzzles found their way into my collection: Cubie Burr, Cubie Burr #2. I have been looking for these classic puzzles for some time. They are not difficult (I was able to disassemble both and also later reassemble from scrambled pieces within a few minutes each), but they are interesting designs and well made. The piece layouts definitely help to see how the puzzles work and to reassemble.
Added on 2017-01-18
Last year, I ordered some new puzzles from Eric Fuller. It was probably the smallest package, I have ordered from him for a long time, and this is probably due to the size of the puzzles inside. Only one burr puzzles is about the usual size you would expect, and even that is small for burr puzzles. The small acrylic puzzles are nice additions to the ones I already have, and should I mention that this package also contained a tiny, but tricky puzzle box? I leave it to you to find out which is which: Small Button Box, Loopy Burr, Tamino, Band Cube, and Conclusion. Surprisingly, this package was not only small, but it also took some time to arrive, but now I have these tiny but difficult puzzles.
Added on 2017-01-16
Today a tiny puzzle package arrived, with the latest invention in the field of "Locks unfit for securing something, but really cool puzzles": Louis Coolen's Trick Lock 2016, which is already the second in his series.
Update on 2017-01-04
Lately, I have been trying to catch up with solving puzzles quite a bit and the first update of this year is a review of the Dragon's Cave on the Burr Zoo group page.
Other/Older updates:
Can be found on the update history page


Hints: If you need solution hints to any puzzle in my gallery, feel free to e-mail me. My e-mail address can be found on my homepage.