Jakub and Jaroslav have made this with their usual extreme perfection and every move has just the right amount of resistance. It is 77mm cubed and made of Maple, Purpleheart and Wenge. At level 27.18 it is a real challenge. Christoph says this about the design:
"This design exists of six 2x2 sticks of length 6 in an unusual 6x6x6 frame which I think has never been used before. The frame consists of twelve 4x1 rods which are connected by eight internal corner voxels. Because of these internal corners, the puzzle is densely packed. The sticks are bicolored and the frame is tricolored to result in a unique 27.18 solution. Ignoring the colors there are more than thousand solutions, starting from level 1. The name 'Mimicry' was selected as the outer appearance looks like six 2x4 sticks of length 6."Of course when I was offered the chance to buy it, I couldn't resist! I love my burrs but really like a level that is challenging and fun. As my friend Jose Dias says; "any puzzle with too high a level ceases to be fun and becomes work", I can honestly say that whilst level 27 sounds very high, it is actually a perfectly solvable puzzle by anyone with a little bit of burr experience. There is a little bit of work because there are quite a lot of blind ends in the solution path, but they are not so long that you risk getting lost. The correct path is long and winding and has a few tricky moves but never enough to dishearten you.
Having said that, I have to admit that it caused me a little bit of pain! Initially the pain was a mental torture, finding my way through the maze of moves and then getting lost at one point going back and forth to the beginning because I just could not find a crucial move. After 4 days of back and forth I was just a bit too vigorous pushing one of the sticks when it was not aligned properly and there was one of those sickening cracks and an endplate fell off. Aaaaargh!!! Luckily everything in the puzzle stayed aligned and I quickly took out my trusty wood glue and clamps and repaired the break. I was very proud of myself the following day when I removed the clamps and saw that everything was so perfectly aligned that it was impossible to see the repair. Unfortunately more pain ensued a minute later as I realised that I had glued the stick to the frame......rather tightly!! Aaaaargh again!!!
At this point with an edge of panic I pushed and pushed and PUSHED in the appropriate direction and Crack! Ouch! No I hadn't broken it again but the aberrant join came apart and it moved vigorously forwards taking a rather large chunk out of my thumb! It's amazing how much blood comes out of the pulp of a thumb! It would not stop bleeding despite pressure for over ½ an hour - I was starting to panic - not about blood loss (I see that every day at work - we had a 7L blood loss 2 weeks ago) but heaven help me if I spilled blood on the carpet. Mrs S would give me far more than a Whack! Ouch! if I ruined a carpet! You would not even find my body! After that experience I put it away for the rest of the day. The rest of my week at work continued to be painful. All healthcare professionals (yes I AM a professional!) have to use alcoholic handwash many many times a day. Let's just say that I yelped with pain many times over the next few days. In fact after a couple of days I cut the thumb off a nitryl glove and kept it on my thumb the whole time. Phew what a relief that was.
|Solved at last - very simple pieces|
|Just look at the perfection!|
Johan Heyns' Wish Cube
|Simply stunning wood!|
The Wish cube is a limited edition of 15 copies (one for Johan, one for Jack and another as a gift for a friend) and the other 12 sold out very quickly after being offered to the community. We all watched in awe as the pictures of the production were posted and one by one we received them after various customs officials charged their dreadful fees. The puzzle is huge - 122x122x162mm. It is made of Mansonia, Pau Marfim and Rhodesian Teak. There is also a stabilising stick inside holding an internal puzzle in place - the stick is made from Tambotie, an indiginous wood to S Africa which has a lovely spicy aroma. To give an idea of the size of the task Johan said to me:
"it is 272 meters of wood to be cut up in 1x1x1 to 1x1x16 blocks. It is going to be a &#$&%$* massive job. "Each cube is:
"20.46 meters of 10x10mm stock from which it is made makes it pretty heavy. 455 blocks glued together to make the 52 puzzle pieces"
No wonder it took months to make! We chatted a lot during the manufacture and he was great at keeping my spirits up when my Mum was dying - he sent me funny (and rude) jokes and was a really good friend. I was so proud when it arrived that I couldn't resist posting pictures here and on Facebook. I have been working on this puzzle for 2 weeks since it arrived and must say that it will certainly be in my puzzles of the year for 2016 - It is stupendous!!!
There are several facets to the puzzle. The first part is to release the central tray (this is the part that Jack designed) - there is a very unique locking mechanism which requires 26 moves. I was very proud to say that I managed it in about ½ an hour. Amazingly, when the tray is unlocked all the burr pieces are back at their starting positions except one:
|Tray unlocked - I've hidden the moved piece (everything else is in the start position)|
The cross bar you can see in the tray is the fragrant Tamboti and it holds a cover in place. Removing these reveals:
|It's easier without a cat!|
|This took me a week or so!|
After that, the fourth facet to the puzzle is "just" a matter of dismantling the frame. Johan has made ingenious use of magnets to hold pieces in place and then everything slides apart:
|Partial disassembly of the frame - spot the magnets|
|OMG! EPIC puzzle!|
Thank you Johan! I really look forward to future productions from you. The quality of the puzzling and the workmanship is amongst the best in the world! I am very proud to be one of the 12 who can own one of these. I will take it to the MPP next week.
OMG! That is a rather epic blog post! I hope you enjoyed my efforts. I have tried to ensure that there are puzzles reviewed that you can buy for yourselves as well as the very limited edition one that is no longer available.