Extremely Puzzling - Goetz Schwandtner's Puzzles - History

News/Updates:

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 unusual 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 Box - 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.
Added on 2016-12-28
Yesterday I went to a local puzzle meeting and met some puzzle friends there. I also had the chance to add some new puzzles to the collection. From Bernhard I got some nice wooden interlocking puzzles: Little Bruce, Twisty Hollow, Spiral Cube #2, and Bandocub. Christoph presented some of his new designs and also designs from other authors. I got Yell-Oh Puzzle (only available in yellow for some reason) and Seven Mini Folding Puzzles (3x3). Thanks for the nice puzzles.
Added on 2016-12-16
Merry Christmas Today a small package with a big puzzle set arrived. A wooden Christmas tree model? Merry Christmas? No! Merry-go-round! This is the latest development in variable stage mixed base n-ary puzzles. The puzzle is based on the Power Tower and while my copy of the Power Tower has 5-ary pieces, this one includes two 6-ary pieces! After successfully solving the maximal configuration of that Power Tower earlier this week, with a total of more than 15600 moves, I now felt ready for this new challenge. First surprise: There was only one type of pieces of each arity, unlike the mirror-symmetric pairs in the Power Tower. For the puzzle to work, the pieces have to be put into the slim tower in a helical pattern, and there is the first puzzle: Which way round? Both are initially possible, but only one orientation will work. Luckily, you have a good visibility of the pieces during solving, and many spare pieces to look at the details and determine how the pieces interact. That sounds like a systematic and easy approach, but in reality (late Friday evening), this puzzle lead to some confusion and I was sometimes going back and forth not completely understanding all moves. Compared to other n-ary puzzles, there are also many small dead ends in the move sequences and you have to take care not to end up in them. They will lock the puzzle with various pieces locking each other until you get back out of them again. First, they look like shortcuts, but they are far from that. After a while, I got used to the usual sequences in this implementation, a very nice n-ary puzzle! More pictures and some technical details can be found on the puzzle's compendium entry.
Of course the puzzle can be found here, too: n-ary puzzle group and compendium
Added on 2016-12-15
This year I received some very early Christmas Presents from Japan. The are ranging from mechanically complex puzzles to cute ones, and all look very nice. I still have to solve them, and also the names for most are only guesswork, to be changed when I know the real names. Bean Bag Drawer 3*, String Box 4*, X-mas Present 2016*, Twin 4*, Ursa Major
Update: Meanwhile, I have solved all of them and as expected Iwahara's newest work has taken me longest. Amazing, how many different concepts they put in those boxes this time. My views of the boxes range from little "look, that is cute!" details to mechanisms I find fascinating. This time, you can also see part of the mechanism in the most complicated box, which is quite unusual.
Added on 2016-12-14
Today a package with one of the latest twisty puzzles arrived: Ivy Cube. This cube is a nice looking and easy to solve cube, not requiring any complex algorithms or sequences to solve.
Added on 2016-11-26
Today two vintage puzzles from a recent auction: 4x4 Puzzle looking a bit like Quadlock 4, but different, and Impossible Cube, which looks like two locked pieces cut out from a wooden block in an impossible way.
Added on 2016-11-24
Today a very beautiful puzzle arrived. It is a high level burr, but that is not the main aspect. It is quite big, but still not the main aspect. It is a beautiful puzzle resembling a famous train locomotive, The Flying Scotsman (Wikipedia), and on that page you'll find a picture of the locomotive. Now after viewing this picture, you may want to have a look at the picture I have taken of the puzzle: The Flying Scotsman. Now compare the two pictures (I am not talking about my poor pictures!) and find all the little details that have been incorporated into the wooden puzzle! The wheels of the puzzle don't turn, but they interact with the puzzle solution and are vital for it. This beauty has been crafted by Jakub and his colleagues from Pelikanpuzzles, based on a first implementation in wood by Stephan Baumegger, which also looked beautiful. The original design of the puzzle and its burr-solution is by Terry Smart. I am not sure what this is: It is a beautiful piece of art, a little bit a scale model, and also a puzzle. The high level convinces me that it is also a puzzle to be solved, not just an object to look at. Well, after a couple moves, it is not a scale model or classic piece of art any more, but looks more like a modern art sculpture with the parts of the locomotive all in wrong places. But you can be sure to have a nice looking model train at the end again — if you manage to solve it!
Added on 2016-11-23
At DCD, Jaap schowed me an interesting sticker mod of the 3x3x3 cube. It has circles on it (therefore the name) and looks like this: 3x3x3 Circle Sticker Cube. The stickers are distributed in a way, that each cubie has at most one sticker on it. As a consequence, no two circles touch. This mod is not easy, but hard to solve. Determining where the stickers should go is the first challenge. For the stickers with fixed positions, they have to be put in the correct orientation, maybe the easiest part, but not found on the standard Rubik's cube.
Added on 2016-11-22
Today I received the second of the new Hanayama Cast puzzles, which are finally coming to Europe. It is the first Hanayama Cast puzzle to appear in n-ary puzzle group and compendium, and not even in a low arity position! The puzzle is the Cast Infinity, which of course does not have an infinite number of moves or configuration, but looks like an infinity symbol. It plays nicely and is of excellent quality, and I would class it as an interlocking puzzle, with two interlocking discs in a frame, and many moves to take apart. My favourite among the new Cast puzzles.
Update on 2016-11-20
Today I have solved the beautiful puzzle Beware of the Dogs, please find my review in my Burr Zoo group page.
Added on 2016-11-13
Iwahiro is known for his excellent and crazy coordinate motion puzzles. Recently I spotted one that was now available via a German manufacturer: Hexahedroom
Added on 2016-11-11
Today I could add some new puzzles to a group which had not seen any updates for some time: twisty octahedra. At DCD I had the chance to play with the latest inventions in this group and when they became available in a mini version this week, I quickly contacted Raphael for: Mini Axis Octahedron and Mini Ghost Octahedron. They are cute little puzzles and beautifully made and of excellent quality. Even with their small size they are fun to play with. They might look cute, but they are both evil shape shifters. Lovely puzzles, I like them!
Added on 2016-10-31
Last weekend I went to the biggest European puzzle event, the Dutch Cube Day in Voorburg and met many old and some new friends there. Of course, I came back with some puzzles! The Ichthus and the sticker set to build a 3x3x3 Maze Cube were this year's giveaways. Michel has dug into the archives of very old vintage puzzles to create two nice modern reproductions: The Three Times and Out Puzzle and Circular Maze Puzzle*. Jack has managed to form a burr from some letters in the nice CFF Burr, which was his entry in the CFF100 puzzle design challenge. He also had some of his traditional puzzle areas for offer: Assembler's Challenge, Bottom Line, and Simplicity are small 18 pieces burrs. For his Power Tower puzzle, he created a set of quinary (5-ary) pieces for me, so that this puzzle nicely demonstrates the n-ary concept. The Power Tower has now 2-ary, 3-ary, 4-ary, and 5-ary pieces, and all of these can be combined in challenges. Stay tuned for more n-ary puzzles to come from Jack! Jaap is usually known for Twisty Puzzle solutions (which we discussed at the event), but his Gathering for Gardner present is from a different category: Ziggy. From this year's IPP Exchange puzzles I was able to obtain two visually very interesting ones: Bram's Magic and Vivaldi Burr. To catch up in the heavy metal category, the Morris Bolt 1 and the Haleslock 2 found their way from the UK, accommpanied by the latest nod to literature with the Oliver. Not hard to guess which character the name Oliver of this twisting burr relates to! Alfons visited the DCD again and this time he brought even more of his old and new designs with him, all of them beautifully crafted by himself in wood. Frankenstein is an 18 pieces burr with quite irregular pieces and an appropriate name. In the 12 piece burr Beware of the Dogs a lot of space was available to add three additional dog shaped pieces, each different and in a different wood. I am going to write more about it in the usual place after solving. While Pappos is a high level caged 6 piece burr, Toban is the new traditional 18 piece burr I just had to get for that category, accompanied by the caged Full House 2. Lalibela misses this category by just one, it only has 17 pieces, but an interesting look. Jacket has 14 pieces and an unusual shape. Gargamel has only 8 pieces and it is surprising how high the level for these 6 sticks and 2 loop pieces is. With the last two, I added two more to the Schoolbus series: Schoolbus 2 and Mini Schoolbus. Thank you all for the puzzles offered to me, including the nice presents among them!
In this update, there have been updates to several group pages, feel free to browse through them to find the updates: Burr Zoo, 18 pieces burrs group, n-ary puzzle group, and the compendium.
Added on 2016-10-26
Today a package from Japan arrived with the latest inventions in Karakuri works. Well, latest? Maybe not the basic design, but I would guess the following design neither from its size nor from its shape: Super-CUBI (small). Yes, it is one of those famous boxes belonging to n-ary puzzle group and compendium, but much smaller and as a much more delicate version. The mechanism is well built and I was able to run through the 324 move sequence quickly. I have played with the original size version and King-CUBI, and I must say that I liked playing with this one most. The size makes it nice to handle and it almost gives you a feeling of speed-CUBI-ng (sorry for the pun!). Please have a look into the compendium entry for a picture of the mechansim in this version.
With it came two more Karakuri boxes, which look a bit different, but that is because I have built them myself! Treasure Box and Newton Box are nice and easy to build and unlike traditional Karakuris they allow you to see more of the mechanism.
Added on 2016-10-22
Today I visited a nice puzzle party nearby, held by my puzzle friend Bernhard. Beside meeting nice puzzlers there with a lot of fascinating puzzle related conversation, I also got the chance to play and solve an excellent puzzle from Greece winning a honourable mention award at this year's IPP Design Competition. I leave the puzzle to you to figure out which one it was. From that meeting, I brought a copy of the grand jury's award winner of this year's Design Competition: Marbles Cage. I first played with one around one year ago, but now I can take my time to get those six marbles out of that simple cage — sounds easy enough! From Bernhard, I got several puzzles he had built, some of them brand new and just published on Ishino's Puzzlewillbeplayed page: Cage Amovable, Twisting Cubes, Cubic Lock, Get in the Box!, Five O'lock, Happy Dance, and Identical Twins. A guest from far away was Jim Kerley, who presented me a Two Star Puzzle. Thanks, Bernhard and Jim!
Added on 2016-10-14
Yesterday I visited the world's biggest fair for games (like boardgames, card games etc.), the "Spiel" in Essen. There are also some puzzlers there, for example Jean-Claude Constantin. His newest designs include the following nice ones: B-Nary is a ternary puzzle with a hidden mechanism, but after playing you can guess how it must look like under the hood. You can clearly see the name B-NARY beautifully incorporated in the design, but not all those ball bearrings, including the one that has to go from starting position to the goal position (reset feature included!). Especially that one can add some confusion to the second part of the solution, making the puzzle more challenging, and when you thought you had understood the puzzle after the first half, there is a new component to it! The JUNC reminds me a bit of the N522 series, only with two major differences: The design is obviously simpler. You can unlock and remove the top acrylic lid and then rotate each of the little square pieces with the mazes in them. There are some simple ones, like in the picture of this puzzle's entry, but there are also more complicated ones. In the compendium you can also find a picture of a configuration adapted from the N522 and with a similar solution sequence (only binary, not ternary!). Both these puzzles are part of n-ary puzzle group and compendium.
The others are nice new trick boxes: Triangle Trick Box 2 is a variation on the Triangle Trick box theme, Z-Box and Push Drawer Box are new designs and shapes. The Locked Puzzle Chest is a design by Constantin and built in a cooperation with a second manufacturer. For all of them, you cannot see what is going on and how to open them, and I don't know the correct names, so I may update the entries later.
On his tour through various game fairs and puzzle meetings, Hendrik also came to Essen with his Puzzle-Shop and had the following nice and interesting puzzles for me: Cast Cake, Eurofalle 5, Puzzle-Box 001, and Puzzle-Box 002. While the first of these Siebenstein puzzle is a continuation of a series, the other two have the theme "puzzle" nicely incorporated in the design of their lids. Two of these three share a similar mechanism and all three of them are nice little boxes I have already solved. For some reason, the storage space in the Eurofalle is so small, that it does not contain the usual Euro coin, but only a 20 cents coin.
Added on 2016-10-10
From Austria a beautiful new puzzle arrived: Entropie. It consists of a cage, with three wide piece trapped in it, and around there are 12 more burr sticks in 3 different woods. If you have a look at the level, you will notice that it is a difficult puzzle with many moves. An interesting puzzle, indeed!
Added on 2016-10-06
After those delicate and fragile looking wooden puzzles recently, today a heavy and sturdy puzzle arrived: Nutty Bolt No. 2. It looks very similar to the first one, but this bolt seems to have a different solution. A nice heavy metal puzzle!
Added on 2016-10-05
Today a beautiful puzzle made its way to me from South Africa through customs despite the dangerous name with "Explosion" in it: Triangle Explosion. It is a coordinate motion puzzle with a nice stand and as usual for those puzzles, it is unclear whether it should be displayed as puzzle or nice piece of art.
Update on 2016-10-04
In the picture to the right you see G.I. Joe and King Tut. Sounds familiar? Maybe you don't remember any sliding pieces puzzles with that name, but more something wooden, with big locks and wooden chains?
You remember right! Below I announced Gi Joe locked King Tut in a Tomb!, and now I have managed to solve it (after asking for a hint on a trick in the box!), and I finally had a look at G.I. Joe and King Tut. I expected King Tut to be in the tomb in some wooden form, but instead I found both those guys. They must have had a fight in there, both icons completely scrambled, not in their original state, and in need to get all their pieces rearranged.... After solving those two nice vintage sliding piece puzzles I now know how the American super hero and the Egypt pharao look like!
Before that, I had to solve those four locks, unlock them, and then find and perform several steps of the puzzle box. First, it seemed to me, that one lock was not working as reliably as the first time I opened it, but then Tracy told me that there is actually a trap in it, on purpose! Hidden locking mechanism, a dial to turn, a trap — does that sound familiar? It does, and that concept is also part of another puzzle I have just solved (with a few peeks into the first part of the solution): SMS Box — an excellent puzzle! Now back to topic: Having solved that complicated box, I have managed the four locks and box, and indeed, there are some nice tricks built in. Different locks for different difficulty challenges. A nice feature is that resetting the open locks for the next puzzler does not require all the way back (only if you like to), but there is also an intended shortcut.
Overall, I have to reclass this puzzle now as: Puzzle lock(s), Puzzle box, Sequential Discovery, Hidden maze, Sliding Pieces. I will keep this big and fascinating puzzle in its main category in my gallery. It is obviously a box after all, and a very nice and fun one, too! Still love those wooden chains giving the puzzle a unique look!
Wooden Locks
Added on 2016-09-29
Today I received four shipments from three different delivery companies, two of them being puzzle packages. The first one from Hong Kong contained one of the latest Twisty puzzles, a 4-axis 5-rank Cube, which is also called "Master Skewb" in the shop. However, it is different from the Master Skewbs I already have. While those are symmetrical and add one layer in the middle compared to the Skewb, this one has an assymetric internal structure and behaves more like an F-Skewb. To be precise, like an F-Skewb with two combined inner layers instead of one. Thus a more fitting name would be: Master F-Skewb / Master Dino Skewb (that latter one also not following nomenclature exactly).
The other package contained some vintage wooden puzzles from a recent auction. The Berserk BurrCirc was on my list for some time, and it is an unusual puzzle. With only level 4 for removing the first piece, you have to move those two circle pieces early in the solution, unlocking several pieces in some of the 4 burrs around the circle. The Mechanic Cubi is mechanically equivalent to the Small Cubi puzzle I already have, with some differences to be noted immediately and some hidden. The mechanic cubi is the inner part of the Cubi / Small Cubi showing the mechanism and letting you explore the binary sequence and showing you how the trick works that successive moves are on opposite sides of this box. It is good that you can see what is going on, because extra care has taken not to damage the puzzle, as the whole mechanism is made of wood, no metal inside! For those wanting to be extra careful not to break anything, Kamei also included a second solution, a shortcut of only a couple of moves. Both solutions are working nicely, and the puzzle is definitely one for n-ary puzzle group and compendium.
Added on 2016-09-18
Yesterday I went to a small puzzle party to meet some nice puzzle friends, to play with puzzles and discuss them. I have also received some puzzles, most of them new for this IPP: from Dirk a Kyoto 2016 Disentanglement Puzzle and a Fishing Hook Chain 9-Ring, which is the first ternary chinese rings I have seen and therefore something new for n-ary puzzle group and compendium. From Christoph I received one of his Matryoshka Puzzle, which has 9 different symmetrical solutions, of which I was able to find just a few so far, and a shiny Metalised Egg 3x3x3 silver. Thanks a lot, guys, for the great time and the puzzles!
Added on 2016-09-16
Today a small surprise package from Switzerland arrived, continueing the series of variants of the Double Slideways burr, containing: Double Slideways Burr TSP+. The internal voids have been further reduced in this model via some complicated cuts and surprisingly you can still slide it together in a coordinate motion move. Thank you!
Added on 2016-09-12
Gi Joe locked King Tut in a Tomb! Today a big puzzle from the US arrived, which had its first appearance at the Rochester Puzzle Picknick this year. There are massive wooden locks, four of them, and each a bit bigger than the SMS box (in case you would like to get an idea about the size). These four locks are part of the puzzle Gi Joe locked King Tut in a Tomb!, which is a combination of several puzzle types: Sequential Discovery, Puzzle Locks, Puzzle Box. Before you can try to open the lid of the tomb, you have to solve the locks (or at least most of them if you really are in a hurry!). They lock the lid in place using nicely crafted wooden chains. A beautiful and lovely puzzle! However, I have some concerns about the name: Tracy always like to put something into the box to discover. From the title, it might as well be an egyptian mummy. Let's see what surprise I will find in there! Of course the locks are non-trivial and all different, as you can already see from the different configurations of buttons and dials on them. So far I do not own a solution of the puzzle, but that makes it all more interesting, doesn't it? I am looking forward to attacking this beast — alone or with a group of puzzlers. This is a big advantage: you can actually puzzle with several people on it at the same time. Time for a puzzle party! Wooden Locks
Added on 2016-09-07
Today two packages arrived. The smaller one from Hong Kong contained a rather big Twisty puzzle cube, the new Clover Cube. Very interesting assymetric turns!
The second came from Australia with some of the latest IPP36 Exchange puzzles: Ovolo, Murbiters Devilish Burr for IPP36, Dwarf Planet D, Holey 6 Board Burr II, and Double Image. With them, two of the IPP35 puzzles came: 2 and 2 Burr and Glitter. All of them interesting interlocking puzzles from wood and acrylic. Secret Box No 3 is the last one I missed from the series. Cannonball and Magic Wands are reproductions of well known puzzles. Chained Up looks like it is unsolvable, but it should be! From the last three disentanglement puzzles Dingo Trap, Airplane, and Caterpillar, two are to be found in n-ary puzzle group and compendium. Can you guess which?
Added on 2016-09-03
Today two nice puzzles from three designers arrived, who can be considered masters in their field: B-Box, Reactor is a puzzle box/burr of the n-ary puzzle group and compendium. Goh Pit Khiam designed the B-Box box, which can also be completely be taken apart as a burr. Inside is a small puzzle box by Eric Fuller, the Reactor. Please see the compendium entry for both closed and open pictures of the B-Box showing the Reactor, too. The Slant Cube has a piece that just falls off, or rather would fall off if Eric had not used a magnet to keep it in place. After removing this dark piece and another once, held in place by friction, the rest has some interesting coordinate motion and rotations to offer, designed by William Hu. Two (or three) very interesting puzzles!
