Sunday 31 March 2019

Juno's Follow Up is very Different and Still Fun

Grooved Board Burr #2
Yes, it looks very like the beautiful board burr from Juno that I wrote about just under a month ago but it is different in several ways. Just a couple of weeks ago the follow up to the Grooved board burr #1 was released and after I told everyone on Facebook and on the blog about it, it sold out within a couple of days (I am sorry that you will not have a chance to buy it now except at auction).

Version 1 of the Grooved Board Burr was extremely difficult and had a very well disguised critical move that took me 3 months to find (and I am aware of others who have had serious difficulty with it). I could not resist buying version 2 because 1) I love a series of puzzles, 2) I cannot resist beautiful wood and 3) I wanted a similar fun challenge.

No 1 was fulfilled as this is number 2 and Juno has mentioned the possibility of a 3 and 4! Number 2 is obvious - this thing is stunning! Juno has made his own plywood boards with Bubinga and European Beech and added Bamboo dowel pins. It is a gorgeous rich colour with amazing grain in all the layers. It is the same size as the previous edition at 86mm across each side but quite obviously much heavier (I did not realise that Bubinga was so dense). The immediately obvious difference from number 1 is that all the outer surfaces are whole and no grooves are visible at this stage.

I set to one evening this week (I am seriously struggling to find time to solve things at the moment and only just solving something in time for the blog each week) and noticed very quickly that there are less dead ends but there is something very odd about the first few moves. The dowels are on the face of the boards and not the insides and the Burrtools grid was very odd! A normal 6 board burr is based upon a 1x4x6 grid for each board and version 1 was based on a 3x12x18 grid. I have not quite worked out how to model version 2 but I think it will need boards based on a 4x24x36 grid which fills me with horror as I consider a burr only complete when I have modelled it in Burrtools after dismantling it.

There is a certain rhythm to the early part of the disassembly and after the first section, I found a very wild move that looked like it would make the whole thing very unstable but oddly it held well together. I got stuck here for a while and this was the point that I realised that the puzzle was also a maze! A rather fun second section began next and even that is not straight forward - it leads easily to an almost but not quite solved dead end because one can scoot right past the correct turn without realising it. The Aha! moments with this are wonderful and not terribly difficult. After the ardour of the first puzzle in the series, it was actually a pleasant surprise to work my way through this one in just a single fun evening. Juno did think that this one was 10 (or even 100) times easier than the first and I agree...but it is still great fun.

Look at that maze!
If you look closely at the dimensions then you can see that this is not a simple "base 3" grid
I do hope that there is a number 3 in the series as the addition of grooves and dowels make for a very different puzzle to a standard board burr. As with everything made by Juno, they are all beautiful on display. I am so sorry that you can no longer buy a copy of either of the puzzles but look out for them in the various puzzle auction sites as they will come up for sale in the future I am sure.

As for puzzles on display...after last week being forced to tidy up the desk, I took some new photos of the state of the collection. Things are much better arranged now - what do you think?

Starting on the left-hand wall of my study:

Vinco's, Eyckmans', Many MANY Pelikans and a Crowell or two and maybe a Vanyo
MrPuzzle, Many from Brian Menold, Many MANY Eric Fullers and an assortment of N-ary plus metal overflow
There appear to be a few of the newcomer Rex Rossano Perez on the desk behind the computer and a new one yet to be solved.

Above the computer and on the right side of the study:

Very special MrPuzzles, Assorted lovely interlocking puzzles (including some unique ones) and heavy metal!
Hand made twisties, books. a friendly Koala and interlocking cubes
I have a cupboard with a huge number of twisties and a pile of sequential move puzzles and an embarrassingly large number of wire puzzles from Jan Sturm and Aaron Wang:

I really MUST find a better way to display these!
Luckily Mrs S allowed me to expand into a spare bedroom and unlike Allard, I did not push my lovely wife into a garden shed!! The 3 display cabinets upstairs have some of my most treasured and beautiful puzzles as well as some rather special plastic puzzles that I don't want to pack into drawers:

These are some of the most spectacular puzzles I own from many designers and craftsmen.
Can you work out what they are and by whom?

Plastic, glass and disentanglement overflow
Mrs S seems to have allowed a few of the most spectacular (but not too huge) puzzles out of the puzzle rooms into the living room - I don't have so many there any more and my pile of puzzles I am working on is still an unholy mess on the floor but I think the living room looks like there's a puzzler around:

I appear to have a few K-cubes and Goliath...AT LAST!
The most gorgeous puzzles that Brian Menold has ever made

3 rather special cubes from Jean-Baptiste's Arteludes store - these were made by Maurice Vigouroux
I am rather chuffed at the beauty of my collection! I even have room for quite a few more. Whack! Ouch! Nothing is due at the moment least for now! 😉

1 comment:

  1. How many beautiful "Aha" moments in all those puzzles: a real ecstasy for the eyes and the mind.