First of all, let me please apologise to you all for not having posted for a while! I haven't lost interest (blog-fade), but I have been very busy at work and the present Mrs S has gotten rather worn out by constantly having to open the door to the postman to accept puzzle deliveries! At one point she fired up the laser stare and burnt me very badly!! So much so that I couldn't type (and even went temporarily deaf - I'm obviously wired up wrong!!) - this has meant that I have had to read about puzzles, play with puzzles (ocasionally solving puzzles), buy puzzles, photograph puzzles but I haven't dared actually sit down in front of the computer to write about puzzles!!! You can tell from this paragraph why she might have been a very teeny tiny touch miffed at me????
I've promised to improve my ways (and to do some DIY around the house!) and in exchange she will let me carry on my puzzle obsession! Oh yes, and she's out just now so I can write a blog post too! Let me know if you hear her coming back soon!!! I did figure that with the huge swathe of blog posts coming from Rox, Neil, Allard, Scott, Jerry, Jeff and Brian (forgive me if I forgot anyone!!) all about exciting occurrences and puzzles discovered at the IPP then you might forgive me my small lapse!
Over the last 2 years, I initially became known for being a bit of a savant for the wire puzzles and whilst I do enjoy these (especially those by Dick Hess), they are never attractive enough to leave on display - PLUS they jingle, which puts my life at risk from Mrs S! More recently I have ventured into twisties because there is so much variety and they are so logical - all that is required is to use a few techniques and gradually you can expand them to solve almost any new puzzle - PLUS they are relatively cheap. Again, however, they are not attractive!!
I have an absolute love affair (please don't tell her!) with beautiful wooden interlocking puzzles - both burrs and cubes! They look fabulous on display and can have a real "Aha!" moment! Some can be incredibly difficult as well as beautiful - see my review here. So here we go! I think I will introduce a few new puzzles of this type that I have acquired recently.
|Piston Burr Pieces|
|A whole lotta Burrblock parts!!|
This post is getting rather long so I'll wrap up with one more puzzle! (I will post some more as soon as she'll let me!). I have to mention Blind Burr, designed by Gregory Benedetti and made by Maurice Vigouroux in Purpleheart, it was also entered into the IPP32 design competition where it was in the top 10 voted for by the attendees! This is a limited edition with only 50 made (mine is #44).
"I like to define Blind Burr like a tricky opening burr. It's not a matter of number of moves, but I can say it can be solved in 3 steps. When you know how to solve it, it can be solved in 3 seconds, when you don't know, you can turn around a very long time … It's not easy to reassemble"
This is a great description - it looks like a normal burr, except that 3 pieces move very easily independently of any other pieces and no further steps are revealed. It requires quite a bit of very careful exploration to discover how it works. All of a sudden you have a very subtly but very definitely changed position and again no further movement. From here it comes apart quite easily (in fact it might fall apart if you tug it in the right way) but you'd better hope you were paying attention because it requires a very accurate movement to put it back together. This is a REALLY clever puzzle and Maurice's work is just beautiful. A friend at work failed to solve it but loved the look and feel of it!
When dismantled the pieces look like this:
|Blind Burr Pieces (secret carefully hidden!)|