Extremely Puzzling - Goetz Schwandtner's Puzzles
On this page some extremely puzzling objects are displayed: My private puzzle collection consisting of a wide range of three-dimensional puzzles, from industrial produced Rubik's Cube like puzzles to my custom builds, from production range Pihilos wood puzzles to rare and special puzzles from various excellent craftsmen, and not to forget the Japanese Himitsu Bakos, including some equisite works of the Karakuri Creation Group. Please note that you won't find any (standard) jigsaw puzzles on these pages, may they be two or three dimensional.
- Added on 2024-02-23
More from recent escape room in a box Kickstarter campaigns arriving today: The Maya's Myths is the third of the Inscape puzzle boxes, looks nice and seems to have a lot of loose pieces inside. I am assuming this may be some kind of jigsaw puzzle generating a hint? Looking at the box, there is an interesting maze right at the beginning (where it says "start") and then some sides that may lead to clues for a door with 3 number dials. On this box, I have also found some symbols I have seen on pictures of Mayan architecture before, quite fitting. I wonder how long this one will take to solve, and I am looking forward to this.
- Added on 2024-02-17
In the Escapewelt campaign, there was also a small puzzle box kit included which I have finally assembled: Pirate's Chest. Assembly works well without issues within 20 minutes, and the result looks like a nice little chest. There is a combination lock on the front, and the bottom shows a map with clues. I have been able to solve several much more complex puzzles in the past days, including the Blackbeard's Compass (which included some nice new elements as well) and compared to these, this one looks rather simple. Still some challenge to work out the combination to open the lock.
- Added on 2024-02-13
The latest lock from the Feldmans arrived today: Loco. This is a bit larger than the Picolock, and there are no immediate visible marks that this lock could have been modified. The key fits and turns, and then nothing happens. This one seems to be one of the more difficult locks recently, with a hidden solution, so it remains to be seen whether I will be able to solve it. So far, I like the decoration with the smileyface making fun of the solver — that's quite something!
- Added on 2024-02-12
Pirates seem to be a popular theme, sometimes also for puzzles, and today the latest Escapewelt puzzle box / escape room in a box arrived with this theme and beautifully decorated: Blackbeard's Compass. This features a new component for such boxes, a disentanglement puzzle, very visible at the front side (but not the first puzzlebox with such a puzzle, though). On the nicely decorated box, I can see many markings, there seem to be several places with sliders to set a combination, and the bottom may be a map. On the side, there is some curled up paper locked into place — another secret map? Some clues? This will become visible during the solve (I hope!). The box is a bit smaller than expected and comes in a very nice size. With it, a Pirate's Chest box kit arrived, which is yet to be assembled. Looking forward to both!
- Added on 2024-02-07
Today the next one in the Demonticons series arrived, the brand new Scarlett puzzle. The look is a bit fierce, but it may only be an interpretatoin of "stylish", as the theme is "fashion designer". Unlike the last one, this one has some large knob as one of the eyes, and a nose that looks like it could be screwed out. So far, these puzzles had quite different solutions one from another, and I am looking forward to find out what makes Scarlett special.
- Added on 2024-02-05
Some puzzles pre-ordered from Rex arrived today, one available exclusively via Team JB Hobbies: Mean & Extreme is a double six piece burr in a frame, a very unusual configuration. I have already found some moves, and I like them a lot. I wonder whether it will be possible to remove the burr from the frame without removing any of the sticks first. The other three are nice pocket sized sequential discovery puzzles, and they all look beautiful and yellow: Spade is the smallest of the 3 and I have already found the first move. Of course, that does not mean I know the subsequent ones! The largest and most massive one is Prada. It comes with a little bone with a magnet I have already inserted into the obvious space. However, I don't see the dog in this one, where might it be? There could be a lot of space inside! And sometimes there are extra challenges for Rex' puzzles, a nice touch, when you think you are done, but there is more. The third one features some stylized branches and a monkey crying for help: Monkey Maze. Does not look too sad, this monkey, but let's free him anyway. Attached to the back, there is a banana piece I have put next to the puzzle for the picture (Spoiler alert?) and it looks like this may be an interesting part of the puzzle. Looking forward to solve these, while I am still trying to solve several (much) heavier puzzles.