Added on 2016-09-01
From Pelikanpuzzles in Czech Republic, I received some very beautiful wooden puzzles: Quad Slideways Burr is a new variation on the slideways burr and has a fascinating move, Wide Portico is a new, bigger version of other Portico puzzles, and Pontoon consists of two H's, a burr plate and two sticks. All non trivial puzzles and very well made.
Added on 2016-08-30
Early morning update with a new Twisty from Hong Kong: 3x3x3 Bagua Magic Cube. It has some cuts similar to the 3x3x3 Pitcher Octo-Star Cube, but can turn by 45 degrees on all sides.
Added on 2016-08-18
Digits' Compressor Today I received a puzzle directly from the IPP36 Design Competition. It is Digits' Compressor, the latest creation of Namick Salakhov. It is a very unusual looking puzzle and it also takes some moments to understand what to do with it.
The goal is to compress the stack of discs (AKA digits) as much as possibe (and not by force, but the right sequential move sequence!) and that at the end each of the red lines on the discs aligns with one of the four red marks in the top/bottom parts. Actually, this will give a nice spiral pattern from bottom via the red marks to the top, too — when solved. The construction is nice to play with and well made, and the design is excellent!
As with most of Namick's works the sequences you have to find relate to reflected Gray codes, which puts the puzzle straight into the n-ary puzzle group and compendium. However, it is not as easy as that: While the gray discs form a binary reflected Gray code (which is why I called them "gray" and not "silver"), there are also those black doing some other moves. There are several compressed / minimal height configurations, but in those the red markers do not line up and you have to go on compressing and uncompressing. There are also some dead ends of different length and when exploring the puzzle for the first time, I am sure, I also found these dead ends. After some time playing you will most certainly see some recursive structure in the move sequences and sooner or later you will recognize the binary Gray code in it. I like this unusual design and how Namick managed to create this implementation of the reflected binary Gray code.
Added on 2016-08-11
From Dirk I received his IPP36 Exchange puzzle: Four Playing Blocks. It is a sliding piece puzzle with some unusually shaped pieces and two different challenges, represented by the two different colours on the stickers. A nice puzzle idea. Thank you!
Added on 2016-07-30
Some new Twisties from Hong Kong: Carl's Bubbloid 4x4x5, Carl's Bubbloid 4x5x5. I have first played with some Shapeways printed versions at an IPP before, when Carl brought some for demonstration. Very unusual twisty cuboids!
Added on 2016-07-20
Today a package from South Africa arrived with some nice wooden puzzle in it, big nice wooden puzzles: Oktobox has 8 identical pieces in a frame and high level for such a simple concept. The pieces are arranged in pairs from both sides and it takes some time until you notice that it is not four, but actually 8 pieces in a frame. The Moluscub has sticks with a nice checkerboard pattern and boards in three dimenstions, serving as a frame of two parallel pieces in each direction. As usual for Johan's puzzles, they come with a nice stand to display them.
Added on 2016-07-07
Today a special surprise update: With issue 100 of Cubism For Fun (CFF) came two puzzles: CFF 100 Disc Puzzle is a puzzle that has to be reassembled correctly first, then turned to show "CFF" and "100". The other is the Jubilee puzzle and special to me: Disc + Crown CFF 100 Jubilee Edition Puzzle is a smaller version of my IPP34 Exchange puzzle and therefore also to be found in n-ary puzzle group and compendium. A very nice idea and both puzzles are very well made!
Added on 2016-07-05
Today I went to pick up a parcel coming from around half the world. It came with my recent subscription to the Mr Puzzle's wooden telephone network. I have not seen any indication about (un)limited data plans or call flat rates, but I doubt they are included. However, for sure there are unlimited disassembly and re-assembies of this puzzle per month, and I am sure that can be achieved with the nice looking end point device supplied: SMS Box. It is called a box, but it looks like a phone and you can pick up the hand set, and even the dial with the numbers seems to be working. I am sure there is a lot more to explore in this fascinating puzzle, but I already love the look of this old fashioned telephone. Not sure if it has a ringer or silent alert built in, but for sure many mechanisms waiting to be discovered and solved, and magnets. Of course, this will take some time. Thinking back to the Koala, which took me exactly 2 months to solve completely (and was a whole lot of fun!), this next Limited Edition puzzle should be another big challenge for some time. I am still wondering how to receive an SMS with that phone will be possible, but that is the main puzzle challenge.
Seems I have subscription number #44, but not sure if you can ring me via this number. Right now, there seem to be some SMS boxes available for sale after the first batch sold out quickly.
Added on 2016-06-22
Today I received a package with nice wooden puzzles from Turkey, containing: Hedgehog Burr, Fossil Burr, and Fossil Burr 2. The use of Shellac gives the dark part of these unusual designs a beautiful look!
Added on 2016-06-21
Today, an interesting puzzling object arrived: Directly from the 3D printer, and printed as a whole, the Articulated Cube II. The goal is to unlock and unfold the cube so that you see the star (peace) symbol in the round hole of the other part and put the stand down. This cube has many moving parts, but was printed in one go and you can play with it directly after arrival. Depending on tolerances, there may be a bit of breaking in necessary, as usual with 3D printed moving objects. The material is called aluminide and gives it a nice heavy feel. If you would like to see how this cube (and the other designs work), have a look for agentkurt's videos on YouTube. This cube reminds me of my favourite level "The Box" in the smartphone game Monument Valley.
Added on 2016-06-20
Today I picked up a newly arrived package with my latest auction wins. Some Indian trick locks with mechanisms I did not yet have (they still do exist!): PANCH - 7 Levers and Morex - 7 Levers. With it came a rather large exchange puzzle and sequential discovery puzzle box, too: Dovetail Burr Box.
When picking up the package at my neighbor's, it turned out there was another package from the Puzzlemuseum waiting for me. One main reason was a puzzle missing in n-ary puzzle group and compendium for a long time: Panex Gold. This puzzle has considerably more moves than the Binary Burrs and even the Delirium 13 I recently received. In the package were some other nice puzzles: The Orbik is another addition to the Twisty section after some time. The Tower of Torment I have solved at a friend's place before, but now I have my own, in my favourite colour. The Opal Puzzle Chess Set is not another chess set, it is a piece of art, the smaller version of the metal one, and an interlocking puzzle (actually two). The Miniature Keyless Brass Padlock is definitely the smallest padlock in my collection, it's cute! James added an interesting puzzle with six pieces for four puzzles: The Pythagorean Puzzle. One of the challenges involves demonstrating Pythagoras' Theorem, maybe there my Mathematics diploma will be useful. This puzzle is also interesting from a historical standpoint, as the design dates back to a puzzle sold in London in the 1840s. Thank you James!
Added on 2016-06-16
Today a package arrived with some special puzzles I have been offered. The Magma Plus is an old design, but probably the most normal among them. It is nice to have another one from Franklin Gonsalves after all those years.
The next one has many fathers and is more than a high level 18 pieces burr (see group page 18 pieces burrs group): Double Tiros. The name tells you what this puzzle is: two copies of high level burr Tiros joined and combined into one puzzle. While the Tiros design was a once world record puzzle by Alfons Eyckmans (a few years back), Stephan Baumegger first had the idea of joining two 18 pieces burrs (see Puzzle "Burrdos" below, which has two different, specially designed burrs combined), Guillaume Largounez arranged the two burrs in a double burr, and Maurice Vigouroux built it. This is a true beast and will be hard to solve, considering the effort which Stephan's Burrdos took me (but have solved it, with only one hint for the second burr for the fouth piece, after completely disassembling the first one and removing another three from the second one). However, I have been practising with the Tiros puzzle lately as preparation.
The next one is a whole series of puzzle from the n-ary puzzle group. That I put them into only one entry in the compendium hides the fact that I have never seen such a big set of different Binary Burrs in any one place: Binary Burr 3 small, Binary Burr 4 small, Binary Burr 5 small, Binary Burr 6 small, Binary Burr 7 small, Binary Burr 8 small, Binary Burr 9 small, and Binary Burr 10 small.
Now I only need some more time to solve all those recent acquisitions from the last weeks. At least, I have got one coin out of new Wil's box already and have solved one of yesterday's boxes.
Added on 2016-06-15
Today a box arrived from the US, from the Edenworkx shop (on etsy) containing another two boxes. These boxes look like beautiful vintage boxes found in places where some valuables and mysteries are stored. However, they are brand new. Only the wood used is a bit older and has once served as parts of barns and has recently been transformed into those nice boxes. The New puzzle box Worm Wood contains four sticks (and more) as lock. The Vintage treasure puzzle box has a sliding piece puzzle on top and will only unlock in the right configuration, and the correct pattern will change when you open it. Have not manage to open any of them yet, but hope to do so soon.
Added on 2016-06-09
From CU Japan I received some nice Japanese puzzles. The ALPACA is a tiny and interesting interlocking puzzle. Then I built some Karakuri boxes. Yes, you read right! However, not the expensive one the Karakuri craftsmen create with all sorts of tricks, but some Karakuri kit boxes. Even with this cheap variant of their works, you notice the very high quality standards they have. The pieces have excellent fit, are well prepared and easily fit together nicely. They come with instructions with a lot of schematics in them — and Japanese text I don't understand, but also did not need. The Camera has a nice unusual trick to open. The Frog Box consists of a small frog on top of a big frog and when you open or close the box, it will also make frog like noises!
Added on 2016-06-08
Today two packages with nice brand new puzzles arrived. The first one is a beautiful wooden puzzle: Canal House. This is a nice unusual looking puzzle, shaped like one of those Dutch houses close to the canal, and it is also fun to play with.
The second package brought Wil's latest creation: Pachinko Box. A heavy and nicely polished box which shows some of its inner workings, but does not want to reveal its secrets yet. I have seen some unusual mechanisms already and I am very curious how they interact to get that second coin out. Well, before the second coin, there will be a first coin, I am sure! Wil also included a little plastic container with something in it. This container is carefully sealed and although it is transparent, you cannot see the thing in it. The container looks like a small can, but it will not open like one, I am afraid. A lot of open questions to keep you busy for a while!
Added on 2016-06-03
The latest design in puzzle bolts arrived today. Maybe the smallest puzzle package I have ever received, containing a massive Nutty Bolt No. 1. It has indeed an interesting new mechanism I have never seen before!
Added on 2016-06-01
An unexpected evening delivery brought a beautiful puzzle with an interesting solution: Oh This
Added on 2016-05-28
From France a nicely built very high level board burr arrived, and it has an appropriate name for such a monster puzzle: Ultraburr
Added on 2016-05-26
Some older Hanayama Cast puzzles of different kinds: Cast Cuby, Cast Amour. High quality as typical for them and interesting to solve.
Added on 2016-05-20
Early morning update: Forever Lock Padlock. It is not a puzzle lock or trick lock, but has an interesting mechanism and it is a puzzle how to get the key in to unlock.
Added on 2016-05-18
Today a massive burr from South Africa arrived, which has been beautifully crafted from wood. It has level 5461.12 and is called Delirium 13. The 13 stands for 13 pieces: 12 special pieces and one slider across them all. Maybe this all sounds familiar? It is an n-ary puzzle and the nice first wooden version of an n-ary puzzle which was previously only 3D printed. Please have a look into n-ary puzzle group and compendium for more details. The compendium contains more information about Delirium 13.
This puzzle looks massive and does not hide its many moves. Will take some time to disassemble. What I like most about the look of this puzzle is that the pieces are glued from separate sticks and that you cannot see the pieces immediately, but have to find them while solving.
Added on 2016-05-12
My latest auction win with some nice and interesting puzzles from different countries: Nahnook Ani Puzzle is a cute vintage polar bear from the US. Sonneveld Cubed Burr is a Dutch-US-British co-production and a crazy 3 piece burr. The origin of Crazy Swiss Cube is easy to guess. SKIFFY is from Ireland and a small yet complex sequential discovery puzzle.
Added on 2016-05-08
As a gift from a friend, which travelled around half the world: Cubebot, a nice puzzle which can be changed into many different shapes.
Added on 2016-05-01
Today I went to Wil's to meet some puzzle friends, and of course I bought some puzzles there: Odd One Out and Troubled Burr
Added on 2016-04-29
Some nice new and unusual puzzles from Eric arrived today already: Janus is "only" a 4x4x4 interlocking cube without rotations, but a very interesting one, at a high level and interesting move sequences. Cubic Burr is also a cube, but with completely different piece shapes and beautiful wood grain. Cup of Coffee is usually something I have in the morning, but for this one, you should be awake already, before trying it! Padlock Burr is the first burr puzzle I put into the Locks category, guess why! Two Burrs in a Basket is maybe the most interesting of the update: Level 2.25 just to get the pieces out of the basket. With the 6 sticks and 6 boards you can build two burrs at the same time, and finally you can put the burrs (partly) back into the basket in an assembled state. A multi challenge puzzle, with several challenges in sequence! Most of these puzzles are currently still available at Cubicdissection.
Added on 2016-04-23
Today was German Cube Day and I met old and new puzzle friends there. It was a nice and very well-organized event and had even two lectures to offer. Of course I found some interesting old and new puzzles there: Rhombic Dodecahedron Puzzle was the giveaway puzzle, and very nicely made on a 3D printer, like the Puck Disentanglement. Some vintage puzzles, including some tiny keychain puzzles: 3D Burger Puzzle, Logi-VIP, Circuit Breaker, Keychain Die, Keychain Ladybird, Keychain Camera, and Keychain Heart. The Obscure Maze is also of a similar size, easy to store. The Planar Burr is a variant of the puzzle I already have, but more stable and easier to play with. My puzzle friend Michel took care of bringing a Elephant Wire Puzzle all the way from Australia to me (with the help of some international carriers, of course), and now I can add this interesting puzzle to n-ary puzzle group and compendium. It has 11 challenges and at first it is very confusing because of all the curves in the wires. Nina and 4 Caged Puzzle are two burr puzzles, while the following three are puzzle boxes: Magic Box, Triangle Trick Box, and Loopy Box. I also got a newer twisty, the Simplified Dreidel Magic Cube, which might look simpler than the original Dreidel cube, but it is definitely harder to scramble. My Dreidel cube is currently looking like a hedgehog, with all the tiny pieces sticking out, will have to solve it properly. I also found one of the Locks category: Maze Lock.
Added on 2016-04-15
Some nice puzzling beauties from Yavuz: El Regalo, Hublot 2, and Kyberna. The smaller the puzzle, the higher the level!
Added on 2016-04-13
Recently, a fascinating new puzzle lock was built and released, and quickly sold out. Luckily, I managed to get one via Wil, and now I have a Haleslock 1. Looks like a standard Abus lock with some extra screws, and the key comes with it so you don't have to look for that one. Have I mentioned that the key is securely fastened to the shackle? That is where the puzzling begins!
Added on 2016-04-11
Is it a puzzle? Is it some piece of art? Well, the 4L Co-Mo DD is definitely both! In the picture Johan's latest creation is shown half extended and on a stand. When you start with it as coordinate motion puzzle, it will be two concentric circles, to be extended in several coordinate motion steps. Not easy to get the shape in the picture, some careful alignment is required. A very nice unusual puzzle and well made.
Added on 2016-04-09
After the late night update, this morning some beautiful puzzles arrived from Brian Menold already. Two interesting designs by Goh Pit Khiam: The Letterbox is the second puzzle with that name in my collection, but completely different than the other. The Checkbox is a nice little puzzle similar to other recent designs by Pit Khiam. It came disassembled, so the first challenge was to assemble. Once you have worked out how to get the first three pieces in the box, the rest is quite easy. Logan's 3 Open Minds Solve a Problem is a variation on a three piece board burr in a box challenge, and it has quite a high level for such type of puzzle.
Added on 2016-04-09
The puzzle I received yesterday came in pieces and with a manual how to build it. Lots of pieces! I am not talking about another box kit, but a Lego set this time. I have found this fascinating set on the lego ideas web site some while ago and it was just released to the marked, so I directly ordered one in the Lego shop and it quickly arrived. It is the Maze set, which is the third Lego puzzle I have (which are the others, can you locate them? Hint: they are both in the same group.) It is a Lego implementation of the classic wooden marble maze, where you control two directions of tilting with two knobs, a maze/dexterity puzzle. I always had some trouble solving those, now what are my first impressions of the Lego model? I have just built it and played with it a bit and it is an excellent implementation in Lego.
While the original mazes had holes in which the ball/marble got lost, this puzzle has a quite heavy little plastic orange soccer ball and no holes. Instead, some black areas, and once caught in there the ball would not come out again, you have to pick it up and restart. Goal is to navigate from the green area to the red area without getting lost in a "black hole". How well does the mechanics and ball movement work? Excellent, in my opinion. I like it a better than the wooden ones. There are also some clever ideas which make me like this puzzle better:
First you have to build the frame, then the board with the maze you can see on the picture. Now comes the interesting part: you can simply take out the board, disassemble it and reassemble it into a second maze with little houses on it, which seems a lot simpler to solve. The maze even runs through some of the the houses! The instructions for the maze come with the puzzle, together with some pictures of a few other maze ideas. Of course you can create your own mazes as you like! Some nice details are also: the transport lock, to make transporting and storing the puzzle easier, and the container for the ball, or actually the four balls included. One might think that these extra balls are for careless people loosing a ball every now and then, but I have a better idea: Build multiple ball maze challenges, where you have to guide several balls in parallel mazes without getting any into a black spot. That is an idea I have to explore further!
If you would like to see a picture of the second variant and read some more about this set Jason Allemann has created, please have a look here: Lego Ideas Blog.
Added on 2016-04-05
Just in case I sould ever be in urgent need of a sarcophagus, I have just built myself one. The Sarcophagus is the biggest and most complicate one of the box kits offered by Myer's Craft and designed by Bruce Viney. Not the one with the most moves, but definitely with a very complicated move sequence to open and some secrets to discover. The theme relates to ancient Egypt and it is no wonder there is a secret compartment inside. There is still some mystery I have to solve. After having some recent exercise with building these boxes, this box is the most complicated to build, but luckily it comes with an excellent set of instructions.
Added on 2016-04-01
Had to get the missing padlock for the Pirate's Wallet, which arrived today: Stickman Padlock.
Added on 2016-03-19
After wood and plastic puzzles, today some new heavy metal stuff: Cast Padlock is the latest Hanayama Cast puzzle (which I put into Locks category for name and looks), and just a tiny bit older is Cast Moebius, which is a metal version of Moby Maze.
Added on 2016-03-18
Two beautiful puzzles arrived from Tabor: Arrow, Crosscut
Added on 2016-03-16
Today two more interesting twisties from Hong Kong, both definitely unsuitable for beginners: Dual 3x3x3 Cube, Insanity Cube, which is a metal version of Moby Maze
Added on 2016-03-15
Maybe you remember the excellent Spaceballs movie, and the secret that is unveiled in it: Merchandise is where money is to be made when talking about movies like Star Wars. The latest puzzle arrival is a good example: 3D Rubik's Cube R2-D2. Doesn't he look cute? As a puzzle, this droid is one of the simplest twisties, but surely it is a very decorative item!
Added on 2016-03-10
Today a package with a beautiful and unusual puzzle arrived from South Africa: No Nukes!, with an additional stand to display the puzzle on.
Added on 2016-03-05
