|Another unusual Vanyó design|
Recently I was chatting with the genius that is Derek Bosch and he complained that he had been a little disappointed by the Packira because he had been able to simply shake the first piece out during his first exploration! I took mine out and explored a bit more (I had only had a very rudimentary look when it arrived) and that was definitely not possible on mine. I suspect that the difference in humidity between sunny California where D lives and grim, grey, wet Sheffield where I live makes all the difference. Whilst a few of the sliding cross pieces were able to move under gravity alone, most of them were a little stiff and needed pushing and pulling to move. In fact my only criticism of the design is that the sliders are so tiny that even my relatively small hands struggled despite using the tip of my pinkie to push them.
I initially thought that the puzzle was just an unusual burr and that all the pieces including the thin cross pieces would come apart but this proved incorrect. Going back to the description on Cubic dissection I read:
This is a very unique and fun puzzle, and probably my favorite design of the update. The box captures six sliders which move around to form an evolving maze for the four identical pieces to maneuver. Moderate in difficulty but over the top in enjoyment! If you haven't noticed I really liked this one, assembling them all was actually a pleasure.
The construction of this puzzle is excellent, with a perfect fit and very labor intensive joinery and design. While fairly simple looking, it took ages to make and a lot of skill to get everything to line up correctly.So this is a maze puzzle and not only that, it is a dynamic one. The sliding pieces all move about to allow the 4 central burr sticks to move about - they are actually captive in the frame. The general idea is to move them in such a way as to gradually form an open pathway and then slide the burr pieces out the top. There is a hole in the bottom of the puzzle to allow you to push the burrs upwards and also allows you to peek inside as you make room for pieces to move.
Not only was I unable to repeat Derek's amazing feat, but I actually couldn't even find the first movement! I slid the sliders back and forth and couldn't get a single movement in a burr stick! I kept playing and then putting it back in my bag and in frustration allowed myself to get sidetracked by other arrivals. Eventually I decided that enough was enough and I needed to solve the bloody thing and write my review! I therefore spent some proper time on it and suddenly found the first move - I have no idea how I could have missed it as I must have been in that position many many times before. As always, I reveal that I am not very bright!
Having moved the first piece just 2 units I got stuck again! Maybe I should give up on maze type puzzles? I fiddled for hours and hours and just couldn't do it! How on earth did D do it with just shaking movements? D sent me his Burrtools file and I filed it away in the hope that I wouldn't need it. One day I took it out of my bag and I noticed that the first stick was loose - why was that? Rather than take it out and carry on, I fiddled and reset the puzzle but now had a better idea of what was happening inside! This was a very clever idea - the sliders were more than just horizontal sticks and they interacted with each other in interesting ways! Now I understood the initial path and out came the first stick. Trying to remove the second proved a small challenge which I overcame in a further 5 minutes leaving the last 2. This would now be trivial, I thought and as usual I thought WRONG!
Now I could see inside how the pieces interacted and where spaces should be. A lot more movement was possible and it really should have been easier than it was. But Tamás had designed the next moves to be very hard to see. Peeking inside from top and bottom seemed to not reveal a gap that the piece could move through. To my eternal shame, it took me an hour to find it and after that it was solved:
|My goodness! That took me a hell of a long time!|
|6 moving pieces captive in the box make an evolving maze|