- Added on 2024-02-04
Today Zigguchain, the latest puzzle in the Ziggu-* series received it's Compendium entry including an explanation, and an entry on the n-ary puzzle group page. Of course, the general solution is quite similar to the others from the series, but they are basically shape variations. This one is a chain that can be quite wobbly at first, but becomes more stable when assembling the chain and locking the link rings in place. This puzzle works without a frame any may very well be the most minimalistic such puzzle, all rings are identical and you could link as many as you have, but be aware of the wobblyness and the number of moves then! The formula on the compendium page will give you an idea. The solve is fun and if you like one, they are available via Puzzleguy's shop online already. This is the last of this series I have right now, but there will be more in the future, something to look forward to!
- Added on 2024-02-02
Recently I received a some new puzzles that extended the Ziggu-* series, that started off with the "Ziggurat" puzzle. While most of them are interlocking puzzles without a frame or synchronizing piece, the Ziggutwist is a twisty puzzle with a board and rotating disks. Finally, today there is a Compendium entry including an explanation, and an entry on the n-ary puzzle group page. There is also another compendium entry that was updated with a picture, can you spot it?
- Added on 2024-01-30
Today a new entry for the MiBinity puzzle in the respective groups. It is a cute little puzzle and fun to play with, and nicely designed and crafted. However, the exact parameter set for the Compendium caused some head scratching, but is now documented in the Compendium including an explanation, and n-ary puzzle group page. I hope this will not require a spoiler warning, because there is also a picture of the partially disassembled puzzle shown. It is great to see these maze structures still being used for new designs. The previous one was in Jack's puzzle box and offered a nice playing experience as can be seen on YouTube (on the "What did I get myself into?" channel).
- Added on 2024-01-28
Even on a Sunday there is a new puzzle added today: Zigguchain. This is Oskar's latest puzzle design, and a chain variant of the Ziggurat puzzle. It arrived in my mailbox yesterday, as 6 identical ring pieces of rainbow colours, and today I managed to assemble the chain. Like for some of the other new recent puzzles, this is an n-ary puzzle to be included in the Compendium, but with the correct parameter set, pictures and comments yet to be determined and created, look for an update here soon.
- Added on 2024-01-27
After the first puzzle yesterday, I have managed to solve the second one today, after playing with it a bit in the last days. Jellyfish is a more confusing one than O.M.G and while the move count is well below 1000, the solution will take longer, as there are irregular parts of the mazes/grooves to be explored. A lot of fun sliding these panels of a very well made puzzle, working out the correct sequence, and then experiencing some change in the sequence every now and then. While this may not be a pure n-ary puzzle, it is even more interesting because of these changes in the sequence occuring. More details to be viewed here, but will definitely contain spoilers: Compendium and n-ary puzzle group page.
- Added on 2024-01-26
No new puzzles today, but the first results. I have started with the puzzle with the longest solution sequence, the O.M.G, which is a larger version of the Devil puzzle by the same designer with more moves, and also some other similarities in the solution. This one even works a bit better and it is fun to use gravity to run through some solution sequence parts with some quick clacky sounds. Of course, that only works one way, the way up needs to be assisted — or the puzzle turned around which could confuse the solver. More details to be viewed here, but may contain spoilers: Compendium and n-ary puzzle group page. A nice puzzle and fun to run through such a long sequence quickly.
- Added on 2024-01-25
Today two parcels arrived from different continents, but some puzzles in both parcels from the same designer! The first from Michel from the Netherlands, in it a beautifully made interlocking puzzle of his own design and made by Jack in a small series: MiBinity I. Not very difficult, but very nice and non-trivial to play with, and excellent build quality. Inside are some shapes that will definitely lead to a certain puzzle group, but more later. With it, came another brand new puzzle acquired from Oskar, the Ziggutwist. Looks a bit like a Spin-Out or Crazy Elephant dance, and it is, but ... where is the sliding frame? This one does not have any and yet is an n-ary puzzle where you have to bring the arrows from the linear arrangement into a quarter turned arrangement, or even further as the additional last moves. Like most of yesterday's additions, these two puzzles are clearly in the n-ary puzzle category and new entries for the Compendium, but I will have to play with all a bit more to determine the correct parameter set und provide interesting (I hope!) insights from solving, more to follow soon on this page! With the others came a little metal disentanglement puzzle in a sturdy build: 4 Ring Metal Disentanglement Puzzle* — would anyone know more details? Do let me know if you should! Two of the rings look like the ones of Chinese Soft Rings, and one of them should be removed from the puzzle and re-assembled to the configuration shown in the picture. Thanks for this extra challenge, Michel! The other parcel arrived from Puzzlemaster and one of their recent Kickstarter campaigns: Honeycomb is a beautifully made metal version of the Screw Pack by Oskar I already have as 3D print, but this one comes assembled and one does not need to go through the assembly task first. However, I am sure I will assemble this puzzle later on, after taking it apart. It came with two more metal puzzles, one an older shiny cast puzzle I did not have: Cast Dolce. This looks like a maze puzzle in disguise. The last one has a very organic look, or one like the makers used molten metal and just let it spread and cool down in the way it preferred, or like a drop of lava frozen instantly: Cast Ripple. Quite an unusual shape, and the initial arrangement is more stable than I expected. A lot more puzzling going on with all these new ones now. Of course this adds to the backlog, but I managed to solve some puzzles already and had a lot of fun.