Today a package with topic "locks and keys": Chinese Lock, Old Trick Lock from India are two interesting trick locks. Cublock (not to be confused with the puzzle with nearly the same name by Stephan) consists of two halves to be unlocked, and Simplified Keyholes in a Cage has some 6 keyhole pieces (and some others) interlocking in an interesting way.
Added on 2016-03-01
Two packages with some very interesting burr puzzles: FourTress Puzzle is a two dimensional burr. Then there are two old designs in newly crafted additions to the 18 pieces burrs group: 18-Piece II and Lattice
Added on 2016-02-27
In a new cooperation, a beautiful puzzle box was created. It has a keyhole, but there does not seem to be any key, so how to open the box? The name of the box is exactly about that: How?Box. It is a sequential discovery puzzle, so finding the key must be part of the solution. It was designed by Peter Hajek incorporating one idea by Rainer Popp, so I am guessing the lock component will be sophisticated. Three craftsmen were working on this box: Jakub Dvorak on the wood working part, Ivo Splichal on the lock, and Jiri Mejtsky on the key. Sounds like the box will be a lot of fun to solve, and certainly not easy!
Added on 2016-02-26
From Cubicdissection a package with some more of the fascinating New Old School burrs: NOS2 Transfer, NOS5 Crenel. Additionally, Elena's Burr by a new designer.
Added on 2016-02-23
Package from Brian Menold arrived already, with some beautiful wooden puzzles in it: Little Slide Plank is coordinate motion, Trikado does not tell you much about the distribution of the 6 pieces, Klaas Jan 23 is by a new designer, Sharp Belted is one of the Sharp puzzles, but with an interesting frame, and +4 looks like a standard framed 6 pieces burr. Well, it is 6 pieces in a frame, but that is where the similarity ends. Reminds me of an earlier of Greg's works.
Added on 2016-01-31
Last update for January: Just finished assembling the last of the box kits. The Little Box was much easier to build than the Black Nightmare and curiously the Little Box is nearly double the size. A nice and easy box. Mabye I should have started with this kit.
Update on 2016-01-29
Just solved the Alligator and put some more pictures and a review here: Burr Zoo: Alligator
Added on 2016-01-28
After the heavy metal package yesterday, today two with wooden puzzles: The first from Stephan. In it was Alligator, which is a beautiful addition to the Burr Zoo, and Burrdos, which has 34 pieces, so I will put it into the 18 pieces burrs group. Why that? you might ask. Well, it is a siamese 18 piece burr, where two 18 pieces burrs share two common pieces and have to be solved simultaneously. Just trying the first few moves I already noticed that they behave differently, so it is not two mirror copies of one, but two 18 pieces burrs fused together. Fascinating!
The second package came from the Czech Republic with some more nice wooden puzzles in it. The Mimicry has a name that tells you about the deception: It looks like it is a burr made of six wide pieces. In reality, it is a caged six piece burr with an interesting frame and beautiful woods. The Little Portico and Portico J are a smaller and a larger variant of the same basic design. One a bit more difficult than the other and both with a piece shape I have not seen before.
Added on 2016-01-27
Today a long awaited surprise package arrived. It was long awaited since it is the latest of the Popplock series: Popplock T10. It was created in the usual excellent quality Rainer Popp employs to build his locks, and the first thing to notice is the stack of 13 layers of steel similar to the ones used in heavy duty padlocks. Of course, here we are not talking about heavy duty requirements, so the layers must be for something else! Now to the surprises that hit me when unpacking the lock: First, Rainer used some new packing material and when opening the box, a gazillion little styrofoam balls were trying to jump out of the box spreading all over the room. A physiscs experiment showing how these little balls will adhere to every surface they touch then followed. After collecting all of them and returning them to the box, I inserted the key into the lock, and another surprise! I am already fascinated with the mechanism, but won't tell more here, not to spoil the surprise for others!
Added on 2016-01-26
The next of the puzzle box kits to be built was: Black Nightmare. This tiny box was surprisingly difficult to build compared to the others, high precision and a lot of sanding the edges required. Now it is moving nicely and has an interesting counter-intuitive solution.
Added on 2016-01-24
Just finished the next of the kit boxes. This time, it looks more traditional, and that is also the idea behind Merlin's Casket. It has two compartments, one well hidden and well locked.
Added on 2016-01-17
Today I finished another of the kit boxes, and again it is no secret box hiding what is inside. Istead, you can have a look through the transparent panels, which does not mean you can have a look at the mechanism and this one has even more moves than the "The Crate". Certainly it has very interesting looks: Window Box
Added on 2016-01-16
Recently I received some new puzzle box kits from Myer's Crafts and have already started building. It will take some time to build them all, so I am putting them on here as they are completed. The first one is a puzzle box, but definitely not a secret box. You can easily see what's stored inside The Crate, but it is not easy to get the box open.
Added on 2016-01-07
Today a well packaged package from Wil arrived with his latest puzzles: Sweta Cross, Heavy Metal Triangle. Beautiful heavy metal puzzle in excellent quality!
Added on 2016-01-05
Do you remember Game Craze? The puzzle box board game assembly puzzle with puzzle locks? Meanwhile I had the chance to play this game in several groups and received positive feedback for this unusual puzzle/game. Of course, the first comments are always about the size of the shipping box I use to transport the puzzle consisting of 5 boxes and 4 locks (and more). Beside the puzzle aspect and beautiful look of the puzzle, I have now seen some aspects of the game. Interesting was one group of players where each struggled with a different aspect, but was good in an other discipline: Throwing the die (have some luck!), opening the doors with the tools provided, assembling the towers. One player had really bad luck with the die most of the time, but then won the game because of his systematic approach assembling the (red) tower finishing before anyone else. I like it when games are good for such surprises!
A man's got to go The first puzzle arriving this year was built also by Tracy Clemons. After finishing the Game Craze, she started producing a small series of identical puzzle boxes, and I was lucky enough to be able to acquire one: A man's got to go.
The box looks like a trunk with handles on each side and some beautiful decorations applied, and it has a lock in the front. The lock looks unlike anything I have ever seen. I have some clear ideas how to open the lock, which is good for a start! I am assuming that there is more to it after opening the lid. I already had a little peek into the box (as much the lock would allow) and it is not empty. In fact, it seems packed with more puzzling mechanisms. I like what I have seen so far and I am curious to explore this fascinating puzzle box. Thanks Tracy, for building and offering this nice little box. *)little only compared to the other one :)
Added on 2015-12-29
Yesterday I went to a small puzzle meeting and received Charpentiers Illusion as a present. A very interesting trick! Thank you, Christoph! Bernhard had some new interesting TICs for me: Threaded Cube and Ka'apuni. This morning a package with Eric Fuller's latest creations arrived, containing the Liberal Cube, NOS1 Compressed, and NOS3 Round Trip. These NOS ("New Old-School") burrs are fascinating coordinate-motion puzzles and hard to build as well as to solve.
Added on 2015-12-23
Just before Christmas the very nice Karakuri Christmas Presents 2015 arrived. X-mas present 1, X-mas present 2, X-mas present 3, X-mas present 4, X-mas present 5, and X-mas present 6. I did my usual guess about the craftsmen, please see the details pages. For two of them I already know the name, and the Bean Bag Drawer 2 seems to be an extension of my favourite present for 2013 with nearly the same name. These boxes look very nice and I am expecting different mechanisms with little surprises.
Added on 2015-12-19
A heavy package with some nice Indian style trick locks from Canada arrived, from Puzzlemaster: Heart Shape Brass Puzzle Lock has some new tricks I have not seen in a lock before and it will take some time until you even find the first key hole, Brass Square Puzzle Lock has a simple, but new mechanism, and Brass Figure Puzzle Lock Lion is simple but beautiful trick lock.
Added on 2015-11-30
My latest auction wins: 4 Direction Drawers is an interesting interaction of drawers, the The Arabi Gun is a sequential discovery puzzle design dating back to 1890s and before! The US Cube is a boxed burr, in which you have a clear view from the outside. The Heart Spin Box I do not know much about yet. Some of these puzzles I have wanted for some time.
Added on 2015-11-23
Some of the latest puzzles built by Eric Fuller: Cubloc looks very interesting and is the bigger brother of the beautiful Cubloc S. The mysterious Packira extends the four sticks in a box with 6 orthogonal sticks, and the Tulip has a 7th piece inside, and has a different level without that piece.
Update on 2015-11-21
I have finished my Game Craze Feature Page. Enjoy reading and viewing the detail pictures!
Update on 2015-11-18
Update on the fascinating Game Craze, please see the next part of the story on my Game Craze Feature Page.
Added on 2015-11-17
After the wood puzzle overload recently, today a package arrived from Cubezz: The Curvy Chop is basically a Curvy Copter chopped in half (and finished by closing the cut). I have a spare Curvy Copter lying around here to build this puzzle, but never got around. Now I had the cance to buy the finished puzzle. It came together with two others, one new, one older: Mastermorphix and Football Magic Cube
Of course, I am continueing with my "big puzzle project" and have made considerable progress on GAME CRAZE. Wait for an update soon!
Added on 2015-11-15
GameCraze Today a huge package arrived after a fast journey from the USA. In it was one puzzle consisting of five boxes created by the creative Tracy Clemons. Very well crafted, beautiful and much more. A fantastic puzzle to be explored. Of course, there is the usual puzzle page (Game Craze), but I also set up a special feature page with an initial description, where I will add more and more after I have played with the puzzle and discovered everyting. Please click on the following link to the Game Craze Feature Page.
Added on 2015-11-07
Today a nice puzzle event: GPP at Bernhard's place. He had some interesting puzzles to offer, including some prototypes. Some of them are new interlocking cubes, including some by Ken with half unit pieces and complicated rotations. Today's haul are: Konstrukt A, 2 Halves Cube, 2 Halves Pack, Popp, Tronc Commun 3, Meandros Cube, and Gravity. Thanks, Bernhard, for the puzzles and the nice event!
Added on 2015-10-30
Today some nice new puzzles from the Czech Republik arrived: Serflex, Cross Imprisioned, and Vauban H 5. The last puzzle is one from the Burr Zoo: Dragon's Cave. It has a little dragon inside trying to get out. When Stephan showed me the Burr-Tools file some 1.5 years ago, we were discussing how to implement the puzzle so that you can look in. I like the solution they found with the round holes in top and bottom of the frame. Let's see how this impacts the solution, if at all.
Added on 2015-10-19
Yesterday I went to the Dutch Cube Day to meet many puzzle friends, see some interesting new puzzles and of course to buy some puzzles. As first puzzle, I received this years DCD present, the Red, White and Blue, nicely 3D printed with country colours and name of the event. It started with catching up with some IPP puzzles, first from Robrecht: 50 Cent Labyrinth and 8 Stars Labyrinth. Then some new and old for n-ary puzzle group and compendium: Bin Laden Too and Elephant SpinOut.
Alfons had a huge selection of his nice wooden puzzles for sale, so I could not resist, of course! First, in the 18 pieces burrs group there is Hell (with 12 frame pieces, similar to Stephan's Fortuna or his Burrison), Mountain (designed by Dan, and with an 18 piece and 6 piece burr combined in one puzzle), and Knudde (which uses the unusual shape to hide some more pieces inside). Belopo is something similar for a six piece burr: with additional clamp pieces (similar to Stephan's Plankton). Tarpan is similar to Skunk I had so much fun with recently, and maybe that is why Alfons presented me this 12 piece burr with 3 frame pieces. Vera is quite new, but not as unconventional as the following ones: Box of 12, Rampart 2, and Jail Bars 2 are all some burr sticks within a cage so trapped that it is hard to guess how to get them out. Doender has similar piece configuration like the Rampart 2, but between two stacks of boards.
To continue with some more IPP35 exchange puzzles, I got myself some: Quadrant 1, Forgotten Piece, Smiley Burr, TrickLock 2015, and Pole Dancer. In a recent auction, Steve offered also the Twiddle Dum Helical Burr and Twiddle Dee Helical Burr. Now I have all 6 of Derek's twisted burrs and have to be careful not to get my brain twisted during solving. Ella Propella is also about twisting (or rather turning): You have to unlock the propeller so that it turns freely. The next three puzzles were some I wanted to add to my collection for some time: Secret Box No 2, Dino Star, and Leesho. It seems that Hungary (represented by Olivér) is still a good source for vintage Twisty puzzles. One of the interesting talks was by George Miller about his Cubigami puzzle and the countless nets forming shapes created from cubes, kindly handing out a Cubigami Net 4x1x1 for demonstration.
The last puzzle arrived this morning and is the latest from the Naked Secret Box series, the Naked Secret Box Purple. Beautiful and an interesting mechanism!
A big thank you to all of you who offered me these nice puzzles, ensuring that I will have some puzzle fun in the next time and will be extremely puzzled by some of them!
Note:In this post, I have just named the reference puzzles I already have, not linked to them, to avoid confusion which are new and which are old.
Added on 2015-10-16
Today a huge package arrived from Brian Menold, and after opening I saw the reason: The Proxima Centrauri is a big frame of two pieces with some four smaller pieces in the corners. Looks beautiful and impressive! The other puzzles also look beautiful, but are of a more normal size: Altair, Quadrox, Stairs Cube, and Four Mirror One. Alltogether some stack of nice puzzles interesting both in solution level as well as the woods used.
Added on 2015-10-14
Today a package from Stephan with some of his latest creations. The l'Unifolié looks beautiful and excellently crafted, must have been a lot of work! It was Stephan's entry into the IPP 35 Design Competition. It has the same basic principle as the Caught Heart, the Rammelkast, and the Hazelgrove-Box, but an additional stick that has to be manipulated from the outside while solving the box. The other beautiful puzzle is one from the 18 pieces burrs group: Burrner. This beautiful burr has extensions on the sides of the 6 middle pieces, which makes it a very interesting puzzle with a high level. Maybe not the highest level for the first piece, but certainly impressive for the first 5 pieces combined.
Added on 2015-10-02
Today a small parcel with many puzzles was waiting for me to pick up: Diamond Entanglement, Key Shaped Puzzle Lock, Secret Box No 4, Mini Secret Puzzle Box, Bird in the Nest, Euro-Falle 3, and Euro-Falle 4. Some are IPP puzzles from IPP35, and then there are some nice others.
Added on 2015-09-22
Maybe you remember the DITWIBIN by Namick Salakhov? A nice puzzle in the n-ary puzzle group and therefore also in the compendium. That puzzle has a clever mechanism and is fun to play with, and is a simpler relative of what arrived today: The MixTer-MaxTer. It was an entry in this years IPP Design Competition, and I think it is a brilliant design! You "just" have to guide the little red sliders from the outer disk with two slots and collect them in the other outer disc with many slots. My discovery of that puzzle went through three main stages:
  1. Try to move the discs (which are moving simultaneously!) and get some of the sliders moved to other discs. Feeling confused.
  2. After a while, my hands seem to do some moves automatically and I am beginning to see a pattern. Could this be a n-ary puzzle with base 7 (like 7 discs)?
  3. Now I have understood where each of the sliders can go, and each can only go to three discs! The puzzle is a ternary puzzle in disguise, including a hidden locking mechanism interacting with the little red sliders. Very clever design!
The name seems to be a technical term referring to the ternary nature of the puzzle, but then it is also a Scottish word describing my initial experiences with the puzzle very well — please have a look into a dictionary if in doubt! Excellent puzzle, thank you, Namick!
Added on 2015-09-14
I am not good at tray packing puzzles and rarely collect them, but today I got myself one. Very difficult and multiple challenges by Wiliam Waite. However, it is also a puzzle box! The latest of the famous Stickman Puzzleboxes by Robert Yarger. You may have guessed already — it is an Edelweiss Puzzlebox, and it's a real beauty, isn't it?
Added on 2015-09-12
Earlier this year I had some conversations on variants of the Double Slideways Burr, also with the Designer Ray Stanton. His IPP35 Exchange puzzle is base on the simpler Slideways. It is the Slideways Cube, which arrived today. When looking at it you may not spot any similarity with the other puzzles mentioned, but it is there, internally. Just that getting an idea how to disassemble this one is much harder than for the others, also due to the nice fit concealing any cuts or gaps that there might be. Thank you for the nice puzzle, Ray!
Added on 2015-09-11
Recently Johan Heyns asked who would be interested in one of his designs, built by himself. Of course I ordered one and today I received a beautiful puzzle: Canuck. It is the second version and the main difference is that little checkerboard pattern on the sides, a very nice looking feature, I think! The puzzle did not come alone. If you have a close look onto the picture, you will see the stand the puzzle is resting on, which came neatly packed in pieces and was an assembly puzzle by itself! Thank you Johan, for building this nice puzzle for me!
Added on 2015-09-09
After Wil's recent newsletter I could not resist any more and got myself a new Ying Yang 69. It is nice heavy metal quality, as usual. I played with the prototype at IPP over a year ago already, and the puzzle looked very interesting back then already.
Added on 2015-09-06
Today my puzzle friend Dirk visited me and we had a little post-IPP puzzle party. Beside many nice puzzles he brought his IPP Exchange puzzle with him, A-Mazing Blocks, a fascinating extension of sliding pieces puzzle with a maze, multi-challenge, of course! The second new puzzle is the Racktangle, from the IPP Design Competition, and has been pubished in Goh Pit Khiam's article "The Design of N-ary Mechanical Puzzles", which can be found in my compendium. The puzzle has a new entry in this compenium and n-ary puzzle group page. After the Power Tower it is the second puzzle offering some additional parts allowing to set up an n-ary sequence by choosing mixed-base plates (of base 2 and 3) and with variable stage count up to 4. Many different challenges in one puzzle. As you can see in the picture, it is nicely made by Tom, and the second of this kind in two days!
Added on 2015-09-05
Today I received a special puzzle, which was designed for me by Christoph Lohe. In the correct German spelling, my name is spelled: Götz. Now take a look at the pictures of the puzzle to the left, you will recognize the scheme! The GÖTZ puzzle is built around my name, and luckily there are only 4 letters in it. Thanks to Chris and also to Claus who supported me with 3D-printing this nice puzzle! And beside bearing my name, it is also a nice and nontrivial interlocking puzzle!
The second package arrived later the day, with my wins from a recent auction: Open-Side Coin Bank, Dovetail Burr Puzzle, and Sandfield Joint Puzzle. All of them are beautifully crafted and more on the traditional side. Some very interesting puzzles which will take their time to solve for sure!
Added on 2015-08-10
Today something very unusual happened to me: two packages from Japan with brand new puzzles! The first one contained an ATM. Unfortunately, it does not come with any money in it, so I had to pay the taxes at customs myself. Maybe the officers were also confused by the name of the puzzle: Please Pay the Fee. The invoice showed just the name of the puzzle and the total. The puzzle is beautifully made, and even has a little view screen that tells you if you have already paid your fee and you will receive your savings. A great piece of art, too!
The second package contained a whole series of old puzzle designs, re-released as a brand new series, and only available in Japan at the moment. The puzzles are looking beautiful and they are new version of a complete Marcel Gillen Chess set, in particular: King, Queen, Bishop, Knight, Rook, and Pawn.
Added on 2015-08-07
You know what India is famous for in the puzzle world? Trick locks! Today I received some nice mass produced ones: Ace of Hearts and Lockout
Added on 2015-07-23
Today a new and interesting puzzle arrived after having travelled around half the world from down under: Slida
Added on 2015-07-17
From Puzzle-Shop.de I got some nice puzzles from far east: Square in a bag, Sunglasses, and Cast Hexagon
Added on 2015-07-08
I wonder how I can get that cube out?? Thanks Pilipp, for that nice Cube in a Bottle!
Added on 2015-07-05
Because of the current strike puzzle deliveries are unusual now: taking longer, finally showing up on Sunday! From Austria Stephan sent me one of his latest creations: Fortuna. This nice 18 pieces burr has some extra 12 cage pieces, and is two puzzles in one. With and without cage pieces there is a unique solution, but of different level. A similar concept but with a solid frame was designed earlier on: Boards and Sticks with Frame. I had some trouble putting it into the 18 pieces burrs group, because in one assembly it has more pieces than 18, and it has two levels. I put it to the level 10 entry, which lists some other unusual 18 piece burrs already — only unusual ones, to be precise!

