|Sucrier by Stéphane Chomine|
When they arrived Mrs S showed the rather huge cardboard box to me and tapped her feet in disgust - "where are you going to put these?" That is a very good question as my study is now absolutely choc-a-block with new toys and I have nowhere to put them just now. The packing puzzle will just have to get a bit tighter!
I'm going to start off with the Sucrier burr puzzle (it is the 4th one I tried but is the easiest of them). It looks like a straightforward burr with 4 sticks in a square ring frame but there is a hidden delight which you discover early on during your exploration. It is stunning with burr sticks made of Wenge, Padauk, Purpleheart and Acacia with what looks like a Mahogany frame. The first thing that jumped out at me apart from the colour was the delightful rounding of edges rather than standard bevels. It makes the puzzle really tactile - a wonderful thing to hold and play with.
|The burr sticks have protrusions!|
|Notice the protrusions out with the 2x2 girth of the sticks|
|Can you see why there is just a single level of 21?|
|Pieces fit inside other pieces|
The final puzzle for today's blog post is the Confluence puzzle. Yes it is another puzzle with a ring frame (possible 2 or 3 at first sight) containing burr pieces. The contrasting colours of the Wenge, Purpleheart and Padauk is stunning and the CNC engraving finishes it beautifully. The first moves come as a bit of a surprise and they open up the centre to lots more possible moves and exploration. I initially thought that there would be a simple swapping the burr sticks around and out they would come but it took me a while to even find the hole through which they could exit. Having done so, I really struggled to move the sticks towards it because the moves were always blocked by protrusions on the sticks themselves which interact with the ring frame. I had a wonderful Aha! moment early on and thought I was well on my way as a stick moved extremely close to the exit point but nope! Stéphane wouldn't make it so easy. I spent a day trying to find a way to remove the first piece and was blocked each time but luckily I was able to return to the start fairly easily. After 2 days I had a breakthrough and my first stick was out - it was not the one I expected either! I thought the rest should be quite easy now as there was so much more space to play with. Oh boy was I wrong about that! I spent another 2 evenings desperately moving sticks about and failing to get them anywhere near the exit. Was there another exit? I couldn't see one. On my 4th evening playing and with Mrs S getting ever more upset with me "effing and blinding" under my breath, I suddenly had a revelation - that was one of the most beautifully disguised moves/positions I have ever seen. It should have been in plain sight but is soo easy to miss that I had missed it for 2 days. Having found it, I was well on my way and it was solved:
|Simply the best!|
All 4 of these are wonderful in their own right. My favourite is Confluence but the others are great fun and well worth buying. Jakub will be updating his site soon with all of these for your delectation and delight.
What else did I receive in this bountiful puzzling week?
I'm not ready to blog about them yet but after Mike's fabulous guest post for me last week, I could not resist going to Tomas Linden's Sloyd.fi store to buy some more puzzles including the fabulous goodies that Mike reviewed. Of course, I couldn't just buy 2 or 3 wire puzzles I had to buy a good few and Tomas was kind enough to send me a couple of gifts too. Have a look at my New Additions page to see what I bought and go have a look through the site - there are loads and loads of disentanglement puzzles at all levels to play with. I also received a copy of Shane's latest torture device which he has named "Laurie's puzzle" - Allard reviewed it here and I will wait a while for my review so as not to bore you with the same puzzle.