Sunday 20 September 2015

Pole Dancing - Earned me a Whack! Ouch! and Worse!

Pole Dancers
Despite being on annual leave this week, I have actually not had much time to do that much puzzling and don't have enough time or energy to write much today. This is partly because my fitness drive started this week (and nearly killed me) and also the stress of my mother's illness has left me more sleep deprived than ever. My concentration ability has not been great as a result. I also was forced by "she who must be feared and cringed from" to tidy up my study - the results of which can be seen on my New additions page here. At least after many hours of tidying I have made a bit more space for any new toys that might be coming my way Whack! Ouch! No dear! I promise I am not expecting anything at the moment! Apart from...... Whack! Ouch!

I seem to have an awful lot to go!
My mojo seems to have abandoned me! I continued to work on Wil's exchange puzzle and finally after several days managed to solve the first 2 challenges in a way that was repeatable and that meant that I understood them. Remember that it is important to be able to solve a puzzle repeatably before you can claim that it is conquered and the challenges in Wil's leaflet are surprisingly difficult for such a simple design. Number 3 is killing me and I haven't even begun to use the extra piece yet. I have also singularly failed to solve Allard's exchange puzzle!

Luckily a few days ago, Steve sent me a copy of his IPP exchange puzzle - It is called the Pole dancers and was designed by the helical genius, Derek Bosch. I have reviewed every single one of these puzzles so far and could not resist playing with this as soon as it arrived. Unlike all the others in the series, this consists of 3 pieces instead of 4 and the core is a solid stick - hence the name as the other 2 helical pieces seem to dance around the central pole. Steve printed it himself on one of his Threedy printers and used a pair of beautiful vibrant colours. The layers have been beautifully smoothed so I assume that he also used an acetone vapour chamber to produce such a spectacular finish.

There are a couple of possible moves at the beginning and then I got stuck - unlike a real pole dancer (Whack! Ouch! - sorry dear! No I haven't been to one of those establishments!) the pole itself has to turn too. There is a really beautiful sequence of turns back and forth of the various pieces as one of them winds itself towards coming off. At the last moment just a move away, it stops and the pieces need to wind back together again before final separation occurs.

Very clever piece design
Having disassembled it in 4 or 5 minutes, I scrambled the pieces and left them for an hour or so and then tried the reassembly. This is also a really fun challenge and is definitely within everyone's capabilities. It is less difficult that the W(h)orl(e)d burr as an assembly puzzle but is actually more fun. It probably took me about 15 minutes to put it back together again.

I would say that this is more of an interesting challenge than a tough one. As an exchange puzzle, it is a perfect difficulty level - someone who has had no experience of these designs can safely explore it and will be able to solve it without getting lost. This does mean that for those of you who have solved the earlier ones in the series then you will find this one a breeze to disassemble. It is still enjoyable and is an essential addition to anyone's Bosch collection! I am told by Steve that he will be making a few more and will be putting them up for sale on Puzzle paradise in the near future. I'll be sure to let you all know when that happens.

I have a lovely Bosch collection (not powertools)
I think that many of you must think that the present (and only) wife puts up with an awful lot of nonsense from me - I actually think you are almost certainly right! She definitely has to open the front door far too often to accept parcels from all over the world and and even worse has to help me fill the recycling container with an awful lot of cardboard and polystyrene packaging. Most of that she doesn't really mind but recently with the current batch of puzzles she has had to put up with more than a tolerable amount of jingling and swearing! Eventually she gets tired from all the Whack! Ouch! which must take up an awful lot of her energy so she decided to get her own back on me a different way! Whilst she was "Up North" visiting her family she found something for my other "habit". I love collecting and tasting Chilli sauces! Not because I want to hurt myself, I do actually love the flavours and tend to shy away from the ones with too high a rating on the Scoville scale. She came back from Scotland with this and I actually wonder whether I dare try it! It doesn't actually say poison on the bottle but something tells me that it may be as painful as a Whack! Ouch!

Do I dare??


  1. Kevin all these references to the ball and chain, the pole dancer and now some hot stuff has me all confused. It sounds to me like you've got a mighty fine woman ...

    1. "Mighty fine woman"? You want to buy her? I'll let you take her off my hands real cheap! Whack! Ouch! Ok - real expensive!

  2. Nice write up Kevin. I must give my exchange copy from Steve a try soon

    1. Get to it Jerry! After all you only have 98 exchange puzzles to get through!