The second package is from the U.S. and it is fitting that it contains item 1776 in my collection, but then it should have arrived yesterday already! Some of the latest works by Eric Fuller, designed by two U.S. designers well known for years (or even decades): Helix the Burr, Think outside the box, and Inner Cube. After struggling with the half notches in the Visible Burr the Helix the Burr now offers third notches!

Added on 2015-07-02
A nice and well made wooden puzzle lock: Wooden Lock Puzzle. It seems to have multiple steps and is a design I have never seen before. It comes with a nail, but I am not sure what that is good for. I have yet to solve the lock and I am sure I will find out. So far I have found some unexpected features.
Added on 2015-06-17
From CU-Japan from the UK a box with two boxes inside, and inside them two boxes. Sounds familiar? The package contained the two Naked Secret Boxes I did not have before: Naked Secret Box Green, Naked Secret Box Orange. Like the blue and red one they are very nice puzzles with a very interesting look. Who would have the idea of making puzzle boxes transparent? Some of the techniques remind me of the Black Box (see below), but that box hides all internals. These "Naked" secret boxes let you see every detail allowing a thorough analysis when solving.
Added on 2015-06-16
Diniar is a well known desginer of sliding pieces puzzles. From him I received one of his newest puzzles: the nice My Tower of Hanoi. It looks like two Tower of Hanoi combined, or a bit like a Panex, but that is where the similarity ends. It is a nice and well-made sliding pieces puzzle with many challenges, of which I have solved the first one already.
Added on 2015-06-15
From the Netherlands an interesting and heavy box. Containing an interesting and heavy box. Containing an interesting and heavy box ... That one is Wil Strijbos' latest creation, the mysterious Butterfly Lock Box. My first impression is that it satisfies both meanings of the German word "schwer": heavy and difficult. A beautiful and very well crafted puzzle and long awaited. I am very curious to solve this one and wonder how long it will take!
Added on 2015-06-02
A package from Hong Kong with some nice new Twisties. Actually some of these models have been to visit to my place before, and that cleared my doubt and I ordered two: Curvy Dino I have solved within minutes and it is easy, but interesting looking. The Dreidel 3x3x3 seems to be harder to solve and demonstrates some "parity" issues. The puzzle looks fascinating, with those corners turning independently!
Added on 2015-06-01
First package of the month contained my wins from the recent Haubrich auction: The mysterious The Black Box — mysterious not only from the black look. Is it a box, or is it a burr? Is it both? The nice Wun-Wa-Sure, as it occurred in the IPP21 design competition.
Added on 2015-05-23
Another puzzle surprise from Switzerland, a new variant of Double Slideways Burr: The Double Slideways Burr+D is a variant of the Double Slideways Burr TSP, with some triangular prisms added to the three identical pairs of pieces. That is also what the "+D" stands for, it's for the German "Dreiecksprisma". It is fascinating how many variants can come out of a puzzle during optimization. I find this version the hardest to assemble, probably because it does not have much space left and has obstructions added. It works in the usual three-axis coordinate motion move. Thanks for sharing this with me!
Added on 2015-05-21
Another puzzle surprise from Switzerland, a new variant of Double Slideways Burr / Double Slideways Burr TSP-: The Double Slideways Burr TSP-+2W is like the TSP variant, and adds 2 new cubies — can you spot them? This removes the remaining internal holes and now the two halves can only be assembled in two directions, not in three like for the TSP-. The new pieces do not have any angled cuts, but now these pieces are non-notchable. An interesting idea to follow-up would be to include the two extra cubies as separate pieces. Thank you, Peider!
Added on 2015-05-17
From Alfons I received some very beautiful and special interlocking/burr puzzles. In the category of 18 pieces burrs: Alien (which looks like a traditional 18 pieces burr at first sight, but is a much more interesting 26 piece burr at a closer look), and a difficult and true category member: Armilla. The puzzle Skunk looks like an interesting 18 pieces burr with some clamp pieces between, adding up to 21 pieces, and also with level 21. A new and visually fascinating concept are the interlocking puzzles with stacked frames, which look like they can telescope out of the puzzle during the solution. It will be very interesting how to see how Pulsar and Pulsar 2 will work during the solution. The Kameleon caged was interesting to me at first sight, because it is based on a very similar puzzle, without cage, and a difficult one: Kameleon. The base of the fascinating Dirty Dozen Caged is the Dirty Dozen (the first puzzle Alfons built for me). So what does this new version consist of? Let's analyze the name: dozen = 12 core pieces, dirty = 4 extra hidden pieces, caged = a cage. This cage is not a fixed frame, but another 12 cage pieces. All this adds up to 28 pieces, 12 of which are identical, yet 26 moves for the first piece!
Added on 2015-05-03
This weekend Michel and Maarten were visiting me and brought me some nice puzzles for my collection: Keychain Burr 9 pieces (came disassembled for an extra challenge), 3D Labyrinth, and 3x3x3 — thank you! This morning we got up early and went to Wil's place to where he had invited us for his yearly puzzle party. A great event, where I met many old and new friends, and of course many, many puzzles to play with, even very rare and interesting ones, and even some I bought: Tritalon, Escape from Alcatraz, Wooden Puzzle Lock 1, and Wooden Puzzle Lock 2. A great weekend!
Added on 2015-04-28
The latest update by Eric Fuller contained a gorgeous Chicken Puzzle, a interesting looking Bundle of Sticks, and a new release of the famous Visible Burr. I ordered that burr disassembled, and that is the reason there are more pieces in that bag in the picture. I will replace the picture after I had a chance to assemble the puzzle (as usual).
Added on 2015-04-26
Today a new puzzle arrived (and that arrival today is a puzzle on its own!). The Cascadia
Added on 2015-04-25
Today I went to GCD to meet many puzzle friends and also see some new puzzles. The nice giveaway puzzle New T Puzzle was no surprise for me, as I was involved in that project. From two puzzle friends I received some of their own work: Mini Bottle and Fibula Puzzle — thank you! His new design Closed Box I got from my puzzle friend Christoph. Not new but interesting are the 1 2 3 and the Double Sliding. The Buffalo Nickel Puzzle is the second of Oskar's 2-dimensional burrs I own, and it is in the beautiful original version. Goal is to free some coin, and this is also the goal of the new Hole Vacancy Coin and Hard-Boiled Coin. Fresh from Hungary arrived the Mandorla (which also exists in different colour schemes). The PUZZLE is a high level interlocking puzzle, which picks up the recent way of using letters in such board burr puzzles. That is almost all I know about it. GCD was a great day once again and I had a lot of fun!
Added on 2015-04-21
A surprise package from Switzerland — thank you! Peider Grischott took the existing design Double Slideways Burr and created the Double Slideways Burr Plus (incidentially also the original version of the puzzle by Ray Stanton) trying to close the space inside the puzzle. He has now continued his efforts and created the interesting Double Slideways Burr TSP, which has less internal space, yet still functions as a coordinate motion puzzle. The diagonal cuts enforce coordinate motion moves along diagonally to all grid axes. This can further be modified to the: Double Slideways Burr TSP—. The minus in the name suggests that something has happened here. The pieces have been made simpler (notchable now!) This puzzle can still be solved by coordinate motion, but you can also assemble two halves and then move them together in a straight move along one of the grid axes. The pieces look simple and are well known, yet I have not found a reference to a burr with these particular three pairs of pieces. If you know more about this burr, please drop me a message.
Added on 2015-04-21
After those (easy) twisties yesterday, I am not sure if I have enough wooden interlocking puzzles. Today two nice new ones from Yavuz arrived: Lox Box and Pox Box
Added on 2015-04-20
Some brand new twisty octahedra: Octic I and Octic III .
Added on 2015-04-16
From Switzerland I received a litte surprise puzzle, which was a puzzle experiment: Based on the Double Slideways Burr, the Double Slideways Burr Plus was designed, which has three identical pairs of pieces, but with a little less space in it than the version I already have. The manufacturing process seems to me more difficult by this little modification. It turned out that these were indeed the original pieces from the original design (also sold at Cubicdissection), which were modified for the IPP Exchange. Thanks for the nice puzzle!
Added on 2015-04-15
Stephan sent a giant from Austria he recently designed: Ruebezahl. The name is from popular fairy tales, and this matches this very beautiful puzzle very well. The big caged sticks are quite complex in shape and have 3x3x9 units — the first six piece burr of that kind I have ever seen, with or without cage. The giant came with a second puzzle for support, so new that it did not even have a name. It is a six piece burr in a cage of planks, hence the name Plankton seemed appropriate. Looks very beautiful with these woods, and by the way: have you heard about white nut wood before? Thank you, Stephan!
Added on 2015-04-11
Today I received the improved versions (second editions) of some very nice Jean Claude Constantin puzzles from him. They are both in compendium and n-ary puzzle group page: Uhrwerk and Bi-Nary. Both are definitely solvable and fun to solve — have solved them myself. The Bi-Nary can be quite confusing at first, but what would you expect from a puzzle combining two different n-ary mechanisms? This one is the first puzzle to implement such a fascinating idea, and it required quite some engineering to get things working right.
Added on 2015-04-08
From Puzzle-Shop.de I received a little puzzle full of nice new puzzles: Safe Box 1, Safe Box 2, Cast Keyhole, Euro-Falle, Old Man's Desire, and Drunter und Drueber. One of these puzzles is part of compendium and n-ary puzzle group page — can you guess which one?
Added on 2015-04-01
From Richard Gain I received two nice 3D printed puzzles: his IPP34 Design Competition entry Coronation Cube and Osanori Yamamoto's complex Rose puzzle.
Added on 2015-03-28
From Japan a small package with a small box in it. This cute box is another Karakuri x-mas present of 2014 I was able to obtain: Sheep
Added on 2015-03-19
The latest set of nice puzzles from Brian Menold, designed by two rotation experts, all in beautiful woods: Dizzy Cube, Pivot, Ring Fight, Gyro, The Elevator, and Khamsin
Added on 2015-03-09
A package from the Karakuri Creation Group, with some beautiful and easy Japanese puzzles: The Owl Shock, Karakuri Cake 1 (Cheese Cake), Karakuri Cake 2 (Fruit Cake), Karakuri Cake 3 (Chocolate Cake), and Karakuri Cake 4 (Fruit Cake)
Added on 2015-03-07
Seems that puzzles are arriving daily now. Today some nice wooden puzzles from Pelikanpuzzles.eu: Optiborn, Delight, and Jump. And then google for puzzle 1700 in my collecion. Sorry for the pun and no advertising of big companies intended, the name is purely coincidental ...
Added on 2015-03-06
About 1.5 years ago I first met Steve Miller, and he told me about his plans to revive the Barcode burr, which has been brought into existence (please see here). He then mentioned that he was working on a high quality puzzle called "fire" to be part of an elemental series. Now here it is: Fire puzzle. If you look at the puzzle and its beautiful looks you might understand why it took so long to produce. It comes in a nice set of boxes and opening them is the easy part. The puzzle does not give away clues how to open it, but there is a leaflet with clues. Only problem: They have been encrypted in a strange alphabet, one additional puzzle to solve! The box is covered with optical illusions and some more clues (or encrypted writings). Additionally, a web site has been created which is also supposed to contain hints. Quite a lot for a single puzzle, and I would expect this also hints for the time needed to solve all that! Wow!
Added on 2015-03-05
Of all those twisties I have received lately, there are still many left scrambled and waiting to be solved. I wonder if it was a good idea to scramble them, especially the ones with gears. Today I received an easier one I have solved it already a couple of times: Pyraminx Diamond. This new puzzle is also one from the group of twisty octahedra.
Added on 2015-03-01
This evening I hosted a small puzzle event at my place, now the 3rd already, why I called it "MZPP3" (after MZPP2 last year, the acronym including the city abbreviation). Thanks to all participants for making this a special day with many nice puzzles! Half an hour before the event my latest auction win arrived, and I don't know much about it, but sometimes I like puzzle mysteries: Large Puzzle Bank. From some participants I received some puzzles of their own production: Marble in Cage, Schickspiral, Tom's Hollow Cube, Turnblock 335, and Walton Cube. Now I have some fascinating new puzzle which will help me remember this day!
Added on 2015-02-27
From Alfons a box full of nice new puzzles of various interesting shapes. Believe me, in reality the woods and wood grains look very beautiful, much better than on my pictures! They are: Confucius 3, Kelvin, Helix 2, 2-3-4, and Big Mac
Added on 2015-02-26
A beautiful brand new puzzle from Austria: Cubloc S. If you look closely, you will see that it is a six piece burr in a cage, and the cage will come apart, too. While it is not needed for the solution, notice how the different burr colors match the cage colors at the sides!
Added on 2015-02-20
Some more twisties from Nowstore arrived today: Void Master Pentultimate and Pentagram
Added on 2015-02-19
Today some brand new fancy twisty from Nowstore in Hong Kong: Gear Skewb
Added on 2015-02-17
Today I received some mass produced puzzles I received as a side order to a recent amazon order. The two puzzles are mass produced, but part of the compendium and n-ary puzzle group page: Tricky Frame and Tricky Mouse.
Added on 2015-02-11
Today I received what Stephan called a "Prototype". I call it a beautiful puzzle with excellent movements and an interesting shape: Stairway. From what I have seen on pictures, it has interesting configurations during the solution with some pieces overhanging without being able to remove. Well, that is what I am going to explore next with this puzzle!
Added on 2015-02-09
After some twisties last time, now back to some hard (or difficult?) wood. A package from Brian Menold arrived, with some fascinating new puzzles in various beautiful woods: Board Burr in Cage, Tight Noose, Hooked, Foliage, and Stack of Sticks.
Added on 2015-02-05
I felt I had some catching up to do with twsity puzzles, and today a package from Nowstore brought 5 new and a bit older puzzles: Megaminx Ball, Curvy Copter III, David Gear Cube, Pocket Cube - 2 Colour Edition, and Wheel of Time
Added on 2015-01-27
Today I picked up a late christmas present at customs, which had travelled for the last 1.5 months — maybe carrier and customs did try to figure out what it was and to solve it? It was well worth waiting for and is the latest design in compendium and n-ary puzzle group page by profilic designer Namick Salakhov, and revealed to the public here for the first time. The puzzle is the DITWIBIN, a beautiful puzzle excellently crafted and with beautiful looks — I especially like the two color acrylic frame! The name might seem to have some system behind it and it fact there is: It denotes this puzzle as one with two twisting discs with a binary gray code implemented. Can you guess which part of the name stands for what? This also hints that this is a typical representative of n-ary puzzle: While this puzzle has been created in September 2014, various higher order versions were designed already in August. This makes it a typical family of n-ary puzzles: different number of sliders, different arities of these sliders, and then additionally also different number of discs. Quite fascinating concept! Coming back to this one, it is fun to play with and the moves are nice and easy. You can see a vital part of the mechanics for the interaction between the pieces on the top demonstrating how this puzzle might work. However, there is more to it hidden from view. A clever design! Thank you, Namick!
Added on 2015-01-21
Originally, I had ordered this puzzle before the recent price increase at Shapeways, but somehow it did not work out and I only received the Helix Burr v2, which I still need to solve. After a second try, I have received the most complicated version of the helical burr series, the 27 move HELLical Burr. By coincidence, this is puzzle number 1666 in my collection, which somehow fits very well. I had my first encounter with this difficult puzzle at the IPP banquet, when Ali handed it to me for solving and I did not manage during that evening.
Update on 2015-01-11
I found a limited edition token in one of my puzzles! This puzzle took me 2 months including some weeks of experimenting with a computer program and some non-standard techniques. Interesting! If you have not yet guessed which puzzle I am talking about, please have a look at the post exactly 2 months back. It is an epic puzzle and Allard commented on it: "It goes on and on and on", and who was I to contradict! It is a fantastic puzzle and I not only like all the mechanisms in it, but also love the the little stories hidden in it. Thanks for the great puzzle, Brian! Sorry I cannot be more specific here, not to spoil the fun for other solvers.
Update on 2015-01-07
Just found out that the Karakuri Christmas Presents are on-line on their page now, with the names. Now these puzzles have the correct names on this page: Confetto Box 2, New Parcel Cube, Ring Box 3, and Lock.
Added on 2015-01-05
Today I could pickup my Karakuri Christmas Presents, some four very nice boxes, who took a long and expensive detour via Customs offices. When I first saw the pictures, I guessed the respective craftsmen/designers, and my knowledge about the special cardboard boxes confirmed my guess. It's 2015 already, so I will put up the entries with the correct craftsmen and will not ask the usual question about them, just lacking the proper names for: X-mas present 1, X-mas present 2, X-mas present 3, and X-mas present 4.
Added on 2015-01-01
The new year had a great start and the first puzzle update is the first puzzles added this year, arriving in package from puzzle friend Wil Strijbos. There are three nice boxed burrs made from bamboo designed and manufactured by a Chinese guy whose name I do not know: Checker-board interlock box, Interlock the red square box (A), and Interlock the red square box (B). Nice little interlocking challenges and well crafted! Additionally I received some very tangled nails: Nails Duo 2. Thank you for this challenge, Wil!
Added on 2014-12-31
Last puzzle of the year arrived today directly from Yavuz Demirhan: the beautiful Trichromat. Happy new year to all you readers of my web page!
Added on 2014-12-29
At a puzzle meeting today I received a new Pandora Trick Box, which I had pre-arranged. This is a heavy and probably also difficult multiple step trick box.
Update on 2014-12-26
On the last Christmas day, time to finally unwrap the Dozer and remove it from its packaging (read: 12 piece burr). Read my interesting experiences here: Burr Zoo.
Added on 2014-12-22
Christmas is approaching fast and today I received three packages via three different ways (Customs and two different carriers). The first one is a Karakuri Christmas present from 2010, and a box I was looking for since I played with it in the 2011 IPP31 Design Competition, where it won a honorable mention. The box has a theme fitting the season: House with Trees has four little x-mas trees on it. The second puzzle is Stephan Baumegger's latest try to put additional pieces into burrs. This time a bigger 12 piece burr with a little Bulldozer in it: Dozer. Not an animal piece, but something for the Burr Zoo, to be completed when I have disassembled it, and from what I can say now it is very nice an high quality. The third one was also a nice entry in IPP Design Competition puzzle, from 2009: Qboid. In the picture, I picked up an idea from Gabriel Fernandez' blog — usually you are supposed to build a 2x2x3 cuboid. The puzzle has many different challenges (over 1000) to build, so I might start with some easy ones first. A nice early christmas present from my puzzle friend Michel. Thank you!
Update on 2014-12-15
On my web site I have the honour to host the latest extended version of Goh Pit Khiam's excellent article "The Design of N-ary Mechanical Puzzles", see compendium reference [12]. The update today includes some major extensions and new puzzles mainly, from page 28 onwards, featuring: The Power Box, Racktangle, an illustrated overview of some mixed base Power Tower examples, including a simplification of this concept.
Added on 2014-12-05
Today already a package from Eric Fuller arrived with some of the latest wooden interlocking puzzles. Very exact cuts and high quality as usual. They are: Amatores, Rough Night, Rupture, and Crystalburr
Update on 2014-12-01
My latest update on the Burr Zoo page is not really about animals, but about my experiences with a burr based on a famous race, the Gumball 3K. A surprisingly difficult and rich experience!
Added on 2014-11-28
A package from Nowstore in Hong Kong with the latest two from the DaYan Gem series: DaYan Gem VI is a 3x3x3 with some fancy extra moves and which does not look like a Rubik's cube at all. DaYan Gem VIII is a face turning and tip turning truncated tetrahedron.
Added on 2014-11-22
Today Bernhard kindly invited to a small and very nice puzzle party and beside the lot of fun at the meeting and with the other puzzlers there, I was also able to acquire some special prototypes and new puzzles. The prototypes are cubes and a cuboid with rotations from Jos Bergmans: United, Pirouette, Garmbaad, and one with six identical pieces by Yavuz Demirhan: Six Spades. The latest two puzzles by William Hu and Logan Kleinwaks have also been available already: Chain and Six Iberian Lynxes. The Chain offers nice rotations, while the Six Iberian Lynxes is composed of six identical pieces and has level 9. Two extra pieces are supplied and if you replace two of the standard pieces with these, you will get another puzzle with level 19.
Added on 2014-11-20
Today a massive cube arrived from Stephan: Cube 81 by C.K.Leung. As the name suggests, it requires 81 moves to remove the first piece. The whole puzzle is built around a big column, and before disassembling it completely, only the nut wood pieces move. Very nice fit and high quality. Nice to play with, also the size is just the right choice for playing.
Update on 2014-11-19
Success: I have now disassembled Gobi. It took some time, so I also wrote a long report of this expedition into the Gobi, see my Burr Zoo page.
Added on 2014-11-11
Look! I received a friend for my koala to play with! Today the long awaited Katie Koala and her joey Verne limited edition puzzle arrived. It is the 20th anniversary limited edition by Brian Young and a really beautiful and heavy wooden Koala. A lot of stuff must be inside considering the weight. Will take some time before I will be able to solve it, I guess — lots of puzzling fun! The other koala is sitting on another special puzzle which arrived today: a 3D printed reproduction of the Stickman Box number 5, sometimes called "Borg Box". Another Brian made this possible: Brian Pletcher modelled, prepared, and assembled it. Two truely interesting puzzles!
Added on 2014-11-05
Do you know the "Gumball 3000"? It is a famous (or infamous?) race on public streets, running through several continents, but in some places considered an illegal street race. This is the theme for the latest burr Stephan Baumegger designed and built: Gumball 3K. With its wood grains it is a real beauty and looks a bit like a ball (the trophy for this race?). Although it is not really an 18 pieces burr, I put it into this 18 pieces burr group, as the two extra pieces are well hidden. These pieces are cars and not animals, but close enough for the theme, so I put it into the Burr Zoo to be described when I have disassembled it and revealed the two cars inside. And after all, some fast cars do have animal names, so I should put this puzzle into the Burr Zoo! At the end, with the level, it does not seem an overly difficult burr, but the car pieces makes it a bit more difficult and it is definitely looking beautiful! You can find more pictures on Stephan's facebook page Puzzleisure.
Added on 2014-10-27
Yesterday I went to the Dutch Cube Day and met many old and new puzzle friends there, from different continents even! A very nice event!
From Jack I arrived a special version of his and Pit Khiam's Power Tower participating in this year's IPP Design Competition: Power Tower (mixed base, variable stage). This version comes with a lot of extra pieces and a stopper that allows to select between 3 and 6 stages, and also allows to select an arbitrary combination of binary, ternary, and quaternary pieces. This will intermingle sequences of different arity and may be quite confusing to solve. Not only the craftsmanship is amazing in this puzzle, but also the sheer number of pieces that come with it. The standard configuration is three binary pieces and plays nicely and easily.
The Barcode Burr (printed) is a 3D printed reproduction of the famous wooden version by Lee. Steve engineered and created these printed version in a limited quantity and is a great opportunity to study this fascinating mechanism. In a partial sale of a whole collection, I managed to get some classic puzzles: Computer Puzzler No 2, Computer Puzzler No 5, Double Loop, Trapeze variant, and Unknown Disentanglement 2. All seven puzzles mentioned so far are part of the compendium and n-ary puzzle group page.
From Michel I received a (customized!) Puzzle Wristband and an Expand A Ball. He was cooperating with Robrecht who created the Ladybird and Larva. The first one was part of the IPP Design Competition, the latter one is a simpler version including the same maze. That makes the names of father (Ladybird) and son (Larva) seem most appropriate, and they are both nicely designed and crafted puzzles.
Straight from Hungary Oliver brought a nice Smart Egg - Skull Egg, which is the most difficult of the whole recently released series.
Beside the Power Tower already mentioned, Jack also made a nice theme puzzle, the DCD-burr. Please look at the picture to see why it is a DCD theme puzzle. He was not the only high level burr designer and craftsman present, but also Alfons, from whom I received some nice beauties: Gobi is one of the latest Burr Zoo members. Jadimex is a nice easy puzzle of three boards and three sticks. Maltese looks a bit like a cross of 18 piece burr and a Maltese cross (sic!). Then Jalpa is one from the 18 pieces burr group.
The Letterbox is a nice design by Christoph (one of the guys I once helped with Burr-Tools). So now I also own "my first Lohe", and Chris also this of this design as his best.
The Rammelkast is a trick box by Theo and you hear something going on inside when tilting it. Fascinating and also nice woodwork.
From Bernhard I received as recent re-release Wunder-Puzzle, and then some new complicated interlocking cubes/cuboidsby William Hu: Coo-inter-pack seems to incorporate coordinate motion with interlocking and packing. I am curious to see how this works! Writhing Snake Cube has some snake pieces performing strange rotational moves. Zmije is one of Vinco's puzzles where you do not know how to open it and where the pieces end.
As a present, each participant of DCD received a 6^3 Board Burr, which is a variation of his IPP Exchange puzzle Cubic Board Burr — as Peter demonstrated in his interesting talk.
Added on 2014-10-20
From Shapeways I received a Helix Burr v2, which is a higher level variant of the Helical Burr. My order also included the HELLical Burr (27 moves for the first piece) before the pricing scheme went up, but unfortunately there were problems during printing and I only received this one. At IPP I already failed to solve the HELLical Burr, so maybe I will solve this 16 move variant some near time in the future.
Added on 2014-10-18
Back from the Spiel games fair in Essen I brought some interesting puzzles with me, some of them brand new. My first visit was to Jean-Claude Constantin, and he had some new puzzles compendium and n-ary puzzle group page for me (even after so many new ones he made for IPP): Based on the N522 he demonstrated the generalization aspect of this class very well: He created different sizes of the puzzle from a 2+2-slider N5, via the 3+3-slider N52, and so on until the 10+10 slider N522222222. Of course I was not able to buy all of them, but have some nice representatives. The N5 is good for beginners, while the N52 is a good challenge for an average puzzler, and the N522222222 may not be solved anytime at all. But all of them share the same principle and design. A new design is the Bi-Nary, which combines the this mechanism (of the N5x) with the one of the Six Bottles. It is a combination of two ternary mechanisms, hence the name, and can be quite confusing to solve.
The other puzzles by Constantin are a bit more normal again: Schmuckkiste, Einstein-Box, Spinnennetz, and Picture Ball Maze.
The Romanian Puzzle Box Small looks like a reproduction of a typical Sorrento Trick Box, but the key is hidden in a different place. The rest of the puzzles I bought at Rombol, including some new interlocking puzzles: Assembly Cube, Rondo Turco, Open Crochet Cube, Poco Loco, Framework, and Fan Puzzle.
Added on 2014-10-15
Twisty Octahedra are still a rare species, and yet today I have received a new puzzle from the group of twisty octahedra: Crazy Octahedron Plus - Mercury
Added on 2014-09-19
A package from Puzzlemaster today, starting with some of their own brand: Brass Treasure Chest is a very small puzzle box by Rocky Chiaro, Great Collision one of the group of similar puzzles by Doug Engel, and The Yak Puzzle and Brontosaurus are fierce disentanglement puzzles by Dick Hess. Writer's Block is "an Oskar" using real pens as parts. The Brain is the new version of the puzzle in compendium and n-ary puzzle group page. Cast Galaxy is a fascinating puzzle by Bram Cohen and the latest Hanayama puzzle. At the IPP33 Design Competition it was awarded an "honorable mention". Hourglass is one of those Yamamoto puzzles with high level and rotations, and it also looks nice!
Added on 2014-09-17
A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away ... These puzzles remind me of something I have seen in cinema before. You may have recognized that the new Typhyter standing next to the Droid is not just another 18 pieces burr, but also a beautiful piece of art. This puzzle arrived today in a package from Stephan Baumegger with two other gorgeous novelties: Troika has only three pieces, but looking at the level you see it is pretty hard. From "pretty hard" to "pretty heart": Caught Heart is a beautiful interlocking puzzle touching the borders of the puzzle box category: the heart piece is the only piece that can be removed, and for the others several tilting moves are required. I am sure it will be officially published on the Puzzleisure page soon, and sorry for the bad pun!
Added on 2014-09-12
First update after IPP is a puzzle from the compendium and n-ary puzzle group page: Wicked Wire Fish
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. You can see my "haul" in the picture on the left. 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 Cross + Crown 2013, which is based on a design patented in 1913, 100 years ago. It is an n-ary puzzle. To my big surprise, I received a bigger version of it from my Exchange assistant Kevin Sadler: Cross + Crown 7 This is also n-ary and has an amazing 4802 moves to solve! Thank you! IPP34 Exchange

At IPP, I received a London Lines Puzz-eLLe as a gift from the organizers, and a little IPP34 Necklace Burr from Brian Young. Thank you! The IPP also features the Nob Yoshigahara Puzzle Design Competition. Beside some puzzles which are also in the Exchange, I managed to get some rare n-ary puzzles from the Design Competition: Complementary P-arity and Num Lock. I also bought a smaller version of the Naked Secret Box Red.

At the Puzzleparty, I bought various nice puzzles: Frame+Loop Septet is a n-ary puzzle I was missing in the set, and probably no others will be produced of this kind. From Kirill, I got a Valentine's puzzle as a swap. Tom Lensch and Frans de Vreugd sold me some old but nice of Frans' designs: Quantum Entanglement Exchange and Extreme Boxed Burr. Just a day before IPP, the new Doors and Drawers was ready, and I just had to buy this puzzle. It is a puzzle box/sequential discovery/interlocking/packing puzzle — very nice! I got a Sandfield's Banded Dovetails, which is the predecessor of the version I already have and then I found a Rhombic Maze Burr " many puzzles in one, with up to a several hundereds of moves. This one comes with a whole book of challenges! From Otis I received a Secret Box as a swap for one of my nice Acrobat puzzles. The haul is concluded with a new Indian Trick Lock.

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.

Update: The compendium has been updated and in total 10 new n-ary puzzles from IPP found their way in.

Added on 2014-08-02
This weekend brought a package from Jerry McFarland with a second Pin Burr. It is actually the first Pin Burr, Pin Burr 1. From the outside, it looks as beautiful as the Pin Burr 2 and similar from the outside, but the mechanism is very different. The pins are used in a different way here, and the creative new way of using pins and magnets is the first time I see this mechanism in any puzzle. A nice puzzle to play with!
Added on 2014-07-29
Today a package from Hong Kong with some nice Twisties. After successfully solving a 4x4x6 without help last weekend (has been lying around at a friend's place being scrambled by a neighbor some time ago), I received a new cuboid today: 2x4x6 Pillow Cuboid. Will surely give it a try and do not expect it to be overly difficult to solve — famous last words! With it came a very easy puzzle: Pyraminx Duo. The last in this order is a Dino Skewb. Actually I had this puzzle in a Shapeways version for some time, it is an F-Skewb, which is more a collector's item than for solving. Now I can try to solve the Dino Skewb without remorse.
Added on 2014-07-15
Today I received some of the latest works from Alfons Eyckmans. Very beautiful puzzles and all interesting designs! The Lolly Box 4 is a brand new and unpublished design. It has 5 lollies ready to grab, but they won't come out easily. The Rubicon was my selection from the sticks in a four board frame series, which Alfons has been working on recently. Beside the beautiful looks it has the piece shapes as most distinguishing feature: big boards, short sticks, long sticks, and also small boards! With the next one I took another visit to the Burr Zoo: Adam and Eve in Paradise. Have a look into the Burr Zoo page, the review is already there, with some nice pictures! Paraugas is some new shape: A central column with some 8 burr sticks around it. Even though this is a puzzle solvable with Burr-Tools, you can also start with some fancy rotation of the upper layer of pieces, trying to screw things up a bit. The next additions are some in the traditional 18 pieces burr group: Mayhem is a chaotic puzzle with hooked pieces, similar to Nightmare, just more complicated. Tadpoles is a nearly traditional 18 pieces burr (only six pieces of other shape, extended at one end), which tries to entertain the solver by providing a nontrivial level for several pieces. The Microburr is a truely small burr designed and built by Maurice Vigouroux. Thank you for all your nice puzzles, Alfons!
Added on 2014-07-05
Every year Rainer Popp releases one of his new trick lock designs, which are known as Popplocks. They are all custom made and some of the most sophisticated trick lock designs. So far I have only collected the Popplocks with even numbers: T2 T4 T6 T8. This year is an exception: The Popplock T9 was released and immediately added to my collection. It looks massive and valuable as all these locks and this one seems to have a whole series of steps and tricks built in. And this one has a key, may be a hint for opening it. I have already started solving it, found something already, but I am still far from solving this beauty.
Added on 2014-06-27
This update shows a new puzzle based on a completely new design: Pin Burr 2 is a burr by Jerry McFarland which uses a pin-maze-mechanism and is based on a binary sequence. This makes it part of compendium and n-ary puzzle group page. The binary sequence is not based on the Gray Code, like Chinese Rings, but is more like how computers count. Making the puzzle more interesting (much more interesting!), Jerry has included a trick in the binary sequence, and after the control piece and the bit pieces have been removed, the frame does not come apart immediately, but you have to find another trick which Jerry included — reminds me of the excellent Burrblock, but the trick is completely different. The complicated frame is a big development from the prototype which I had the honour of testing, commenting and comparing with the final version. That puzzle has a frame of the Quadlock 4, while the Pin Burr 2 has a more sophisticated frame and more complicated piece shapes. These pieces are also crafted from nice woods (including ebony) and this leads to the most obvious aspect I have not covered yet: The puzzle just looks beautiful! Please have a look at the picture yourself and also into the compendium entry for some nicer pictures. These fine woods lead to the last aspect I would like to mention here: The puzzle is quite heavy, which makes it nice to hold and fun to play with. An excellent addition to my collection!
Added on 2014-06-05
After yesterday's update with the two big puzzles coming in a separate package each, today I received a package from Eric containing nice puzzles from two companies: Cubicdissection and Raleigh Puzzles. The first one is a first design of the new designer Dan Fast, who was known for twisty puzzle videos and just recently extended his reviews to wooden burr puzzles and has now designed his first own very original design: Shake Something. The name will tell you something about the solution — interesting! Then there are two William Hu designs: Ring Lock involving rotations and Welded Burr, which is a three piece burr, believe me! From the less expensive Raleigh Puzzles range I received two classics I did not have yet: Slideways and Missing Notch.
Added on 2014-06-04
Today two nice little packages from two of my puzzle friends. Feels a bit like X-mas and Easter on one day. Well actually, there is an egg in one of the packages, and the other is wood (recycled X-mas tree? Definitely not!). They are special puzzles, both are difficult and very good looking. That is where the similarities ends. So what are these mysterious puzzles?

