Saturday 24 December 2011

Time to rename Wil Strijbos - "The Puzzle Pusher"

More goodies from Wil
Yep! Wil is officially my puzzle pusher!

Recently he sent out a series of emails detailing some more goodies that he had in stock for purchase and of course I couldn't resist ordering a few more things that are shiny. At the same time as ordering from him I suggested that he would be the death of me - my wife is probably going to murder me in my sleep for all the clinking noises I make playing with his puzzles and the swearing under my breath!

In the same email I asked him about the future production of other puzzles. During a little to and fro of emails he copied in the whole group of puzzlers!! His own response was to berate me for asking for more puzzles when they would be the cause of my demise! He also expressed the sincere hope that Mrs S wouldn't murder him as the mere "inventor, maker and seller" of these puzzles. Laurie replied to all of us that he is actually the:
"PUSHER" of the puzzle-drug! (REAL ecstasy!)
Hence I am officially renaming him!!!

They arrived on Thursday and are as lovely as expected. This time I got the Concave Aluminium Dovetail, the Strijbos Bolt #3, Aluminium Washer Cylinder and the Bird in Cage. Puzzling heaven (or hell?)

Concave Dovetail
Convex Dovetail
I already have the Convex Aluminium Dovetail - it took me several hours to open it because the mechanism was very very stiff! I almost hurt myself getting it to open - I had to ask Graham (from the Revomaze forums and MPPer) for advice before I broke something. With the Concave Dovetail, the mechanisms are very similar, although not identical, so it only took me a few moments to solve it (not quite so stiff this time and no people were hurt during the solution of this puzzle!) - I have to say that as a piece of engineering and topology they are absolutely marvellous! I cannot give pictures of it open as it will give away too much. This is a really nice set to have in your collection.

Strijbos Bolt #3
I have been after this for quite some time - when I originally requested it, Wil went out of stock within minutes of his email being sent, due to the massive uptake from his victims customers. He seemed to have some more in and this time I got one. On arrival, I was impressed with the size and weight of this puzzle - it is huge and heavy. The aim is to remove the washer from the bolt.

Apart from a little play in the nut (with the curiously immobile protrusions), only the washer was loose. A little investigation revealed something that seemed superfluous and in the puzzle world this always needs further investigation. At this point, it only took me another minute or 2 to solve. Absolutely wonderful! I insisted that my long suffering wife have a play and after about 22.25 seconds she gave up! But at least she was intrigued enough to insist that I show her how it works and she did seem suitably impressed (do you think she might be buttering me up for more Christmas sale purchases??)

Got it off!
I have not started my other 2 puzzles yet:

Aluminium Washer Cylinder
The Washer cylinder looks almost identical to the original Aluminium cylinder - however it is a completely new design and the hole in the bottom is covered by a washer so it is impossible to see inside and get a clue. I doubt very much that I will ever be able to solve this one! There is a lot of rattling inside but I cannot tell what is going on in there - if anyone has any suggestions then Contact me.

Bird in cage
This one looks fun - I have to free the birdie - initial inspection shows the gaps between the bars are unequal. I will need to find the correct sequence of jiggling to get it out. Generally, I am rubbish at this sort of puzzle - wish me luck!!!

Update - after encouragement from Mhuti, I have freed the birdie from the cage - very clever and surprisingly tough (considering everything is on show)!


  1. Good Luck Kevin!
    I am rubbish at getting on Wil's puzzle list. :( I'm ok for hugs and kisses, but not puzzle sales. Maybe I need to change tactics here. Once again, I'm envious! I want that new Washer cylinder.

  2. Hi Rox,

    Just email him and ask to be put on his list! I did and it has cost me a fortune! The washer cylinder is even tougher than the original cylinder - as far as I know only 2 people have opened it! Not me!!!

  3. Regarding the Canary (birdie), I have a series of these wooden puzzles (Blackbird, Owl, Piston, Hedgehog, Lion, Dragon etc.) and I really enjoy them as frustrating as they first appear. Considering nothing is hidden they present a fair challenge for the cost price. I hope you enjoy your birdie too Kevin.

  4. Hi Mhuti,
    The birdie is causing me considerable problems at the moment! I have managed to mobilise him and found that he has "joints" but have only managed to move him around the cage - even turned him on his head! I may need to get a clue from you eventually. :-(

    This is tougher than expected and causing Mrs S to laugh at me for being rubbish. It may be true but she doesn't need to rub it in!

    I now have 2 revomazes, 2 Eric Fuller creations, the Washer cylinder and birdie on the go all at once. I am going potty here!!!

  5. Kevin, you say the bolt puzzle is huge. Just how big is it? I always thought they were around the size of real nuts and bolts...can you give the measurements? Thanks!

  6. Hi Jerry,
    It is really big - like a bolt on a girder or a ship - but nice and shiny.

    Dimensions are 7.8cm long and 3.8cm in diameter ant it's widest point (washer and top).
    It weighs 290g or 10.125 oz! HUGE

  7. I think your own comments are all the clues you need with the birdie Kevin... have a puzzling Christmas and a 'Merry' New Year!

  8. Mhuti,
    You are absolutely right! Spent another half hour on it this afternoon and I'm pleased to say the birdie is free!

    It did require a little more force than I expected but he came out fairly easily!

  9. Hi, I am really interested in purchasing the Aluminium Hedgehog in cage puzzle by Wil Strijbos but don't know where to buy one from having searched the internet. As you have clearly purchased a number of his puzzles, can you advise me how I may purchase on? Thanks,

  10. Hi Chris,

    I don't know whether Wil does these in Aluminium - my bird in cage is made of wood. If you contact me via the special form then I can get back to you with Wil's email address.
    If you are ok with the hedgehog puzzle in wood then it is available in 2 different colours from Puzzle Master (see link in shops section).
    Hope this helps.


  11. Hi Kevin,
    my aluminium hedgehog in cage arrived today from Wil and I'm very pleased. It has a lovely sleek look about it and has already kept us pre-occupied for some time. Not managed to free the hedgehog yet! Now I've had my first fix I think I am also addicted as I'm wondering which puzzle to get next.
    Thanks for you help,