- Added on 2024-01-24
Just a quick update today, with more details to be added later, and when you look at the new addition entries you will know why! Three beautiful puzzles from Stephan arrived from Austria today: O.M.G is basically a higher level version of his Devil puzzle, and has taken the level up a lot, nearly triple as many moves. Look at the level for the 2nd and 3rd piece to come out! Many other interlocking puzzles don't even have that as a total level. The next one has level below 1000, but still extremely high: Jellyfish. This one has maze plates in a more irregular layout than O.M.G, but the great thing is their arrangement. The mazes can actually be seen during the solve. I have played with both puzzles a bit, but will need to progress further until I will put them into the group of n-ary puzzles and the Compendium. Considering the number of moves, this may take a while, so look out for future updates on them! The third one is a small interlocking puzzles with just a few pieces in a cubic frame: IT. In the lighter wood, the letters I and T are visible in the solved configuration, and the level should be a nice and yet still not trivial solve. Looking forward to play with all 3 of them, and they are very well crafted and have nice engravings on them.
- Added on 2024-01-22
While I don't have any of the previous 5 Brass Monkeys (the brass burrs with this name), today the latest release arrived, number 6 in the series: Brass Monkey Sixential Discovery. It is a beautiful and heavy puzzle and it seems that it is not a standard brass burr, but a sequential discovery puzzle instead. I am curious to see what I will find, probably something small inside. With the puzzle came a nice leather mat which can be folded up at the edges to form some form of bowl. My guess is that this is to prevent you from losing some small parts when solving this puzzle. Let's see if that is correct and if there are really small parts. I am looking forward to solve this brass beauty.
- Added on 2024-01-03
End of last year, a day before Christmas, Juno released two new puzzles, and my order with one of them arrived quickly today: Gravitational Burr. It looks like a regular six piece burr, and is only level 2. However, Juno added a 7th piece in the form of a small steel ball, and now it is level 56 and gravity is required to help solving this puzzle. It is beautifully crafted, and I have already started playing with it a bit. I found some of the mazes for the steel ball, the steel ball itself, and after a few moves now I seem unable to reset the puzzle to the initial configuration. Two of the sticks are in a slightly shifted position, and this can only mean that the ball is now in a different place than initially. Looks like this is at least a half-blind maze solve, no ordinary six pieces burr. After solving yesterday's lock already this is now a nice new puzzling challenge added to my backlog.
- Added on 2024-01-02
The first puzzle parcel of the year arrived from California with two nice 3D printed puzzles inside. The Combo Breaker is the second in the series of padlock style puzzles and has a ring with numbers up to 39 on it, and initially turned to the 0 position. Trying to turn it a bit and observing something else happening, I am under the impression that I may have to navigate a maze to solve this puzzle. I wonder if the numbers will help to create a map (like people do for Revomazes), or if that maze is simple enogh to solve it without a map. The instructions don't say anything about tools, but I am guessing I should not use a map (i.e. tool) here, for more fun. The other does not have any markings on the surface at all: Screwball. A beautiful 3D printed and shiny ball puzzle consisting of two hemispheres. Following the name, one may be tempted to just try and unscrew the halves, but of course that does not work. Instead some other steps seem to be required, and maybe a little help of gravity? This would be a typical feature for such ball puzzles consisting of two halves. Let's see how this one will work and come apart (and then be reassembled again)! While the old year ended, the puzzle solving backlog did not vanish, and there are still many puzzles of varying types and sizes to be solved. Probably enough to fill the rest of this year, but then there are also interesting new puzzles showing up every now and then, and hard to resist. Maybe something for solving in 2025 then? I am sure that the two puzzles of today will be solved well within 2024. Happy puzzling 2024 to you all!
Note:Please don't worry that this page is so short now. All the entries from last year have already been moved to the history page linked below, they are not lost!
- Other/Older updates:
- Can be found on the update history page
Hints: If you need solution hints to any puzzle in my gallery, feel free to e-mail me. My e-mail address can be found on my homepage.