The first one is a big burr. And when I mean big, I am talking about a configuration of 12x15x16. That is 43 pieces in total! However, it is not a puzzle that eats up all your remaining shelf space, as it has been created in nice 8mm sticks, an excellent choice also for playing. You may have guessed already, it's the C2-1. It was designed by C K Leung and built by Stephan Baumegger. Only 5 of them were built (and licensed) and Yvon from Canada was also involved in this project. My first impression is "Wow!" and I am curious if I will be able to disassemble (and reassemble) it without help.

The second one is not another easter egg, but Wil Strijbos' newest project, the: EGG. The puzzle looks fantastic and like the high quality work we know from Wil's puzzles. It also feels nicely solid and heavy, as usual for these puzzles. This is all I can tell about the puzzle at the moment. No idea what is going on inside and how to open it. But that is the idea behind it, isn't it? Looking forward to see how this puzzle works and opens, but that may take quite some time.

Added on 2014-05-22
Directly from the designer I received two nice puzzle locks: First I was looking for the Burgh Lock, and then luckily the brand new Swing Lock became available. They are quite different from each other and look beautiful (believe me, the orange color is much nicer in reality than on the picture). I have already found some interesting surprises before even attempting to solve, so these lock surely will prove very interesting!
Added on 2014-05-17
Today a surprise package from my cousin, with a beautiful hexaflexagon she found on an arts fair: Das Magische Sechseck. Thank you!
Added on 2014-05-07
Two nice massive steel bolts from Wil today: Nipple Bolt and Low Number Bolt.
Added on 2014-05-03
A little package from Hong Kong with a nice new twisty puzzle: the Ghost Cube.
Added on 2014-04-30
Today a package from Stephan with some of the latest designs from Austria and both very nicely designed and built. "These aren't the droids you're looking for!" Remember this quote? Well, there is a droid I have been looking for, and this cute puzzle has arrived today: Droid. Looks like a wooden relative of the famous R2-D2 from Star-Wars. The second puzzle is another framed traditional 18 pieces burr: Enmarcado. Wrong again! This is the first self-framing burr of this kind, which means that the frame is not solid but mere sticks attached to the burr pieces which make up the frame. This is based on an idea Ronald had years ago: Self-Framing Burr.
Added on 2014-04-27
There are several ways to celebrate the Dutch King on King's day, and one is Wil's Koningsdag Puzzle Treffen, which I visited today. Met many nice puzzle friends there, had a look at a very small percentage of Wil's collection, and of course broght home some new puzzles: It started with a pre-order, which Michel handed over to me, four wooden puzzle locks: The Fiendishly Perplexing Lock, The Utterly A-Maze-Ing Lock, The Cunningly Complex Lock, and The Ultimate Combination Lock. Then I went for some metal puzzles:Lock Nut Bolt, Little Gordians Knot, including the latest Cast puzzle: Cast U and U. The next two are tiny interlocking puzzles I have never seen before. Lacking Japanese language skills, I still do not know how they are called and who designed them: 12 Piece Japanese Interlocking Puzzle, 15 Piece Japanese Interlocking Puzzle. For the last two, I know the designer and that they have been produced in the New Pelikan Workshop: Cubax and Konstrukt. Did you notice something familiar? Well, the Little Gordians Knot is a member of compendium and n-ary puzzle group page already, in a slightly different shape.
Added on 2014-04-23
Today a small package from Hong Kong, with a new cuboid, which I created as cubic version from a 4x4x4 before: 3x4x4
Added on 2014-04-12
Today I went to a nice GCD (German Cube Day) and met many nice puzzle friends there, and of course brought back some cool puzzles: As presents, I received the GCD 2014 Giveaway and the 4LCoMo (see here). I picked up some different old and new puzzles: Swiss Cow (Vache Rouge) (original naef version), Matchbox, Big Interlocking Cube (an unknown cube in a very rough build from an unknown craftsman and designer; none of the present experts was able to identify it).
Then some vintage additions to compendium and n-ary puzzle group page: New Puzzle Rings 3 and New Puzzle Rings 5.
From Bernhard I picked up some nice pre-ordered items (some of them were sold out already): Petit Puzzle, Rotator, Keyhole, Turnkey, Irene Alternate, and Two Wheeled Cube.
Added on 2014-04-08
Today a heavy metal package from Puzzlemaster in Canada: Two new Cast puzzles: Cast Harmony and Cast Twist. Then some new additions to compendium and n-ary puzzle group page: Rat Race and Tree Puzzle. Both are implementations of "Ingenious Rings Puzzles", which I have added to the compendium earlier this year.
News update on 2014-04-01
No April's fool, but I have really solved the Bicomplementary formation b/b:1/2 puzzle and removed all the sticks and bars from the puzzle. After the long interweaved-binary sequence for the first piece, there are a couple of moves for each piece (I would estimate no more than 10 per piece), including some half-unit moves taking the half-notches into account. Most of the strange moves I found earlier now appeared in the sequence for a piece. While removing the pieces, I carefully arranged the pieces in a way such that I would know which piece would belong where. Even with this information the puzzle is difficult enough to reassemble, as you have to know the order in which the pieces get back in, and what the configuration of the other pieces should be at that point. Luckily and unlike the disassembly you can see through the hole and see what has to be aligned to make room for the new piece. A real boxed burr experience. Very nice concept, I like it!
Added on 2014-03-29
Today two special updates:
Bicomplementary formation b/b:1/2 This puzzle update is something special because it is presented to the public for the first time. Is this beautiful red and shiny box a burr, is it an n-ary puzzle? Well, it seems it is both. It clearly has some Gray code moves in it and then also some burr-like moves that are not following Gray codes at all. The name Bicomplementary formation b/b:1/2 tries to summarize that there are two groups of pieces (bars and sticks), which both follow a binary GC move pattern at first and are interlocked. Then some nice half notches based moves appear that are usually only found in burrs by Bill Cutler and Jerry McFarland. Some solving experiences: After finding out about the binary GC first, the first group of moves becomes pretty evident. However, at a later point this sequence ends abruptly. Now you are on your own, like with high level burrs: searching for possible moves without being able to look into the box. After a while a pattern becomes clear and then the first piece comes out. Fascinating puzzle! It is a worthy new addition to the compendium and n-ary puzzle group page. Clever design, Namick!
Added on 2014-03-27
Today some very nice and beautiful burr puzzles from Alfons: The Mino and Jucar are a new type of burr actively discussed on facebook. Alfons made the Mino with nicely grained pieces for me, but additionally he also included the ones that were first built and presented on facebook -- as a special collector's item. After all the nice 18 pieces burrs lately, the Sand Witch and the Kameleon are a good distraction, with a mixture of different piece shapes in one burr. The Kameleon seems to mix them as the real animal mixes colors on its skin. Then there is one addition to the Burr Zoo: It seems, Alfons has finally found the master of all those pets he locked into the burrs before, the The Devil and his Pet.
Added on 2014-03-15
When I had some twisty puzzles visiting last weekend together with my puzzle friends, I just had to go to Calvin's store afterwards and order some. The arrived today already, which is very quick: 3x3x3 Pitcher Octo-Star Cube, Evil Eye II Dodecahedron, and Curvy Copter Plus
Added on 2014-03-11
Today a parcel with some nice little puzzles arrived from Eric. They are both nice and little, but that was intended: Rail Box, Carbo Cube, Gaia, and Vortex.
Added on 2014-03-09
Yesterday I was hosting the second MZPP and we seven puzzle friends attending had a very fun event. Chris brought me a nice little 2x2x2 Fortune Cat and I am sure this will bring good fortune to me and my collection. Thanks, Chris!
Added on 2014-03-05
Recently I made a visit to the zoo and wrote up a little report on the things I have seen there. Wrong page, you think? Well, it was a zoo of Animal Burrs, and the report is the new Burr Zoo group page. Enjoy reading!
Added on 2014-02-19
Recently I have been playing a lot with some "Animal Burrs", how I like to call them: traditional traditional 18 pieces burrs, which have one or two extra pieces hidden inside that have the form of an animal. I am in the middle of working my way through the Devil's pet family. I have completely disassembled (and therefore freed) Devil's Pet 1 and Devil's Pet 2. Two pieces came out from Devil's Pet 3 already and next will be Devil's Pet 4. Now today I have received a package from Stephan with some of his latest creations in this field. The Beware of the Snake is an 18 pieces burr and is the home of a snake, which is currently in the wild and needs to go back into the burr. All these animal puzzles so far have been 18(+x) piece burrs with very static animals — not much space in there. The Camelride has only 12(+1) pieces, but the camel moves a lot even early in the solution. Nice puzzles in this group and beautiful to look at!
Added on 2014-02-08
From Alfons I received a package full of very nice puzzles, mostly traditional 18 pieces burrs. The first is a traditional 18 pieces burr, although not of traditional shape: Saturn, and looks a bit like the Crusade. Then there are three traditional ones with high and very high level: Minerva, Morpheus, and Apollo; all with nice exotic woods. The Lange Wapper 54-2 is a small version and slight variant of the Lange Wapper 54. It has pieces of 10 units length (not the standard 8), but with a unit size about half the one of the other burrs, it is a nice tiny puzzle -- blending in into the class of small 18 pieces burrs that became popular recently. The last one is The Box, which looks like a puzzle box, but I would rather call it an interlocking puzzle, maybe even a burr. When playing with it, you will find that it behaves like one of these sophisticated Japanese Karakuri puzzle boxes, but looking at the inside, you will find a core and some hooked panels that look more like an interlocking or burr puzzle. To me it is a burr behaving a bit like a puzzle box.
News update on 2014-01-14
In the meantime, I have solved all the Karakuri X-mas presents, and Iwahara's little box with the two devices took me longest to solve. All very fascinating puzzles of completely different kinds. Today I have received my membership letter with the solution to the names and craftsmen quiz (I did not need the solutions to the puzzles any more). Seems I was right with my guess and can now uncover: Pirates Box by Miyamoto, Bean Bag Drawer by Iwahara, Expansion IV-2 by Kamei, and Ring Box 2 by Kawashima.
Added on 2014-01-11
First package of this year, straight from Hong Kong: Lattice Cube, which could also be called "Master Dino Cube".
Added on 2013-12-24
From Stephan I received a nice Christmas puzzle: La Mente. A very nice and beautiful puzzle from the category of boxed 6-piece burrs. Thank you, Stephan!
I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a happy and puzzling New Year!
Added on 2013-12-20
Now look at that! I finally managed to remove the second and then also the third and fourth piece of the Columbus. Must have been some 60 or 70 more moves, but I was not able to count. Had to concentrate on the move sequences, which are really fascinating. Sometimes after a few moves you do not even know how to get back! Nice to solve.
Added on 2013-12-19
Today a nice package from Dan arrived, who found a nice puzzle for me. It is an Electro 1, a traditional entry for both compendium and n-ary puzzle group page. Thank you, Dan!
Added on 2013-12-18
I am still solving for the second piece of the Columbus burr received last week, and have found some very interesting moves — must be close! What other ways are there to prepare for Christmas time? Perhaps with some season's greetings from Japan with some Karakuri X-mas presents arrived today: Xmas 1, Xmas 2, Xmas 3, and Xmas 4. I do not know the names of these little beauties, but I am sure about who created which. If you would like to guess who was the craftsman for which, please drop me a mail. I will not make it too easy here by telling you which craftsmen I selected, but for some there is a pretty obvious style and I am convinced I know who is responsible for which (and then there are also the colorful cardboard boxes ...). Later I will provide an update with the names and craftsmen, but that will usually take until next year.
Added on 2013-12-12
Today a nice little traditional 18 pieces burr from Alfons Eyckmans: Columbus. It only takes 7 moves to remove the first piece, so it should be easy, right? Wrong! Alltogether there are 114 moves required for the full disassembly so the puzzle is actually getting more difficult to the end. If you have a look at the pictures, be assured that the nice exotic woods look much better in reality! Thank you, Alfons!
Added on 2013-11-04
Today two packages with very interesting and nice puzzles arrived. The first one contains a Popplock T8. This is not only a huge lock, but also looks complicated and can be opened, although it does not come with a key. And by the way, it nicely extends the sequence of Popplocks I have: T2, T4, T6, T8.
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Added on 2013-12-06
Today a package from Azerbaijanian designer Namick Salakhov arrived, containing a new special puzzle for compendium and n-ary puzzle group page. Thank you, Namick!
Railing with Draining This puzzle update is something special because it is presented to the public for the first time. It is a nice sliding pieces puzzle, which is ternary, but needs less pieces than other puzzles of that type. While the Tern Key puzzle employs two switches between each two sliders, this puzzle only has one switch between each two sliders. Let's see if you can figure out where the name Railing with Draining ternary comes from. I find it quite obvious if you have a look at how the puzzle looks like and how it works. Please click on the thumbnails to get a better view of the detail pictures.
Today also a second package with some early Christmas presents arrived from John Lin (Customs officers did not believe that but insisted it was commercial): Some nice new Skewb based puzzles: Squished Skewb (the name says all how this puzzle looks like — it is not a Skewb and not cubic), and Skewb Curvy Rhombohedron. Both are of high quality and have the nice clicking Skewb mechanism I like. Thank you, John!
Added on 2013-11-14
Today two packages with nice puzzles for compendium and n-ary puzzle group page arrived. The first contained a Octet for heavy disentanglement (luckily I managed the smaller Sextet yesterday without entangling myself). The second one a whole load of Frequency Doublers: 1, 2, 3. Unfortunately, that last one is not for me and will travel on, but I was able to study and solve this new puzzle — for research purposes, of course!
Added on 2013-11-04
Today two packages with very interesting and nice puzzles arrived. The first one contains a Popplock T8. This is not only a huge lock, but also looks complicated and can be opened, although it does not come with a key. And by the way, it nicely extends the sequence of Popplocks I have: T2, T4, T6, T8.
The other package was from Alfons Eyckmans. It contains a zoo of some more animals trapped in an 18 pieces burr. Can you find out which the others are? I have two such puzzles already. When I asked Alfons for a new one he created, it turned out that there were 4 different variations already. The new pets are all diabolical animals crafted in nice woods: Devil's Pet 1, Devil's Pet 2, Devil's Pet 3, and Devil's Pet 4. Once freed, they all look a bit different, but all like some sort of hellhound. In case I needed it against such fierce creatures, Alfons included a sword in my package: Damocles, whose name tells me it might not be easy to get out and to use. It employs the same general idea like the recently published Excalibur, but the sword itself is completely different.
Added on 2013-10-28
After the n-ary news of last weekend, a package from Azerbaijanian designer Namick Salakhov arrived, containing two special puzzles for compendium and n-ary puzzle group page. The first puzzle from this package has been on an oddyssey already. It nearly reached me a couple of months ago, but then something bad happened to the package and for some reason it returned home. Now the Binary Bud is with me, and it is the one that has been in the compendium since the IPP33 Design Competition, in which this design took part this year. It is a very nice little binary puzzle.
GC machine ternary The second puzzle is something special because it is presented to the public for the first time on this web page (and also in the compendium). It is also special because of the nice technical look, that underlines the name GC machine ternary and also special because of the nice new mechanism. There are five sliders and four wheels in this mechanism, and a control knob. The control knob ensures that exactly one slider may move at a time (indicated by the numbers on it), while the weels link the sliders together to a ternary mechanism. The sliders of course have three positions and the last picture shows the goal configuration with all five sliders pulled out as far as possible. A unique and very nice concept, and also fun to play with, believe me! It is contained in the compendium, as it is a ternary puzzle — hence the name, while the "GC" in the name stands for "Gray Code", of course.Please click on the thumbnails to get a better view of the detail pictures.
Added on 2013-10-26
Second puzzle event in a week was going to the "Spiel" in Essen and meeting puzzlers from different countries and even continents there. At Jean-Claude Constantin's booth I expected to see one puzzle for the compendium and n-ary puzzle group page. Instead he pulled out one after another until six new designs lay in front of me, so this is a big update not only for my web page, but also for the compendium. The new puzzles are Steuerrad, Spiralschloss, Uhrwerk, Seestern, 522, and Labynary. Some have extra challenges of hidden ball mazes, and they are of arities 2, 3, and 11. What better way to invite you to look into the compendium, where you will find more details about the puzzles!
Of course I also got some other puzzles from Jean-Claude, like one of his Light Bulbs and a Trick Lock. This lock is something I have been searching for some time. It has 3 independent locking mechanisms and they require 12 steps — a true beast!
At the Rombol booth I found some interesting new designs I did not have: T-one, Rotpack 1, Sliced Bread, and Gear.
Added on 2013-10-22
Last weekend was DCD in the Netherlands and I brought back many puzzles again: From Wil I got a Trapezoid Symmetry Puzzle and the two latest cast puzzles from Japan, still in their original Japanese packag: G&G and Cylinder. Bernhard had some nice pre-orders for me (some sold out now already): Coaxial, Mysterious Galaxy, and Galaxy Z. Oskar gave me one of his Impossiburrs (can you see the geometry?), and from Tony Fisher one of his latest originals, a Starpad (where did the rest of that Starminx go?). After meeting Jack Krijnen, I now had some of his old and new creations: The Cube (interesting design from 1980), Tippy (downsized version of the Tipperary, both in complexity and real size), Elevenses, Framed!, and Grandpa Framed (two additions to the 18 pieces burr group, the first ones with frame). The last one is a Grandfather Burr (by W. van der Poel), put into a frame. From the designer of the Grandfather Burr, I got an unknown Puzzle of 3 joined 4 piece burrs (probably by Interlocking Puzzles). After the talks (see below), I received a Perrier Bottle and three nice folding puzzles. I was also looking for a Quatro -- of course Marcel had one for sale. Finally, I received a nice Carthesian Wallet from Michel.
At the DCD I also gave a lecture about my compendium. You can download the slides here, but I did a lot of talking, which is not included in the slides.
Added on 2013-10-10
Today a nice little package from Austria, from Stephan Baumegger. It contained one of his latest creations, an Excalibur. The name and the look of the nicely crafted puzzle suggest that you need force to pull out the sword, but in reality mental strength is required: It is a high level burr with 9 pieces in a box.
Added on 2013-09-19
Today a nice little package from Australia with four exchange puzzles from IPP33 by MrPuzzle, all nice nontrivial burrs: Kumiki Airlines (comes assembled, but has to be assembled in a different way), P Burr, Stepping Burr, and Brace Yourself.
Added on 2013-09-12
From Nowstore a new and interesting shapemod: the Pillowed Hexaminx
Added on 2013-09-10
At MPP (Midlands Puzzle Party) Adin Townsend presented a ternary puzzle created from Lego. It is closely related to the Crazy Elephant Dance and works the same way. When building instructions were published for this puzzle, I built myself a Lego Ternary Gray Code Puzzle and after verification that it behaved correctly, I put it into n-ary puzzle group page and of course the Compendium.
Added on 2013-08-31
Earlier than expected I received a package of nice puzzles from Tom Lensch — very nice craftmanship! The order dates back to last year's IPP when I met the designer Ken Irvine and was fortunate to order some of his new designs: K22 Multiwood Cube, K24 Walnut Cube (named after the wood of the prototype), and K27 Accordion Cube (one wood as opposed to Eric's Multiwood version I already have).
Special Update on 2013-08-30
I know that there are many puzzlers interested in the n-ary Puzzle Group. There are more such puzzles than shown on this page, so I have created a compendium of all of them known to me over the last months, containing more data about the puzzles, a formal definition, and some interesting mathematical properties. All that is now published in the:
Compendium of Chinese-Rings-Like Puzzles
Enjoy reading and browsing the big list of puzzles!
Added on 2013-08-28
From Stephan Baumegger I received an 18 pieces burr, which he designed in a box. This is not only the first design of this kind I know, but also a beautifully crafted puzzle: Centauri. It has level 13 (i.e. 13 moves to take out the first piece), so it should be easy. Think again: The following pieces require another 141, 34, 8, and 17 moves, so it is a real monster to solve. Will keep me busy for a very long time, I guess.
Added on 2013-08-27
Today I managed to assemble the last one from the Twisty package: DaYan Gem VII
Added on 2013-08-24
Directly coming from the IPP33 Design Competition to me: Dispersed GC Lock, a nice puzzle in the n-ary Puzzle Group
Added on 2013-08-23
After some time I received some new twisty puzzles: DaYan Gem 5, Fully Functional 3x3x5, Mixup Cube 2, and Void Dino.
Added on 2013-08-19
Today a package from Eric Fuller with three nice puzzles: the new release of the Binary Burr, a puzzle in the n-ary Puzzle Group, a Cold Fusion, and a Sweet Sixteen.
Added on 2013-08-18
From a visit to puzzle friend Dirk I brought: his IPP33 Exchange Puzzle and an unknown Japanese Disentanglement Puzzle.
Added on 2013-08-15
Today a package from Shapeways containing the design that won the Jury Grand Prize of the IPP33 design competition: Helical Burr. It is a relative of the Tubular Burr also by Derek Bosch and it has an easy solution where the first piece comes out directly with a twist, and then a difficult solution requiring 11 moves for the first piece.
Added on 2013-08-07
Today a package from Bernhard Schweitzer with some nice prototype puzzles and brand new puzzles: 2 Rings (a nearly two-dimensional puzzle) and Flat Vortex 1 (rotations in a frame), and new: Tetradyma (4 identical pieces) and LTC in cage (3 puzzles in the same cage. One with 3 L-shaped pieces, one with three 3 T-shaped, and one with 3 C-shaped).
Added on 2013-08-03
Akio Kamei of the Karakuri Creation Group combined two mechanisms he created earlier and designe a new puzzle box in the n-ary Puzzle Group: the Expansion V. It has a binary mechanism with 32 steps to remove the first panel, then three more steps to open the inner box.
Today I have also created another update for my IPP32 Exchange puzzle Acrobat.
Added on 2013-08-01
The Hexadecimal Puzzle was created by Binary Arts in the 1980s and only very few still seem to exist today. Recently Creative Crafthouse has obtained the permission of the patent holder and has created limited edition of this puzzle, the Hexadecimal Puzzle 2013. It has various setting for various challenges, one of which makes it part of the n-ary Puzzle Group. This version of the puzzle is well crafted and fun to play with. It seems to be a very exact reproduction of the original puzzle, enhanced with some laser cutting techniques that have not been available back in the 1980s.
With this puzzle came some other nice puzzles of various kinds: Boxed Burr, Odd Man Out Cube, Safecracker, and Double Trouble
Added on 2013-07-25
Today a package from Alfons Eyckmans, with some brand new and fascinating designs: Save the Gorilla looks like it belongs to the 18 piece burr group and I have put it in there, altough there is an extra piece -- guess the shape! Steps goes up around 4 pieces, Hot Dog deserves its name, just look at it! Crusade has nine parallel pieces, and Peanuts is the biggest of these puzzles -- That's Peanuts!
Added on 2013-07-16
From Toys4All I received some Eureka and Cast puzzles. Although they are mass market puzzles, all are very nice, and two are from n-ary Puzzle Group: Gordian Knot and Ferris Wheel, which are variations of puzzles I already have. The others are Cast puzzles, a very nice puzzle series: Box, Plate, Violon, and O Gear.
Added on 2013-06-30
Some late Sunday update: No puzzles but an update to one of my latest acquisition, the Generation Lock, the new record puzzle in the n-ary Puzzle Group. After a short analysis of this lock I now know how to solve it (in theory) and how many moves it takes: about 340 Million. Read more in this very mathematical analysis here.
Added on 2013-06-28
After some time a nice addition to the 18 piece burr group: Free the Monkeys. It looks like a traditional 18 pieces burr, right? Well it isn't. It's a 20 pieces burr, and two monkey shaped pieces are hidden inside. It is very close to an 18 pieces burr, so I am leaving it in this group anyway.
Added on 2013-06-26
Today a surpise package, this time from Stephan Baumegger. Now I am the first one (beside himself) to have one of Stephan's designs in my collection: Windmillbox, a nice design and excellent craftmanship.
Added on 2013-06-25
After the monster puzzle yesterday, now some nice little puzzles in a package from Bernhard: Estergon 2, 2 Pairs One, Simple Sharp, and Chiasma.
Added on 2013-06-24
Generation Lock and Lock 250+ My puzzle friend Wil sent me a very nice surprise package which arrived this weekend. Only when I opened it, I knew what it was -- and I recognized the mechanism and was completey perplexed. The brand new Generation Lock is a much bigger version of the Lock 250+. The latter one has 4 sliding rivets, with arity 6, i.e. each (but the lowest) has 6 positions, and requires 310 moves to open. The new one has 8 sliding rivets, with arity 15, setting a new overall record in the n-ary Puzzle Group. Question is how many moves to open? After my first approximation, the name of the lock made sense to me, but I will not tell you right now, as I am making it a little quiz. How many moves to open? Can you guess or even better calculate?
Added on 2013-06-22
Today from a nice puzzle meeting I brought home some very nice custom built versions and variants of known puzzles, thus I am naming them after this original: Gordian Knot 2, 4, and 6; to my knowledge all to be found in the n-ary Puzzle Group.
