When I was chatting to Steve on Facebook, he mentioned that he had some new helical puzzles to show off and of course I said that I would buy them when I saw him next. At the last MPP a few weeks ago, big Steve was there with a good few new plastic toys and he promptly handed me his exchange as a gift - he is SUCH a gentleman!
Seeing as it was Derek who designed it, I will forgive Steve the awful (and incorrect) spelling of the name! It is a rather enticing thing with a block of whitish plastic into which 2 corkscrews of red have been sunk. The aim (like all previous versions) is simply to disassemble the pieces. How hard can it be? Well previous experience of some of these puzzles has shown that they can be VERY hard! From the previous pair (Twiddle Dum and Twiddle Dee) despite months and months of trying I have only managed to solve and understand Dum - the solution to Dee has completely eluded me and as far as I know most puzzlers in the world who have a copy! The problem is that there are just so many blind ends and even loops into which you can fall. This type of puzzle is very hard to lay down memories of what you have done before to help you decide on a pathway to choose and so any puzzle with a very high number of choices can quickly overwhelm my memory (which is very poor at the best of times).
In the end, after 24 separate moves I had this:
|A lovely design!|
|OMG! Oliver 540|
To top it the puzzling challenge, Steve was too lazy to assemble them and was selling them (for a very reasonable price) as assembly puzzles! He actually wanted advice from me as to whether this is a good idea! Little does he realise that I am an assembly puzzle dunce! I have a few really beautiful burr sets and have struggled to solve very many of the thousands of potential puzzles available. I just cannot assemble things from scratch unlike my puzzling hero Laurie who has spent years forcing his long suffering wife Ethel to disassemble everything before he tries to put it back together again! I have spent 3 days so far this week trying to assemble the damn thing and think that I have made some progress but have achieved little more than arrange 4 pieces of plastic in a tight and rather large knot! I will keep trying and if I eventually manage it then I will report back to him that they are definitely suitable as an assembly puzzle because if I can solve it then ANYONE can do it.
|So far it seems to be proving a "little" tough!|