|Quite a few blind ends!|
This puzzle was initially designed by Donald Osselaer and Stephane Chomine added the ornamentation to make it harder. Limited to only 20 copies, it is a caged burr measuring 7.5cm on each axis and is surprisingly heavy (400g) due to the use of Ebony as its main component. The burr pieces are made of Purpleheart in my copy but it is also available as Padauk. The burrs are carved from a single piece of wood with no gluing used at all. The embellishments to the burr pieces and box are made from Beech. Even the present Mrs S (doing ok for a first wife!) immediately said that it was stunning and actually allowed it to sit on the coffee table in the living room for a few days before returning it to my study - this is a major feat for her!!
Without the colouring provided by the Beech dowels there 19,344 possible assemblies of these pieces of which 1914 can actually be achieved. The toughest achievable assembly is enforced by the use of the extra colours/Beech dowels. This limits the possibilities to 3 assemblies and only one actually achieveable! It does not arrive with a solution and before you go looking at Ishino's Puzzle will be Played for it, I have to tell you that it is incorrect!!! If you look at the top picture in the solution then you will see that the frame is drawn incorrectly. This means that YOU HAVE TO SOLVE IT YOURSELF!!! I understand that you can request a burrtools file from Arteludes - if you can stand the humiliation!!
This puzzle has a solution level of 68 - so it must be easy right? Oh no! It requires 28 moves for the first piece extraction, then 18 for the second and an amazing further 17 for the third! The final pieces come out easily after that. Whilst 28 moves should not be tremendously difficult, there are dozens of false starts and blind alleys to go down making this a really really tough puzzle. It took me 2 weeks of attention to get the first piece out and then several more days before I finally managed to extract the rest. Even after 2 pieces had been removed, I was staggered at how difficult it was to get the third out!
|Finally 7 beautiful pieces!|
If anyone would like the burrtools file then just drop me a note.
If you have some (quite a lot really!) spare cash for a puzzle and a work of art then definitely get this puzzle! It is beautiful, difficult (but not horrific) and well worth the outlay. It is limited edition and may not be available for long.
I love it!!!