Added on 2013-06-11
Today a special puzzle again: One of the latest inventions in the n-ary Puzzle Group: a Six Bottles. The structure seems to be related to the Key Puzzle or the Binary Key II, but the mechanism with the ball bearings seems completely new.
Added on 2013-06-11
Today something special from Eric: One of the latest inventions in the n-ary Puzzle Group: a Binary Key II. Additionally, a nice double six-piece-burr: Fusion
Added on 2013-06-02
A nice Pento as a present from close friends.
Added on 2013-06-01
Today a package from Michel, containing a Sudoku Tubie, an interesting puzzle with different challenges.
Added on 2013-05-17
After some waiting I received a package from Eric today: Four Cross Twelve and some nice mini burrs: 4 Stick 8, Aramis, Quads & Rings 1, Quads & Rings 2, and Captain.
Added on 2013-05-05
Today from Wil's Queens Day Puzzle Party I brought some nice puzzles: Wil's First Box, a brand new Cast Delta, a Billards Puzzle, a Transport Puzzle, and a Ton's terrible towers.
Added on 2013-04-20
Today from a GCD fallback event I brought two nice puzzles: a vintage Rotos and a present from Michel: Stressful, nicely presented.
Added on 2013-04-14
From a nice puzzle meeting at Bernhard's place, I brought home some nice additions for my collection: Dreieck-Parallelogramm-Quadrat as a present from the host, some vintage twisty puzzles: Ufo and Zauberkreuz, some new puzzles from Bernhard Schweitzer and the New Pelikan Workshop: Saturno #1 and Castle Hole, and then some nice older puzzles and prototypes: Double Lock, Matador, Voodoo Cube, Mississippi Mud, and 2 Temps 3 Mouvements.
Added on 2013-04-06
The current Philos novelties include two intereesting nontrivial burrs with quite some level: Mixed Up and Sarcophagos.
Added on 2013-03-28
Today a surprise package from Bernhard which I expected next week: Cockpit, Pylon 2P2C -- two nice burrs by Yamamoto and Demirhan.
Added on 2013-03-25
Today I received a small package which would have arrived last week already, but the delivery company tried to solve a puzzle by ignoring my last name and trying to deliver it to someone at my address with my first name as last name. Unfortunately, my first name can also be a last name in Germany. Oh man! But now it's there and after all the wood and plastics puzzles, it is all metal: a nice Lotus Puzzle by Wil Strijbos.
Added on 2013-03-20
Another day, another update ... let's wait for the postman's special tomorrow! When Bernhard's latest annoucement came out, I was the first to place an order and this already 12 minutes after the initial announcement. Hard times! Three nice burr puzzles arrived today, two are my first ones from Yavuz Demirhan, who has not been known as a designer for very long, but has been very creative lately (just see Puzzlewillbeplayed): Columnata 2P3C and Estergon. I probably do not have to introduce the name Osanori Yamamoto to you; he designed a puzzle whose name matches current weather conditions in Germany, the Ice Pillar.
Added on 2013-03-19
Today a tiny package arrived from Austria with a nice little puzzle in it: 4 in Frame. Thank you, Stephan!
Added on 2013-03-08
Today a package with nice puzzles arrived from Alfons Eyckmans: Anlon (the first creation of burr collector and solver Aaron Davila), Lange Wapper 54 (the second addition to the 18 piece burr group), Highway, 12 Bastards (only 12 pieces on first sight), and Schoolbus (to drive on the Highway).
Added on 2013-02-21
Today two packages from Nowstore inlcuding more or less bandaged and more or less camouflage twisties: All-in-One Bandaged Cube to research all kinds of bandaged cubes, Belt-Road Bandaged 3x3x3, 3x3x2 Camouflage, 2x2x3 Camouflage, SQ224, mf8 2x3x4, and one addition for the Octahedra Group: the Gear Octahedron.
Added on 2013-02-16
Today a small package from France: the Congestion is the biggest caged six-piece burr in my collection, definitely the heaviest and most probably the most difficult one. Instead of different woods Maurice used aluminium inlays to implement the color scheme -- high quality craftsmanship.
Added on 2013-02-03
Believe it or not: Today there is another new world record in the category of traditional 18 piece burrs. The Supernova has just been published on Ishino's page and has an impressive level 166! I am lucky and happy to have this record puzzle in my collection.
Added on 2013-01-30
Today a special world record celebration update: Some nice high level burrs created by Alfons Eyckmans. For starters a Toaster, an unusual 9 piece burr. Then some exquisit servings of the 18 piece burr menu: a puzzle creating a Nightmare already while consuming (with a lot of odd shaped ingredients), followed by a difficult to digest The Barones, and then followed by the Excelsior course leaving some taste of highest complexity. All joking aside, this last one is the reason why this is a celebration update. This puzzle is a cooperation by Jack Krijnen and Alfons Eyckmans leading to the current world record for traditional 18 pieces burrs: 156 moves for the first piece!
Added on 2013-01-29
Today a basic puzzle for the n-ary Puzzle Group: a Towers of Hanoi.
Added on 2013-01-25
A package from Nowstore: Some speedcubing puzzles are ZhanChi, a GuHong, Megaminx. Not that I would like to start into speed cubing, I am just interested how these puzzles work. If I am too tired, those two will be easy to solve: 1x1x3 and 1x1x4. Then something unusual: a twisty puzzle (believe me!) that is also sequential discovery: Q-Borg.
Added on 2013-01-17
A package with nice Doug Engel originals arrived: a multi function Compass puzzle, a Time Warrp, a Star Dock Puzzle, Slide Rule Duel, a Barrel Shuttle, a Blocked Barrel, a Barrel Slide, and as a bonus an Atomihedra.
Added on 2013-01-14
Earlier than expected a huge package from Shapeways with some very well packaged puzzles: a Tubular Burr - many rotations, what else! A Moby Maze - it only has one surface, but you have to keep two sides in focus for solving. A Rotary Cub - a puzzle with many rotations by Greg and more moves for disassembly than assembly! Quickstep - high level "void cube". Although I have solved all but the Quickstep in the 15 minutes between unboxing and the pictures, they are very nice and definitely not too easy puzzles from four different categories.
Added on 2013-01-09
Today a nice little package from India, containing an old Indian Puzzle Lock.
Added on 2013-01-07
The first update for this year are two packages from the east ordered in December: The first one looks like a magic treasure chest from ancient India and it contains three nice Indian trick/puzzle locks: Combination and Key lock, Lock with 5 keys to open, and a traditional Gurjani lock with two keys.
The second package comes even farther from the east, from Hong Kong and contains some of the latest Twisty Puzzles: Dinomorphix (the reason for my order, the others are "just" side orders), a Nautilus (have to find out how to scramble this Square-1 variant), a Master Pyraminx (now I also have a pillowed one), a 2x3x4 Camouflage (I just like 2x3x4, see my TP forum avatar), 3-layer Cheese, and a Bauhina Dodecahedron (not finished stickering yet, but you can't tell from the picture ... ).
Added on 2012-12-21
Today an update which may lead to discussions whether I have really added some puzzles today. Well, that depends.
After receiving an interesting padlock, I decided to add some padlocks to my gallery that may not be puzzle locks, but have at least some relationship with puzzles. The first one is the reason for today's update: a Master Lock One. This lock uses a slider with movements up/down/left/right to enter a combination, and this combination is not only user-configurable, but may also be arbitrary long! Of course this is only a finite mechanical device, so after some time combinations opening the lock repeat, but it will take a very long while, as some mathematical considerations will show easily. To understand this and to see how this lock works, please have a look at the PDF and the nice interactive demonstration of the mechanism SWF demonstration hosted on toool.nl. If you have a look at these demonstrations, you will notice that there is a puzzle hidden inside this lock, in which four discs have to be turned into the right positions and with each move three discs turn. If the lock did not hide them, it would not be a lock, but a puzzle and might have shown up at Jaap's page. :)
The other lock is less spectacular: The first one I bought in Italy maybe some 25 years ago, and it is an unsual design, at least here in Europe. It is quite simple, so that you can make it a puzzle to open it: Pushbutton padlock.
Added on 2012-12-20
Today a package from far, far away waited for me at the customs office, with one of MrPuzzle's latest limited edition. I was lucky to receive it this year already, and so it does not have the usual number 17, but number 6: a very nice L-Burr. Level 4 does not sound complicated, but there are some very nasty rotations involved -- tricky!
Added on 2012-12-14
I am not sure: Could Christmas be today already? Two packages arrived the same day, one from far west, from Cubicdissection, with three of the latest burr puzzles: Two Halves Cage 4A (not a boxed 6 pieces burr), Moonflight (not a moon rocket), and Uranus (not a 6 pieces burr, but with magnets!).
The second from the far east contained nice X-mas presents: they are two of this year's Karakuri X-mas   presents.
Added on 2012-11-29
The Cage for 4 Sticks arriving is the reason I did not order this puzzle from Eric today, and I just like the fine grain of the Difou wood. The 18-in-Blocks is a nice addition to both my 18pcs Burrs collection and to the Alfons Eyckmans puzzles.
Added on 2012-11-06
According to my calender, it's November, but "NovemBURR" might be more appropriate: After I got the three nice high level burrs from Jack Krijnen, I received a package from Alfons Eyckmans today, full of beautiful, very nice, and high or very high level burrs. They are all crafted in a new way than the others I have and are a bit smaller -- good for my storage capacity!
The first ones are boxed burrs and more complicated versions of puzzles with similar names: Lolly Box 2 and Big Havanna's. Then there are two puzzles that have a simple symmetric cage and three simple burr pieces without extensions (like the Devil in Cage). The Rat Trap additionally houses a little "rat", while the Vectes is a recent design with three identical and simple pieces, but high level for such a burr. The Zig Zag and Zig Zag 2 combine plates and burr pieces into very high level puzzles.
The 18 pieces burrs group has received two additions that are located more at the top end levelwise: The Muff has a movement scheme that looks completely different from the Phoenix family and it has a nice level that has many moves also for the second and third pieces, and quite some moves up to the nineth piece! The Baron is a new personal record for Alfons. Recently we have seen the Echo-1 at Puzzle-Place. Like the Echo-1 satellite was launched after the Tiros in the same year, the Echo-1 burr has the same number of moves for the first piece like the Tiros, 150 moves. Now "The Baron" follows these two Burrs and adds one move more to the level, to a total of 151 moves. The current world record holder for traditional 18 pieces burrs with 152, the BSfEP can still claim its title, but is only one more move away. Let's see what we are going to see next!
These were some long notes about my new puzzles. To follow Oskar van Deventer's tradition, here are some quiz questions for you:
  1. What is the sum of the level (first piece only) for all puzzles shown in today's update? Answer: click here (Needs Javascript)
  2. What is the total sum of moves provided in the puzzle pages for today's update (all numbers combined)? Answer: click here (Needs Javascript)
This will keep me busy for quite some time ....
Added on 2012-11-04
Today I met many old and new but all very nice puzzle friends at Dutch Cube Day (DCD) in Voorburg, close to Den Haag (The Hague). Many intersting conversations and puzzle discussions, solving attempts and also research took place - keep your eyes open for posts on popular puzzle blogs! Beside all that I also picked up some puzzle to bring home to my collection: After receiving a Souvenir gift, my first way was to Bernhard's table, who had his own products for sale and also some from the collection of the late puzzle collector Martin Brockmann, and I picked up: Changing Partners (several puzzles in one, all non-trivial and with rotations), a Caged Burr, and then also three puzzle locks. Then I went to Michel's table whom I have brought some nice puzzles from Essen, and he had some nice puzzles and puzzling objects for me: Three Piece Tetrahedron, a nice sized Falling Rings, a vintage Dutch WWF Masterball, and an Eureka String puzzle. Very close to this table I met one of the high level burr specialists and after some nice conversation I got some pieces of the impressive "tower of burrs" he built recently: Jack's Dozen, Tipperary, and Jiminy Jack - some nice additions to my collection of 18 pieces burrs. Wil had some binary puzzles for me: Left Right Chinese Rings and Matryoshka. Finally, I picked up a solvable version of the 15/14 puzzle from Ton, and TomZ' latest mass produced puzzle. The last puzzle is a real Belgian Maze, but without the quotes, and a really hard maze protecting a precious Euro coin. I played with this puzzle at IPP and today I picked it up from Robrecht.
There have been some additions to the n-ary puzzles group today. Can you find out which ones?
Added on 2012-10-27
FR Group
(Comparison of the two generations of Fidgety Rabbits puzzles. Click for large picture)
What happens if you keep rabbits for some time? Right -- they start multiplying! I received some very fidgety rabbits for my collection (post below), and also these rabbits started multiplying and today a stable box with the next generation of fidgety rabbits arrived. These ternary Fidgety Rabbits are bigger than the "old" generation to accomodate more states. There are only six rabbits, but each has now three different states (instead of two), which makes them a perfect addition to the n-ary puzzles family. This new puzzle has been created for the first time, by its designer Namick Salakhovand based on his (copyrighted) design. It is a very clever design I must say -- I see that it scales not only to ternary, but also to higher order, like Namick has told me before. Please see some detail pictures of this puzzle to the right. Thank you, Namick, for this exceptional puzzle! Fidgety Rabbits ternary
Fidgety Rabbits ternary
Added on 2012-10-20
Today something special: My first puzzle from Azerbaijan, and also my first package from Azerbaijan. I received a new member of the n-ary puzzles family, a Fidgety Rabbits. This white beauty was part of this year's IPP Design Competition and is a very nice new concept to implement a binary movement scheme. The puzzle came in a beautiful and very stable box, please see the picture. I have never seen a puzzle so well packaged before! Thank you, Namick!
Added on 2012-10-20
Back from "Essener Spieletage 2012" I came home with some more puzzles: From Jean-Claude Constantin I brought some n-ary Puzzles: a Kugellager 2 I did not have yet and a disentanglement puzzle (which looks binary at first sight, but has yet to be confirmed); the 4 Stones Labyinth is a new puzzle which I first had to solve for the picture; a Combination Lock, a small Zodiac Box, a bigger LabyBox, a 20 Cent and an improved Oval Office; concluded with a rare Hysteresis Key. From Hendrik I got a Snow Mystery (for the winter approaching?) and some nice Siebenstein puzzles: Up and Down (solved for the picture and not as hard as expected, but still challenging) and a Schiebung. At the Philos booth I not only met a nice puzzle friend, but also got some interesting puzzles for a bargain: Cup Puzzle and Arrow Puzzle.
Added on 2012-10-17
A box from Eric could be picked up at the Customs office today, containing: An Accordion/Disjointed Cube -- an independent design by two designers. I met Ken Irvine (designer of "Accordion") this year at IPP and he had a big collection of his custom designs with him. Unfortunately they were not for sale, but luckily there was more than one woodworker at IPP who picked up some of these designs to produce them. Eric's version is the first one, stay tuned for more Ken Irvine puzzles to come in 2013! The other puzzles are: The Rattle (a packing puzzle, not my main puzzle type interest, but a nice puzzle) and an interlocking puzzle by Greg: 2 Cage 3BB.
Added on 2012-10-11
Now back to regular updates: From Arteludes three nice puzzles, Cannich (for my Alfons Eyckmanns Burr Collection), Simple UC Trapped (a nice puzzle by Stephane) and as a bonus a Les 2 Boules Desunies.
Added on 2012-10-08
Today something special again: I managed to create some first additional challenges for my Exchange puzzle Acrobat. More to follow from time to time.
Structural update on 2012-09-21
As you may have noticed, something happened to the puzzle category/classes on this page. After more or less dynamic growth of this gallery page with more and more puzzles, and after the introduction of sub pages in the grid views to manage the growing number of puzzles by the end of last year, I decided to give the web site a major overhaul. The main differences happened "under the hood", but there are two things that are visible: During the upgrade, it may have happened that a puzzle went into the wrong category by accident, or you may have some information to add -- please let me know. Now I hope that the viewing experience is enhanced by this update and the gallery is more fun to browse and a better source for reference.
Added on 2012-09-12
Today some very nice burrs from Greg Benedetti arrived which he presented at IPP32: Blind Burr and Odd Repartition. The Blind Burr is a very unusual burr and was one of the top ten vote getters at IPP32 Design Competition.
Added on 2012-09-08
Currently, I am doing some research on those n-ary puzzles together with some other puzzlers. In the process, I have created a ternary puzzle prototype of a Bob Hearn design that has never been built before, it only existed in a paper on Bob's homepage. Using Lego bricks (and a bit of glue), and some stickers, I created a prototype version of Sliding-block "Chinese Rings" style puzzle. Now I can do pracitical research on this puzzle and since there a many small pieces involed, there are a lot of moves for a 3-ring ternary puzzle!
Added on 2012-08-21
Now that I have been back from IPP for some time, I have found the time to get all the Exchange puzzles into my gallery. As there are about 80 of them, I will not mention them here one by one, but have put them ona separate page of IPP32 Exchange puzzles
This is also to avoid putting them on this web page in an unstructured pile, similar to the one created from these puzzles on my living room table (see picture to the right).
IPP32 Exchange
Added on 2012-08-19
Last week I have been to a fabulous IPP32 and coming back, here are the first puzzles I brought with me. They are the puzzles I bought at the Puzzle Party, the puzzles from the Exchange are expected to come on-line in an additional update coming week -- there are just so many of them to be photographed, catalogued and eventually also solved.
From the Puzzle Party I brought a Design Competiton entry somewhat similar to the Quadlocks, but more complicated, as after removing the key pieces, the frame needs some more lock-picking moves to be taken apart: Burrblock. From Richard some nice tiny microcubology items: Coherence and Bolero; from Greg some of his designs with twists and turns, not from wood, but printed: Tronc Commun 4 and Doube Noeud. From Brian an IPP27 puzzle, a maze looking one-dimensional only at first sight: Straight Forward. From Abraham Jacob some nice binary puzzles (see n-ary puzzles) I have only heard of recently: Trio, Quartet, Quintet, and Sextet F&L puzzles. The last one was given as table puzzle at the Awards Banquet.
Added on 2012-07-17
A package with nice puzzles from Arteludes: Nickel Box and Les Cerises
Added on 2012-07-16
Today the third part of my order of nice Iwahiro coordinate motion puzzles arrived: Triangular Jam. These 5 two-dimensional coordinate motion puzzles (1,2,3,4,5). may lack the third dimension, but they are nevertheless fascinating puzzles. For somebody like me who is used to axis-parallel burr-like movements, they are a nice training for out-of-the-box-thinking. Thank you, Dirk, for pointing me to them!
Added on 2012-07-15
I found some more of these fascinating coordinate motion puzzles by Iwahiro: Pentagonal Jam and Hexagonal Jam
Added on 2012-07-09
Today a little box, a Tea Box -- Granny's Hammer. In it's first life, it was a real tea box containing tea. Now it is a nice little puzzle box. Why the "hammer" in the name? Well, it comes indeed with a little hammer!
Added on 2012-07-06
The computer loops is a Chinese Rings variant by Mag-Nif from 1975, a binary puzzle
Added on 2012-07-03
When I opened my mailbox today, a true nightmare awaited me .... The Nightmare is a bigger and more complicated variant of the Diavolo. Not to be mixed up with Alfons Eyckmans' recent 18 pieces burr of the same name.
Added on 2012-06-25
A nice package from Eric: Slow Waltz is a nice new 4x4x4 cube, N-One is a tiny level 15.3 keychain puzzle, and Chen's 6 BB is a high level board burr (=BB).
Added on 2012-06-22
Some of Wil's latest inventions arrived today: New Dovetail. It is a very nice addition to the well known Dovetail series of convex and concave dovetails, and collectors who already have both of these will like the new one. For Dovetail-professionals it features some new concept and classic solutions might not work, for all amateurs and beginners, there are some tricks to overcome. And then there is the majority of people who do not believe that such shapes can be disassembled at all, but believe me: it is possible! Maybe this is the nicest aspect of these puzzles: Let people guess how these objects were assembled and how they can be disassembled again.
Added on 2012-06-13
Today a small package arrived from Problemboden, Finland -- small, but containing some big puzzle business. The first puzzle in it seems to have something to do with ???, but it's not a detective story, but an n-ary puzzle: Mysterians, a 5-ary puzzle. Then there are two puzzles that look easy, but certainly are not (they are by Iwahiro, need I add more?): Rectangular Jam and Rightangular Jam. Then, there are some two Finnish puzzle boxes: Tricky Gift Box and Trick Box "Finland".
Added on 2012-06-07
An interesting package containing some of Alfons Eckman's latest works arrived. They are all of high craftmanship and very nice to play with. The property that none of these puzzles can satisfy is being easy -- luckily!
There are three new 18 pieces burrs in three different shapes: The Garuda is a traditional shape 18piece burr with a level close to a 100, and it seems to be part of the Phoenix familiy (first impression after trying about 80 moves), then the Waddon, which has wider pieces like the Phelan, and then a new type with entirely flat pieces: the level 29 Cephio.
Also in the package were: Triton (a hybrid burr), Cocoon (in some way similar to Padaung Rings), and Devil in Cage (only three pieces in a cage, but level 54).
Added on 2012-06-05
Today two packages were waiting for me at the customs office:
The first is from India and contains two beautiful and tricky vintage padlocks for my collection: Trick Lock with four keys and Trick Lock with three steps.
The second package also came from the east, but a little farer away from Hong Kong with state of the art twisty puzzles: Plum Flower Snake, Mixup Plus Cube (not at all standard 3x3x3), and some pillowed pentahedrons: 3 Layers Pentahedron, Crazy 3 Layers Pentahedron, and 5 Layers Pentahedron.
Added on 2012-05-25
At IPP31 a special custom made puzzle was presented to the organizing committee, were I first saw it. Now Wil has managed to get a small batch created and sent me one, a puzzle remotely similar to the "Kugellagers", but not n-ary: IPP31 Berlin Puzzle.
Added on 2012-05-20
A local shop find during a holiday trip in Germany: Crazy 2x3x3 (white).
Added on 2012-05-09
Today a nice package from Wil arrived: he packed a puzzle (Secret Box) and a huge and extinct animal (dino) into a small cage. Magic? See here: Secret Box + Dino in a Cage. Also in the package were some nice aluminum puzzles: Concave dovetail and Convex dovetail
Update on 2012-04-23
Reworked yesterday's update on puzzle 1000. It turned out to be double-ternary instead of 6-ary, which is a completely new type of puzzle.
Added on 2012-04-22
Only a few hours before the German Cube Day (GCD) it arrived: The last puzzle to get a three digit number. It is a Bin Laden and it is as close to being number 1000 as it is as close to being a true binary puzzle. It was designed by Rik van Grol to seem like a binary puzzle at first, but to get you stuck in a dead end then. Only when you figure out that in fact it is a hybrid of binary and ternary puzzle, you can solve it. This is also the motivation for the "devilish" name. Bin Laden
Auf dem Holzweg
-=- 1000 -=-
This is the moment that readers of this web page (and myself) have been waiting for: My collection has crossed the 1000 boundary and puzzle numbers are four digits from now on.
I have been wondering which puzzle would get the honour to be the celebration puzzle, but when I found this puzzle on GCD yesterday, I had no doubt: I picked up an Auf dem Holzweg which seemed to be the first level-6-Kugellager to exist (or actually equivalent, but very, very close to a Kugellager). However, it turned out to be something new: A combination of two ternary puzzles (see yellow and green sections in the picture to the right), which I will now call "double-ternary". More details on this discovery are presented in my updated article.
Holzweg-Sections
After my research on n-ary puzzles (see Kugellager.pdf and the n-ary Puzzles Group page) it seems that his puzzle has deserved to be number 1000. If you do not believe me, have a look at the updates for puzzles 900 and 500 in the update history.
From the GCD I brought the following puzzles:
A vintage binary puzzle SPIN-OUT by Binary Arts. This and the other n-ary puzzles are on the now updated n-ary Puzzles Group page.
Closely related to the Towers of Hanoi is the Rudenko Disk. I met Theo Geerinck and got his Chainstitch. From Siebenstein are the Holzweg Puzzle above and: Diavolo, Safe, and Nur Mut, a tiny Burr. I met Willem van der Poel an got the first of one of his IPP exchange puzzles, a Combination Lock. Michel van Ipenburg brought me some of Oskar's interesting designs: a Planar Burr (as described in one of the Gathering for Gardner books) and a Domino Tower, accompanied by a Jeliku. For my cuboid collection, I also got a Twisty Puzzle: a 4x4x6.
Added on 2012-04-18
Just before GCD and a few days after finishing all those Burrs some new puzzles from Arteludes: A Pyramid, a nice Chateau d'If, and an Identity Matrix. Usually, in Mathematics, an identity matrix is something simple with a clear and simple structure. Here, we have a nice puzzle called Identity Matrix that is far from trivial: 24 identical notchable pieces that lead to an astonishing level of 13.8.
Added on 2012-03-24
The high number of high level Burrs I reveiced lately, enabled me to add the group page that has been planned for some time: 18 Pieces Burrs -- a true high level page
Added on 2012-03-21
Today is Burr's day (no, not birthday, but with a similar feeling), and to let you know why, let's have a look at the latest update. Today I picked up three packets at three different locations (hooray, German post offices!) and got a whole load of nice Burrs:
  • From Maurice Vigouroux and Guillaume Largounez: an Abad's level 9 burr
  • From Alfons Eyckmans: A Condor, a Phoenix, a Phoenix-Cabracan, a Misery, and an Al Capone
  • From Jack Krijnen: A Century
Al capone Phoenix-Cabracan Phoenix Misery Condor Build a house Abad's Level 9 Burr Century
Since this a lot of puzzles and Jack knows that I already have some, he included a nice house for me to build and store all the puzzles in it. :)
Today I won't provide links from the puzzle name to the puzzle pages, but instead run a little quiz:

  1. Find out which puzzle is which in the picture to the right! To verify, just point with the mouse or click on the puzzles in the picture.
  2. Estimate: What is the sum of the moves to get all first pieces out of these burrs? Answer, click here (Needs Javascript).
Added on 2012-03-20
Today: History lesson. Puzzle friend Michel van Ipenburg found a historic member of the Kugellager family and for this I have updated Kugellager.pdf (see new Chapter 17).
Added on 2012-03-12
Another Monday, another trip to the customs office. This time for a nice Tom's Square Dance
Added on 2012-03-05
Picked up a late x-mas present and lottery win -- at the customs office: a Secret Base 2. Like Secret Base it has fascinating movements!
Added on 2012-02-29
Today a puzzle entry update, not a new puzzle: after disassembling, the "Balder" in fact seems to be a different design by Alfons, a Sleipnir. It has some very interesting moves.
Added on 2012-02-26
Today no puzzle update, but puzzle related: I have added a new chapter (16) about some old and new puzzles to my article Kugellager.pdf. Enjoy reading!
Added on 2012-02-25
My win from recent Cubicdissection auction: Clamp -- one more interesting and very well crafted Miyamoto puzzle for me!
Added on 2012-02-18
From Hongkong a new puzzle which starts to confuse me once it is turned, as so many pieces are rotating simultaneously and with different rotational speeds: Gear Pyraminx
Added on 2012-02-15
A very nice surprise package from Alfons Eyckmans containing two very well crafted high level 18 pieces burrs, many thanks! The first is the well known Tiros, playing in the world's top league of burrs. The second one I have identified as Balder, a very interesting hybrid of regular 18 piece burr pieces and the ones with 2x3 base, known from the Phelan or Dirty Dozen. This definitely brings back some memories from recent solves of these two 16 and 18 piece burrs.
Added on 2012-02-07
Sometimes I also order puzzles from Amazon. Not very complicated, but interesting: Oblo Puzzle Spheres -- a spherical, multi-layered packing puzzle
Added on 2012-02-05
Second group page, about a group of twisty puzzles: Twisty Octahedra
Second update today: This page has received a new layout -- as seen already above.
Added on 2012-02-01
First February update is a nice puzzle from TomZ, in cooperation with mf8: 3x4x5
Added on 2012-01-28
A nice Oskar design from Meffert's: Gift Cube
Added on 2012-01-21
A very interesting puzzle just released recently: Washer Cylinder by Wil Strijbos. From the outside it is just an aluminum cylinder, but inside lies the real fun (which I will see once solved). It's a bit shorter than it's older brother, the Aluminum Cylinder.
Added on 2012-01-14
A fascinating puzzle from Alfons Eyckmans: Dirty Dozen -- A 12 piece burr? A 16 piece burr? -- Well, both of it! One from the outside and one from the inside.
Added later the day: Meanwhile I have received mail from the Karakuri group and know the name of the X-Mas present I got: Pump. After a look at the overview sheet I am very comfortable with my choice of present.
Added even later the same day: Today I finally started a feature on this site that was on my wishlist for long: Group pages. Starting with the most famous group for this page (I believe), I will add more groups occasionally, providing an overview of puzzles that may have something in common -- may it be obvious or not.
Added on 2012-01-13
A package with nice puzzles from Cubicdissection: Rattle Box and Ribbons Puzzle by Tom Jolly and a Havanna's Box #1 -- guess what's in it!
A very interesting puzzle came from Australia, a Hexadecimal Puzzle (reproduction by Bill Wylie).
Added on 2012-01-06
The first package this year came from Hong Kong: Star Minx II and DaYan Gem IV
Added on 2011-12-30
Probably the last update for this year, but one covering several areas:

From my puzzle friend Michel van Ipenburg I got a nice Constantin puzzle: Bonbon

The gallery is growing bigger and bigger, and it might take a long time to load and the many images may slow down some browsers (e.g. mobile devices), I decided to overhaul my gallery creation script after it was running fine for more than three years now.
Added on 2011-12-26
Just before Christmas I received my nice present from the Karakuri Club. Spoiler warning: If you are still waiting for yours and if it would be by Miyamoto, don't read on! I don't know the name of it and will update the gallery once I have received it. The puzzle looks a bit like one of these old fashioned Scales whose base has then been put in a box, but see for yourself: X-mas Present. It is not trivial, but I have managed to open it already. Now I have to figure out in detail how the mechanism and solution works.
Added on 2011-12-17
From the new Online Shop "Arteludes" featuring puzzles crafted by Maurice Vigouroux, a package with some very high quality puzzles, both in craftmanship and design: Burr in Cage (in nice yellow Difou wood), Phelan, Xenon, and for X-mas Six pieces Star
Added on 2011-12-09
From Siebenstein-Spiele/Spielemine: Coin Trap, Screw, Interlock II, and Sisyphos
Added on 2011-12-07
Two very nice puzzles from the latest Baxterweb auction: Giga Burr and Checker Cube
Wait, that was the doorbell ...
If one nice package was not enough for today, my neighbor just brought a package from Bill Cutler for me, containing a real beauty: S/M 24 in three different woods
Added on 2011-12-05
Today I had some time for local shops in my hometown and guess what -- I found some new puzzles: orange Dael O Ring (new version), Wurmm, Galaxy Puzzle I and II, and a puzzle game for dexterity specialists (not me!): Catwalk
Added on 2011-12-04
Yesterday my puzzle friend Dirk visited me and had some interesting puzzles in his box, and also one of his nice exchange puzzles for me, a: The Creeping Block Puzzle -- it includes different challenges and the simplest/standard change has already 71 rolling moves of blocks. Thanks, Dirk!
Added on 2011-11-26
From Now Store: Dino Cube (first one I have that is not custom built or 3D printed), Super 3x3x8, 1x2x5, 4x4x5, and 4x5x5
Added on 2011-11-12
From Tom Lensch: Shift Burr 2 -- a 6 piece burr with level 13 which is also dexterity puzzle and of very high quality.
Added on 2011-11-03
My last item from recent Cubicdissection auction: Arabesque -- a puzzle that is impressive, both in size and craftmanship, and also a rare puzzle.
Added on 2011-10-31
Yesterday on the Dutch Cube Day in Eindhoven I met very many nice puzzle colleagues known and unknown to me, and of course very many puzzles old and new. A very exciting event, indeed! As usual there were Puzzles that I considered to be too expensive for my current collecting habits, but I managed to bring a whole bunch of puzzles I got from several people:
It started with my puzzle friend Bernhard who had some items I could not resist: By George Burr (a burr-like puzzle with several moves and a rotation), Triangle Cube Burr (quite simple, but nice cuts and woodworking), Dutch Cross (a Burr with a solution having an akward turn -- of 180 degrees), a Kei Cube Jr and a Puzzle 7.
TomZ had some interesting and complicated new designs -- and of course the one I had pre-ordered: Super-X
At Wil's table some pre-orders were waiting for me. Now I have the winner of this year's IPP design competition, a 4 Steps Visible Lock, which I already liked and solved during IPP -- of course I left the Euro coin inside for the next one :). At Wil's I also picked up: one of his Aluminum Cylinders, an unknown Framed 6 piece burr (looking like printed by George Miller), and the new Cast Donuts.
I also found some IPP exchange puzzles I did not have: Marcel Gillen had a Burrliner Kruse for sale and Rob Hegge a Five Burr-ito.
There were also some new production range puzzles from 2011 with a nice look and very high quality: Moeraki 4 and 3.
The others are a mixture of cheap vintage puzzles and some new puzzles: Plastic Chinese Rings, Metal Chinese Rings (yes, two additions to my n-ary department), Triple Cross, A Turnstile-Variant (for some insight on the "Triplex" puzzle), Frustr8tor, Calendar Barrel, Keyboard Cube, Dororinth orange and white, from Russia a traditional Screwed Shackle, an 8 Pice Burr, and a Rudenko Clips.
Added on 2011-10-26
A small but interesting IPP31 exchange puzzle with a hidden mechanism: Bunch
Special update on 2011-10-22
With my last update, my gallery crossed the line of 900 items and so I decided to decide to pick out a special one from this update: A 7-ary Kugellager which (to my knowledge) is the first 7-ary puzzle and has level 4802.
Of course, I have added the puzzle to my paper about n-ary puzzles and I am proud to present a new version today: Kugellager.pdf. Enjoy reading!
Added on 2011-10-22
This week I was at Spiel 2011 in Essen and besides loads of Games and some puzzles, I also met some Puzzle-Friends there. When I got home, I received two additional packages, so many puzzles in today's update:
From HKNowStore: The Bermuda Cube series, all variants: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and House I, House II, Column, Star, and additionally some others: Circular Bean Tower, Bandaged Pyraminx, 3x3x3 3 slices, 2x2x2 Bandaged, and 1x2x2
In the package from Eric: Twist the Night Away -- it has many twists in the solution and I am tempted to put it into the Twisty category, but it is definitely a (Dis-) Assembly puzzle, and a very nice one!
From the "Spiel" fair: From Jean-Claude Constantin, some of his and some rare other puzzles: Kugellager 7 (as mentioned above), a Eivon (another kind of smartphone puzzle), and some IPP31 exchange puzzles: Crazy Bottles and Modern Times; and an original Roger Tap and Kamei Money Bank and a level 9 Six Piece Burr. New Twisty puzzles from Hendrik's shop: Spinner and Double Disk. From Rombol and Philos I got: Interlock 3 Pieces, Kaneko Cube, Money, and Polo Shirt Puzzle
Added on 2011-10-08
A rare occasion: a local store find with a new puzzle, a Dael O Ring
Added on 2011-10-07
Two packages today, with completely new puzzles: From the Karakuri Club New Secret Box I, II, and III. From Moulding Innovations: Dioctipoid 1.0 and 2.0
Added on 2011-10-06
A package from Hong Kong, from NowStore: Marusenko Sphere, Magic Ball, Keyring Big Block, 3x3x9, and 3x3x9 Road Block -- a lot of blockage this time! :)
Added on 2011-10-01
Long weekend (due to holiday on Monday) -- time to build the remaining kits I have here: 48 Moves Box, Byte Box, and Crypteks
Added on 2011-09-30
The second kit built, this time a bit more complicated: Cyrus Redblock
Added on 2011-09-29
Some time ago I ordered some box kits from Myers Crafts. Now I had time for the first one and it turned out really nice (unpainted, as usual for me): The Jail Cell
Added on 2011-09-24
From Meffert's Jade Club: Jade Pyraminx and Gear Shift
I also added a Chinese Finger Trap to the gallery I got at IPP31.
Added on 2011-09-22
From Steve Strickland, who just started to create puzzles again: Six Pack, Bent Board Burr, Elbow Burr, and a Irregular Board Burr
Added on 2011-09-17
From Hong Kong, from HKNowStore some twisty puzzles: Tuttminx, Double Fused Cube, Double Mirror Blocks, bandaged 3x3x3 embedded in transparent 2x2x2, and a Bandaged Revenge
Added on 2011-09-12
A small package from Eric Fuller containing some very nice puzzles: Boards and Sticks (in a Frame), Havanna's 2, Zauberflöte, and a Lattice II
Added on 2011-09-10
An IPP31 Design Competition entry by Greg Benedetti: Daedalus. Here is a short review I promised to John Devost: :)
This nice puzzle was created in different wood versions and looks like a straight and simple rectilinear interlocking puzzle. But beware, it isn't. In the inside not only interlocking pieces can be found, but also grooves and wooden pins forming an internal only partly visible maze, a maze that evolves and changes with every move you make. Moves that were blocked just a moment ago, or only halfway possible, might be there now and you have to keep your track carefully -- or get lost in the maze.
If that wasn't enough already, rotations are not only possible but also allowed and part of the solution. Usually, rotations tend to lead to shortcuts in the intended solution. For this puzzle, the only solution is full of rotations and even then an astonishing 23 moves to remove the first piece are the result. Alltogether, 49 moves are required in the unique disassembly solution, with 9 moves for the second and 8 moves for the third piece. Burr-Tools will hate you when you try to solve this puzzle with the help of a computer. Luckily, for the faint hearted, there is a solution booklet included, which is of the nice high quality and craftmanship like the puzzle.
To my personal knowledge, this is the first puzzle design with this combination of elements, and a very interesting one. Anyone interested in high level burrs, but getting bored of more traditional ones, try this one (if you can get hold of one, of course)! Happy Puzzling!

Added on 2011-08-27
A long awaited package from Puzzlemaster: containing a metal version Medaillion, three Livecube Puzzles, a Trinity Infinity, and a Turbo Mind Twister
Added on 2011-08-12
Three very nice puzzles from Iwahiro, box packing puzzles with twists: 4M Puzzle, 3M Puzzle, and ODD Puzzle
Added on 2011-08-11
A second package from Mefferts: Curvy Copter, by Tom van der Zanden, a creative young designer whom I had the pleasure of meeting at IPP.
Added on 2011-08-10
A package from Mefferts: Feliks Cube, Gear-Cube Extreme, The New Pyraminx, and Crazy Tetrahedron Plus
Added on 2011-08-09 (updated 2011-08-10, 2011-08-11)
I just came back from IPP31 and there was a package waiting for me: Always Empty Box
Maybe this always empty box could solve some space problems I might run into: IPP31 was great and I met many interesting and nice people there, played with very interesting puzzles and had numerous interesting conversations and lectures. Now I have to solve a packing puzzle consisting of over 30 more new puzzles and my already full shelves, after unpacking them, solving them and putting them into the gallery. It will take some time, so please stay tuned. Meanwhile, in the picture on the right you can see what I am facing at the moment. :) Update: I have eventually managed to put them up in the gallery, but as some of them are still unsolved, I will probably replace some pictures by the solved version some time in the future.
Gifts from IPP31 organizing committee: IPP31 puzzle gift, an Anchor Puzzle, and for the helpers a small Made in China.
From Bill Cutler: He had his very First Design remade as his exchange puzzle. He also carried some puzzles from Jerry McFarland for me: a Quadlock 1 and a Quadlock 4.
During the Puzzle Exchange, I had the honour and pleasure to be exchange assistant to Iwahiro. His exchange puzzle "is a box packing puzzle. Just four identical octahedrons, just put them in the box completely. Simple!". That's what he said.... Of course, "this is not a solution": Gem Box, but it is a very nice and well crafted puzzle.
Some of this IPPs exchange puzzles I got were: 6 piece burr variation II (Andreas Roever), Laby Box (Hendrik Haak), Houdinis Torture Cell (Brian Young), Reunification (Twins, Rob W. Jones), Brandenburg Gate (Marti Reis), Eighteen Eights (Peter Knoppers), and Boxed Mixed Piece Burr (Frans de Vreugd).
Some other puzzles I got: 3-piece Magic, Choreographed Motion, Arch Burr Puzzle, Dino Cylinder Cube, Buttonhole Puzzle, Four Sticks Dexterity, 3 Lives to Live, Five Sticks 28, 4 in 2, Little Tree Box, EQ 12 pieces burr, and an old design remade: William Strijbos' Aluminum Cross.
From the French puzzle Collector Jean Carle I got: Manda 1 Burr, Love's Dozen together with a cubic variation of the same puzzle, and a Pause.
From Gregory Benedetti I received three prototypes, all high level puzzles: Eccentricity, La Foudre, and Troacroas.
From Frans de Freugd I got some nice burr puzzles: Boxed L-burr #2, All Mixed Up, and a variation of this puzzle.
Added on 2011-07-13
Puzzle number 800 is also a Popp-Lock: Popplock T4
From Hong Kong: Grimace (2 Layers), Grimace (3 Layers), Helicopter Dodecahedron, DaYan Gem III, and Knock-Off Domino with Spindle-Domino number scheme.
Added on 2011-07-06
The latest Popp-Lock -- very cute this time: Popplock T6
Added on 2011-07-01
A puzzle box containing real tea: Tea Puzzle Box
Added on 2011-06-27
Another Karakuri masterpiece with a tricky mechanism, shot at the latest Cubicdissection auction: Latch Puzzlebox
Added on 2011-06-07
Two more Karakuri masterpieces: Family and Tiger of carboholic
Added on 2011-06-04
From the Karakuri Creation Group: Secret Base
Update on 2011-05-22
A major update of my puzzle paper with three more chapters (12,13, and 21) on the analysis of the quinary (5-ary) puzzles Die Welle and Sliding Lock Puzzle: Kugellager.pdf. Enjoy reading!
Added on 2011-05-21
A package from Shapeways: F-Skewb, Medal, and a new core for my Mosaic Cube - to remove the tension problems
Added on 2011-05-10
Yesterday I received a package from Witeden: DaYan Gem II, Super 4x4x4, 2-layer Square-1, Super 2x2x2, and 3x3x6
Added on 2011-05-07
Two packages: One from HKNowStore: Star Minx, Floppy Mirror Blocks, and Koumei Log Puzzle
A big one from Problemboden, Finland: Outlet (nice Kamei Puzzle Box), The Piston, Stubborn Turtles (more like an interesting Physics experiment!), Timonen Burr, Heart Lock, Double Squared, Bolte 13 (a 13 piece burr set for 6pc burrs) , 9 Chinese Rings (an addition to my n-ary puzzle collection), Elephant Trick Box, Brain String, Coil, Loop, and Rattle.
Added on 2011-03-30
A cheap puzzle opportunity in a local store: Bamboo Star
Added on 2011-03-21
From the latest Puzzle-Paradise puzzle, to help Australia: Lattice and Lattice -- Tom Jolly's IPP29 exchange puzzle and a wooden prototype.
Added on 2011-03-19
From Garret: 2x3x4 and Mini Dino Cube. The Mini Dino cube is really mini and cute!
Added on 2011-03-16
Some nice Bits'n'Pieces boxes: Kamei Telescoping Box, Snap Latch Box, and Two Tone Box
Added on 2011-03-02
From a recent auction: a Small Cubi - a small puzzle, but nevertheless a true extension for my n-ary collection.

