Some time ago I discussed the Really Bent Board Burr designed by my mate Derek and how I managed to entice Johan back into puzzle making after a very long gap. The RBBB was fantastic and it would appear that he certainly hadn't lost his touch. He has gone on to produce quite a number of beauties for me this last year:
A little while ago he notified us that he was making a couple of new burrs and asked whether anyone would be interested. Well duh! That's a no brainer! I said yes, waited a month or so, sent of some PayPals and then waited for postie to ring the bell. Earlier this week postie rang several times (blush!) much to the disgust of "she who must be flinched from" and I received a very nice box from Johan. Derek hates it when I post photos of the cardboard boxes on the puzzle photography group but of course it had to be done! I then followed up with photos of the contents.
|Cocoon with a stand as beautiful as the puzzle!|
When I took this out of the box and showed it to Mrs S she first of all said in a rather dull voice:
"Yes! It's another cube!"She seems to think that pretty much all my toys are just cubes and refuses to understand the geometric truth that some are cuboid, some are burr shaped and others have shapes that I cannot begin to name. To her they are all cubes! Aaaargh! However in her defence she did immediately pronounce that this one is gorgeous and could remain on show in the living room. Wow Johan! What an accolade! I think after Shane, you have the most puzzles on display outside of my "Puzzletorium".
Cocoon is glorious - made from 15mm wood stock and using African Rosewood, Pau Marfim, Zebrano and Mansonia it is a monster at 92 x 92 x 125mm. It feels fantastic in the hands, smells great and is finished beautifully. The level is 22.214.171.124.2.2.4 which is just the right difficulty for me. The designer is the amazing Alfons Eyckmans who keeps showing off new designs on Facebook and taunting me. He knows that I have a list of about 18-20 of his burrs on my phone waiting to be bought! I just need to find an additional source of money for them. Having already sold a kidney, most of my liver, a lung and my right cerebral hemisphere, I have run out of organs to sell! Maybe Mrs S will let me take one of her.......Whack! Ouch! Maybe not!
During the solve of this puzzle there are some short blind ends and several choices to be made of direction to try. A few of the moves are incredibly well hidden and I really struggled for several evenings in front of the TV with Mrs S to find the way forward (luckily there was no jinggling). I am not the only one to have struggled - I know that Jamie also has been stuck for a little while too. Eventually I managed to work out how to get the first ring off and then the second shortly after that. The third ring removal is a step up requiring another 9 moves and took quite some time. I was left with the 4 burr sticks trapped in a single ring and it was remarkably stable and took quite some time to find the way to disassemble it to the component parts:
|Just getting here was tough but the final steps took ages too!|
|Just look at the beauty of those pieces!|
Another puzzle in that package was something I couldn't resist! The No Nukes! puzzle designed by Ronald Kint-Bruynseels.
|2 down 4 to go! Still stable|
|Look at the precision of these pieces|
You can see how hard it is going to be to link them all back together again. There is absolutely no way I will be able to reassemble this from scratch - Burrtools is definitely required. Luckily making a BT file is very much part of the fun for me. I guess I had better get on with that now - Mrs S certainly doesn't want yet another pile of pieces lying around! I still haven't managed to reassemble the Visible burr and it is still in pieces on the coffee table 8 months later!
|Such a pretty pile of pieces!|
"Baie dankie!" Johan