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 2024-04-02
Today the mail man brought two parcels from Switzerland, and all with 3D printed puzzles. However, the first one originated from the US and etsy global shipping took this interesting route. In it, the latest and brand new release from the Pocket Change series: Pocket Change blue. It is cylindrical and looks quite different from the others, but on the bottom there is a square hole with a coin visible behind the opening, quite a teaser of the goal. With it, I ordered a second puzzle which may very well be from the series, but apparently is a bit easier: Wedding Puzzle. A heart shaped puzzle with a coin behind a square window, and then some rattling sounds when you pick it up. I am guessing gravity will be part of the solution. The other parcel is an original Swiss package from the capital Bern, containing two sequential discovery puzzles. Keebox blue is an easy entry level one (but I still need to solve it!), and Keebox yellow is the more difficult one. I see they imprinted some digits onto the box, and this seems to hint in which order to solve the puzzles of this box. Quite a lot of 3D printed puzzles (with additional materials) have found their way into my collection recently, and while I have not yet solved them all, I was generally impressed by the high quality and liked the experience playing with them. I am sure this will continue with the new ones.
Added on 2024-03-23
Last weekend, I managed to solve the Mailcall! puzzle box and had a lot of fun with it. Many nice steps and mechanisms and some of them keep you wondering until the end. The instructions say that this should be solved over a tray, and I can strongly recommend this as well. Overall it is a great tribute to Cubicdissection, not only with the look of the cardboard box with orange tape, but more! Today two much easier puzzles are being added here: Funny Gear Labyrinth Disk is a new Chinese puzzle that can now be bought via puzzle shops or large retailers and has several names, and is for the age of 3 and up, but that would be a very puzzle enthousiastic and patient 3 year old! There is a tiny steel ball inside and this has to be entered into the maze and then run through the numbers 1 to 24. It has some holes in the bottom like some other ball mazes, that make the ball disappear to start over again, and then there are obviously some gears. These gears and also some gravity operated switch change the maze while playing, a nice new concept. Not really difficult, have already solved it the correct way (not the shortcut from entry to 24). The other one is a very old one and a true vintage attic find! I remember playing with it when I was much younger, must have been in the 1980s, so this would have been one of the first puzzles in my collection — but I just found it again. It is a typical 15 puzzle variant: Flower 15 puzzle*. Or is it? Well, there is actually a set of numbers from 1 to 15 on it, but they cannot be solved in the regular way. 14 and 15 will appear swapped, like in that original hoax from over a century ago. So this one here has to be solved differently, e.g. with a gap in the top right corner, which also gives the picture on the other side.
Added on 2024-03-15
Many moves this week! Some of them occurred in the solution of a nice level 97 standard 18 pieces burr with excellent move sequences. It is on the 18 pieces burr page if you would like to know which one that is, and maybe to get one for yourself as a challenge, just reach out to Alfons for ordering this and many others! That puzzle gave me quite a Kick (sic!) and it was fun to figure out the sequences and see how they interact. As usual, I stopped when the first piece was out, the second and third piece were removed later. But the main puzzle amounting in a huge number of moves required a lot more concentration and playing every day to progress through a whopping 16365 move sequence (have not actually counted these), and in reality there were many more due to lack of concentration. That is the monster arriving last week in pieces to be assembled: Zigguchain 12 links. It is a Zigguchain, but you actually have to order two sets to get the full 12 ring experience. I don't recommend trying to assemble more than those, unless you have a very good understanding how to determine the next move once you put the puzzle down for a break. In fact, maybe even 12 rings is only a challenge for people who are really up to the task. While it was sometimes difficult to find out the exact current configuration with all these angles, it was a joy to see one piece after another click into the goal position in the last phase of the solution. And if you wondered how good the durability of 3D printed pieces for long term use is, there you have it! Works fine, even though there are some only slightly visible marks on the right red piece (the one moving the most). An experiment? A fidget toy? A puzzle? In any case, it has been concluded today! And was fun to run through. Of course has been added to the Compendium entry, and an entry on the n-ary puzzle group page.
Added on 2024-03-08
The mailman brought a little parcel from PuzzleGuy today, with some of his latest offerings. The first one is a remake of the classic Key puzzle by Oskar which has not been available for a long time. This one is 3D printed in nice (Dutch) colors and comes with 3 keys, not 2: Oskar Key. There is an additional frame so you can build the original challenge with only the red and blue key. However, for that, you have to solve the 3 key challenge first. A nicely made puzzle and I like the zig-zag motion with the keys going into different directions simultaneously at times. The other one is a bit deceiving: Stuck in the Middle. A frame with a maze structure and 5 sticks with plates through it. However, only one of them can be removed, and indeed it is the goal to remove the pink piece only (and then get everything back together again). That one looks like a nice challenge and with the maze uncovering more and more when moving the purple blocks. There is actually another puzzle which arrived today, but that one came in pieces (by design) and I am only somewhere in the middle of assembling it and would only like to present it here after that task has been completed. Care for a guess?
Added on 2024-03-05
Today a well packaged and pocket sized puzzle arrived, and not only the name convinced me to buy it: Pick me. It is beautifully 3D printed and has some special texture structure around the borders making it nice to touch, and when you don't want to handle it, it sits on a stand provided, all the time seemingly teasing you: "Pick me!" I just wanted to fiddle a bit with it to get some idea how how well it works, and it seems it works well, but I may already have found some first moves and a few tools.. This is going to be fun to solve! On the puzzle it reads "20min" and I wonder if that should be the solving time, and the instruction card says that a 5-year-old can solve it (with some assistance). So let's see if I can solve it! Meanwhile I have made some progress on the Mailcall! and this seems to be more complicated. Have found some nice tools and mechanisms there, and I wonder how this will continue and whether I will ever be able to reset that one (which is the last part of the objective). So much puzzling fun with all these puzzles!
Added on 2024-03-01
I could have left the update as this one word, as this is somewhat self-explanatory. It is a beautifully 3D printed puzzle box that looks like one of those cardboard boxes with the orange tape used by Cubicdissection. However, the tape, the stamps, and even the post icon all seem to be movable components, hinting that there are quite some elements to be played with to solve the puzzle. The puzzle came with a nice packing slip listing ... all the instructions for solving, not the components as usual. Picking it up and shaking it slightly, it makes some sounds like it could be filled with a pound of rice or similar. Maybe the packing material used inside a shipping box, modelled in this puzzle? I surely need to be careful when finally opening the lid, but I am looking forward to that!
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.