As this is a typical member of the family, I extended my paper of course: Kugellager.pdf. Enjoy reading!

Added on 2011-02-26
From Mefferts: Prof Pyraminx
Added on 2010-02-18: My first puzzle paper
Today - no new puzzles. But: A small article! I had a discussion with Dan Feldman about some puzzles, especially the "number 500" in my collection: the Kugellager. For all of you interested in the puzzle I have created an article about this puzzle and its relations to binary and ternary puzzles, and there is even a new link to another puzzle disclosed in this paper.

The paper is hosted on my homepage: Kugellager.pdf. Enjoy reading!

Added on 2011-02-10
From Mefferts: Mosaic Cube - nice looking and fascinating, but it doesn't like its own shape very much and needs tension adjusting
Added on 2011-01-28
Got some nice used puzzles: Siamese Cube and Vadasz Kocka
Added on 2011-01-27
I built some more very nice puzzle boxes from the Kits I received from Myers Cratfs: Matchbox and Zig Zag Box
Added on 2011-01-17
Another packages from Hong Kong arrived, from Mefferts: DaYan Gem (8 colors) and (black), Pillowed Skewb, Rubik's Money Bank (a big cube!), and Crazy 4x4 III
Added on 2011-01-14
Two packages from Hong Kong arrived: Vulcano, Rounded Cheese, Master Skewb, Square-2, 2x2x2 Dodecahedron, and 4x4x4 Rhombic Dodecahedron
Added on 2011-01-10
From Mr. Puzzle: Windmill Burr (2010 Limited Ed), Zig Zag Knot, Tibetan Lock, and Lucky Clover
Added on 2011-01-09
First update for this year: I built some very nice puzzle boxes from the Kits I received from Myers Cratfs: Double Two, Interlink, and Tik-Tak-Tok
Added on 2010-12-06
From Jerry McFarland, a classic Bill Cutler design, updated for IPP30: The Slider
Added on 2010-12-04
Three packages on one day!
A small, but very nice surprise package from Jack Krijnen, containing the Burrly Sane for Professionals, the last member of the Burrly Sane family to be made and in my collection. Thank you, Jack!
A package from Bill Cutler, containing some true classics: Wausau 81 and Wausau 84 (completing the series), and the Lovely 18 piece burr
A package from XMATRIX, containing two puzzle novelties: Xmatrix Cubus and Xmatrix Quadrus
Added on 2010-10-24
A major update this time:
From Lagoon Group: Trilogy, Caged Knot, Alcatraz, and Squarrel
From auctions: Burrly Sane Woodworkers Edition, Minimal Twist, and Fortress
From some shops at Spieletage 2010 in Essen some vintage puzzles: Two Drawers, COC, Orb-It, Hungarian Rings, Color Puzzler, Findis Teufelsknoten, Very many mini plastic puzzles by German company "Pussy" from the early 1980s, and Westentaschen Puzzle
From Jean-Claude Constantin, whom I met in Essen: 2 Keys, Sliding Lock Puzzle, Sliding Puzzle, Big Sliding Lock Puzzle, Sliding Puzzle, and Schiebelehre
Added on 2010-10-19
From Rombol: Benedettis 7-er, Benedettis Kaefig, and 2 Pairs
Added on 2010-10-09
From the latest Baxterweb auction: Hinge, from Meffert's: Rex Cube
Added on 2010-09-15
From Puzzlewood: Ambigram Burr
Added on 2010-09-13
Ordered from CMC puzzles: Maischloss
Added on 2010-09-11
Holey Skewb and a very rare vintage puzzle a Rubik's Cheese
Added on 2010-09-03
From Japan: Rubik's Tower and Latch Cube -- an IPP30 novelty
Added on 2010-08-11
Two very nice packages arrived on the same day: MMMDXLVI, a new record puzzle by Kim Klobucher, and a package from Bernhard Schweitzer containing some nice puzzles old and new: CM13 -- a level 4 coordinate motion puzzle with 60 degrees angles, Awoi-Cube II, and Mochalov 2006
Added on 2010-08-09
From Australia, sent by MrPuzzle: Free Pause, Scramble Cube, Don't break the Bank, and Smart Phone
Added on 2010-07-30
A very special and rare burr, directly from the designer: Burrly Sane (Extreme Puzzlers Edition) by Jack Krijnen
Added on 2010-07-29
A Tresor (Safe) by Claus Fohlmeister and five more puzzles by him.
Added on 2010-07-15
Disclosing a puzzle from this year's IPP design competition: Ambidextrous Hexduos
Added on 2010-07-09
From Meffert's: Crazy 3x3x3 Jupiter, Crazy 3x3x3 Mercury,Axis Cube, Hex Prism 3x3x3,Prism 3x3x3, and Box 3x3x3.
Added on 2010-06-26
From a lookal bookshop: four cheap interlocking puzzles
Added on 2010-06-23
From the Cubicdissection auction -- a very nice Kamei Box reproduction: Treasure Chest
Added on 2010-06-21
An attic find: Garfield-Game; and brand new puzzles from Puzzlewood: 3 identical pieces burr and Nicolas and Friedolin
Added on 2010-06-18
Got a package from Meffert's: two Tony Fisher Puzzles -- Hex Skewb and Master Pyramorphinx
Added on 2010-06-12
A package from Shapeways: Visible Cube, Surround, Insinuate Puzzle, Steady State Cube, and Lock Nested Burr, and as only Twisty Puzzle: 1x2x2
Added on 2010-06-10
Some puzzles from China: Round 2x3x3, Jewel, 3x3x7, and Super 2x4x4
Added on 2010-06-05
Got a package from Meffert's: Teraminx
Added on 2010-06-01
A special offer by Shapeways: Super-2x3x3 by Oskar
Added on 2010-05-21
One package from the Far East: Gear Cube, one package from the Far West: K-Cube K-323, and K-Cube K-419
Added on 2010-05-18
Latest acquisitions from Cubicdissection: Self-Framing Burr, Luxemburr, and Padaung Rings
Added on 2010-05-15
A special swap puzzle for two of my Dogics arrived: Pillowed Master Skewb
Added on 2010-05-13
Six puzzles from Shapeways, some yet to be solved: Really Big MazeNCubes, Big MazeNCubes, Switch Cube, World's Smallest Cube, Happiness Cube, and Cube Burr II
Added on 2010-05-10
A Puzzle-Shop-Package: A really big 11x11x11, an Arusloky, and a Dual Circles
Added on 2010-05-07
Today I picked up my Meffert's order at the customs office: Helicopter Cube twins: black and white
Added on 2010-05-06
The octahedron I was missing in my collection: Greenhill's Octahedron
Added on 2010-04-29
Well, it looks I missed one octahedron type in my count yesterday. Today I got a very special twisty octahedron: an Octaminx -- thanks, Tony!
Added on 2010-04-28
Another octahedron for my octahedron collection (now missing the Greenhill's one I have already ordered): 4x4x4 Octahedron; rhombic dodecahedral Skewb
In a Twistypuzzles-Forum post I got an idea what to do with my spare Eastsheen 4x4x4: a 1x4x4 Cube
Added on 2010-04-17
A vintage puzzle from 1981: Missing Link
And some inexpensive puzzles from China: Magic Octahedron, Trajber's Octahedron, Windmill Cube, Dodecahedron, Mozhi Diamon, and Crystal Diamond.
Added on 2010-04-14
I am not only a friend of puzzles, but also like certain other things ... a Homer Simpson's Head puzzle
Added on 2010-04-10
A vintage Magellan and a custom Trick Domino
Added on 2010-04-06
The obsession series of Revomazes: blue, green, black, and red.
Added on 2010-03-20
Got a shipping with nice new puzzles from Toys-4-All:
Cast: Marble, Laby, Helix, and Square; MiToys Bamboo Burrs 1, 2, 3, and 4; and additionally: Eureka Key Maze and Trick Lock
Added on 2010-03-17
Got some nice new Jean-Claude Constantin puzzles from CMC-Puzzles:
Die Welle, Kiste mini, Labyring, Zahnradlabyrinth, and Ahorn Kiste
As a small add-on I got an F-Puzzle
Added on 2010-03-11
An exchange puzzle by Dan Feldman: DanLock (Model B) - a very nice puzzle lock, even more interesting than the Model A
Added on 2010-03-05:
Two pieces, but not easy: Tangler by Tom Jolly
Added on 2010-02-25:
My second win in the Cubicdissection Auction: Pagoda #3 - a cute 25-move box
Added on 2010-02-23:
From the Cubicdissection Auction I got Bill Cutlers IPP20 souvenir puzze: Burry Joint
Added on 2010-02-18: My first puzzle paper
Today - no new puzzles. But: A small article! I had a discussion with Dan Feldman about some puzzles, especially the "number 500" in my collection: the Kugellager. For all of you interested in the puzzle I have created an article about this puzzle and its relations to binary and ternary puzzles, and there is even a new link to another puzzle disclosed in this paper.

The paper is hosted on my homepage: Kugellager.pdf. Enjoy reading!

Added on 2010-02-17:
Peter Knoppers provided me a kit for a nice puzzle by Markus Goetz: The Crazy Elephant Dance. Eventually I had some time today to assemble it and am quite satisfied with the result. The puzzle is closely related to the Ternary Burr and Tern-Key also in my collection, and is a far relative of the typical binary puzzles, and also some higher order n-ary puzzles like the Kugellager.
Added on 2010-02-14:
A new Tom Jolly puzzle crafted by Eric Fuller -- shipping partially assembled: I-Trouble -- definitely not an Apple product!
Added on 2010-02-09:
A Crazy 2x3x3 (Domino)
Added on 2010-02-03:
Third day in Feburary, third package:
Big -- very expensive -- very, very good: From MrPuzzles's Current limited edition: Ternary Burr (closely related to Tern Key and Crazy Elephant Dance) and The Minotaur's Burr
Added on 2010-02-02:
Second February package: From Bernhard's Collection: K-Cube and Open Window
Added on 2010-02-01:
First February package: From Cube4You - 3x3x5 and 2x2x3
Added on 2010-01-21:
A package from Mefferts: Flower-Minx
Added on 2010-01-13:
A package from Cube4you: 1x3x3, Rhombic Dodecahedron, and Truncated Rhombic Dodecahedron
Added on 2010-01-04:
First update this year: Some puzzles ordered from mf8 - Crazy 4x4x4 II, Void Edge Only Cube, and Big 2x2x2
Added on 2009-12-20:
Although today is a Sunday, I got some nice puzzle boxes from the Karakuri Group: Karakuri Cube 1, Karakuri Cube 2, Karakuri Cube 3, and Karakuri Cube 4
Added on 2009-12-10:
New from Mefferts: Jings Pyraminx
Added on 2009-12-04:
Yesterday I went to visit Bernhard Schweitzer and was highly impressed by his big collection of nice wooden puzzles.
Of course, I have less money on my bank account now and some more very nice puzzles: Chinese Lock, Headstanding Cube, 2D Packing Problem, Assorted Snakes, Diagonal Loop #2, Coffin's Dilemma II, Ozone, Awoi Cube II, Finnish Cross, and 6 pieces framed knot
Added on 2009-11-30:
A nice and famous puzzle lock, ordered from Grand Illusions: Dan Lock
Added on 2009-11-26:
A big, heavy and very nice puzzle lock from India: Indian Puzzle Lock
Added on 2009-11-14:
Another custom mod: A Face Turning Jewel, created from a Face Turning Octahedron. I always liked the look of Christoph's Magic Jewel, but could not get one so far. Thus, I decided to mod an octahedron to this quite easy mod. It turns differently than Christophs's Jewel, but it's a nice puzzle to practice the FTO algorithms.
Added on 2009-11-10:
Puzzle number 550 is a special custom puzzle: Master Pyraminx
Added on 2009-10-29:
Got a shipment from Mefferts: 2x2x3 and a Fisher Cube
Added on 2009-10-28:
A vintage Rack em up, another puzzle produced for a video game manufacturer (Coleco),
and a present at work: Soma Cube
Added on 2009-10-23:
Yesterday I had the pleasure to meet Bernhard Schweitzer and Jean-Claude Constantin at the "Spiel '09" in Essen and to collect some nice new puzzles.
From Jean-Claude: Black Jack and Big Sliding Lock,
From Bernhard: 4 Pieces in Frame and More MazeNCubes,
Also, I got a T2 popplock and a Mercury Cube Puzzle
Added on 2009-10-17:
A new relative of the Pyraminx Chrystal and Alexander Star: The Metamorfix
Added on 2009-10-06:
New from Puzzle-Shop: Star 29, Line Art, Only 8, and Duo
Added on 2009-10-03:
New and not quite so new from mf8: Super-Square-1-Star, Super-Square-1-Column, and Crazy 4x4, a 4x4x4 and a 2x2x2 combined
Added on 2009-09-28:
New from cubicdissection and a relative of the La Cerradura Doble puzzle: the Cerradura 3D
Added on 2009-09-22:
A whole load of interesting old and new MrPuzzle puzzles: Condor's Peeper, T Burr, Cable Car, Sputnik Returns, Small Turtle, Dragon Box, Dragon Interlocking Puzzle, SEARious Burr, Mystery Wooden Puzzle Box, and Pie Without The E
Added on 2009-09-12:
Three custom builds bought from a fellow puzzle collector: 1x2x3, Trajber's Octahedron, and by Tony Fisher a Truncated Dino Cube
Added on 2009-09-11:
Three new puzzles never available before: Holey Megaminx by Meffert's, Gigaminx by Cube4You, and Rubik's 360
Added on 2009-08-22:
3x3x4 and a Chinese Puzzle Box with a trick
Added on 2009-08-19:
From eBay: Spongebob
Added on 2009-08-13:
Three Meffert's 2x2x2 variants: 4D8, PyraStar, and PyraDiamond
Added on 2009-07-18:
A nice 3x3x3 shape mod: Confused Pillow Cube
Added on 2009-07-16:
Revomaze (blue)
Added on 2009-07-14:
A new high level burr from Philos: Sheffield Steel
Added on 2009-06-25:
New from Cubicdissection Marketplace: Gear Up
Added on 2009-06-15:
New from Puzzlewood: Double Dutch Burr, Unity 3=6, and Swirls No 1
Added on 2009-06-12:
New from Meffert's: a Morphegg
Celebration update on 2009-05-09:
Added from Cubicdissection: In Brackets and Edge Corner Cube II, and from CMC-Puzzles:

Puzzle number 500: Kugellager

This puzzle completes the first 500 of my collection and is well suited for this: Unbelievable 1250 moves to remove the first and only piece, in some way similar to the Tern Key, The Brain or Chinese Rings puzzles, like Spin Out. Very fascinating, but it takes some time to solve .... quite some time, indeed.
Added on 2009-05-23:
A new custom build: A face turning Rainbow-Octahedron created from a Rainbow Cube
Added on 2009-05-16:
A new puzzle from Meffert's: The Master Pyramorphinx in black and white
Added on 2009-05-12:
Today I got a puzzle at work: Wooden Assembly Cube
Added on 2009-05-11:
From the latest Ergatoudis Auction: Arjeu CT 52
Added on 2009-04-17:
New puzzles each day! Today: The Egg
Added on 2009-04-16:
Not easy to get and nice: A face-turning octahedron
New from Bernhard Schweitzer's shop: Gonsalve's Dilemma and Quintupels and Keiichiro's Nested Burr Simple (not so simple!)
Added on 2009-04-11:
Simple but new: The Floppy Cube
Added on 2009-03-21:
Long awaited: the Golden Cube
Added on 2009-03-17:
A coated burr: T-Junction and three puzzles from Cubicdissection: Stickman Snowflake,La Cerradura Doble, and Tern-Key
Added on 2009-03-12:
Latest Puzzle-Shop shipment: Cent-rale, Bolaris,PyraCircle, and Magic Disc
Added on 2009-03-10:
New from Bernhard Schweitzer: 3 piece burr key-o by Yamamoto
Added on 2009-03-05:
From the cubicdissection auction: Mind Twister
Added on 2009-02-28:
I wanted to have this nice puzzle for a long time: The Cutler Cube Puzzle -- yes, that's THE sixty-six piece interlocking burr!
Added on 2009-02-26:
A nice Franklin Gonsalves Design created by Bernhard Schweitzer: Enigma
Added on 2009-02-23:
Some labyrinths Culax and Oskar's Cube, and Grappe
Added on 2009-02-20:
My wins from the latest phase of the Ergatoudis auction: A vintage Sorrento Puzzle Box and a 30 piece burr by Arjeu
Added on 2009-02-16:
Some nice CMC puzzles: Schiebeschloss, Segment Stack Star, Alkatraz, Bee Box
Added on 2009-02-10:
Two nice interlocking burrs (not easy to disassemble) designed by Juichi Yananose and created by Hiroshi Iwahara (Karakuri Group): Two by Three Type I, Off-Center Burr
Added on 2008-12-13:
Three from the big FamilyGames series: DaVinci's Secret, Legend of the King, and Carta Blanca
Added on 2008-12-10:
4x4x4 Supercube and a new 9-piece burr Lennox Burr
Added on 2008-12-6:
Two more bandaged versions of a Rubiks 4x4x4: 2x4x4 Cube and a 3x4x4 Cube
Added on 2008-11-19:
Bandaged version of a Rubiks 4x4x4: 3x3x4 Cube
Added on 2008-11-18:
Matchbox-Puzzle by Oskar van Deventer
Added on 2008-11-12:
New assembly puzzles from Creative Crafthouse: Ramu Octahedron, Short Circuit,Hotplate,Mame Himitsu Bako
Added on 2008-11-08:
A Mad Triad and the smaller Handy Mad Triad
This nice Kumiki-Puzzle actually consists of three puzzles: A small kumiki in the middle, a kumiki frame, and a packing problem.
Added on 2008-11-07:
Earlier, they were known as "Bump cubes", now Mirror Blocks
Added on 2008-11-03:
Another new-release starting with "V": The Void-Cube
Added on 2008-11-01:
A nice and difficult 24 piece burr, won at the Cubicdissection Auction: Lost Day
Added on 2008-10-11:
High level burrs produced by Gemani Games:
With 6 pieces: White Mischief Puzzle and Deadlock Puzzle
With 18 pieces: Labyrinth, The Old Man Of Hoy, and Knossos
Added on 2008-10-06:
Philos Noppenkuber, Cross Cage; Hanayama Cast Quartet, NEWS, and l'Oef
Added on 2008-10-03:
From Mr. Puzzle arrived:
The Hammerhead Burr (an unsual relative of this puzzle in the burr family), the tricky Sly Burr, and the fascinating The Karst Phenomenon by Mr. Puzzle,
the Da Vinci's Mona Lisa Codebreaker, and the D-Ball in six colors, accompanied by an unknown metal disentanglement puzzle as a nontrivial present.
Added on 2008-09-23:
A selection of high quality puzzle boxes from the Karakuri Group arrived: Small box 6 (Now I have all 8 of them!), the small Fake box, the well known Hermit Crab Box, and a very unusual variation of the Himitsu Bako theme with two compartments: the Byway Secret 2
Added on 2008-09-11:
Two nice presents: A magic square game and a Flower Chrystal
Added on 2008-08-17:
A new bandaged version of cheap 3x3x3 cubes: Long edge cube -- not as easy as it seems!
Added on 2008-07-30:
Another 1980s puzzle: A painted Alexander's Star
Added on 2008-07-29:
An original puzzle from the 1980s, not easy to find: A Magic Octahedron
Added on 2008-07-26:
Two quick modifications of cheap cubes: the very simple 2x2x2 special and a 3x3x3 Domino special
Updated on 2008-07-23:
Significant sticker improvement of my white 211x211x4. Now I only need to work out a solution to this puzzle. ;)
Added on 2008-07-16:
An old interlocking cube made in West Germany
Added on 2008-07-11:
Now new by Mefferts: Pyraminx Chrystal
Added on 2008-07-05:
Another novelty arrived: Super Square 1, a four layered Square-1
Also added: Red Square-1, a custom built white 211x211x4 and Mathmaker, a magnetic contruction game
Added on 2008-06-28:
The long awaited V-CUBEs arrived: 6x6x6 V-CUBE 6, 7x7x7 V-CUBE 7
Added on 2008-06-17:
Three PuzzleWood puzzles:Two piece packing eXtreme, Morgenstern, and Three trapped sages

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