High level 18 pieces burrs -- these are some of my favourites. After receiving a bigger set of puzzle packages, I could create this page with an overview of the interesting ones I have in my collection, and will add new arrivals when I receive them. The puzzles on this page are not only classic 18 pieces burrs with pieces of dimensions 2x2x8 (or 2x2x10), but I have also included some 18 pieces burrs with other piece dimensions (2x3x10, 2x3x9 and 2x2x9) and non-classic arrangements (like the Manda Burr).
The most prominent parameters of these puzzles has been used for ordering them on the page: the level, in particular the moves required to remove the first piece. Some of the puzzles have complex move sequences for the second and even further pieces, like the Phelan, which stays interesting for a long time. The levels provided on this page are the number of moves to remove the first piece in the shortest solution for a unique assembly, whose uniqueness is sometimes enforced by piece colors or routings. Some puzzles do have solutions with lower levels as well, like the Coming of Age MKII, whose level 188.8.131.52.5.12.10 solution (which I have currently in my puzzle) may be more interesting than the maximal level 19.4.
The 18 pieces Burrs with level over 100 moves have been part of a challenge between Alfons Eyckmans and Jack Krijnen. For some years, Jack was the winner with his 152 moves burr, closely followed by Alfons "Tiros". All the puzzles with level over 113 on this page are based on the level 113 Phoenix-Cabracan and are some variations of them. From a historic point of view, the oldest one is the Van der Poel Burr dating back to the 1950s, the Lovely Burr was an amazingly high level Burr for its time (early 1980s), and the Super Cross has been around for a while. The latest developments with the high level challenges are mainly due to computer support available, which allows to solve these puzzles with an intuitive yet powerful program: Burr-Tools by Andreas Roever. One of the latest designs is the Century, not as high level as the Phoenix-Cabracan descendants, but with a completely new and interesting structure.
Autumn 2012 showed some interesting new developments in high level 18 pieces burrs, all by Alfons Eyckmans. The "Echo-1" (not in my collection) added a burr with level 150, like Tiros. The "Muff" has only 93 moves for the first piece, but if you have a look at the level for the first nine pieces, it is impressive (and the movements are quite different from known high level burrs): 184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11.6. The latest addition in 2012 is "The Baron" raising Alfons' personal record to a level of 151 -- only one move away from BSfEP and two moves from a new world record. This new burr introduces a new color scheme to keep the solution unique: Three colors, and one color with routing at one end of the pieces only.
Also 2013 seems to be very promising. I received "The Barones", which was a new personal record for Alfons in the last quater of 2012. Based on this puzzle, Jack created a new world record, beating his own record by first 2, then 3, and eventually 4 moves, raising the level of traditional 18 pieces burrs to an astronomical 156. The name "Excelsior" of this puzzle just captures what has happened here. After more than two years it is a brilliant success of both Jack and Alfons to raise the level once again. I have the feeling we are going to see more records soon, now that the two renowned experts have joined forces!
Only the second month in 2013, yet another world record. In their cooperation Alfons raised the level to 166 with the latest puzzle, the "Supernova".
Beside the true traditional 18 pieces burrs, also some close relatives are shown on this page: With frames, additional hidden pieces, or strangely shaped pieces. Actually the first entry in the list, with the highest level of a whopping 192 is not the highest level traditional 18 pieces burr. It is a double burr based on two level 150 Tiros burrs, a concept first devised by Stephan Baumegger in his Burrdos.
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