Sunday 13 December 2020

Mrs S Rolls Her Eyes At Me

When I Ask Her For SHex

The Joy of Hex!
There are many of us of a certain age who vividly remember as a child when our parents bought something they were very secretive about and late at night when we were supposed to be asleep, we could hear lots of giggling going on downstairs as they perused a new book that was taking the world by storm. Yes, if you were alive in the early to mid 1970's there was a "certain book" that all but the religious nuts bought (it spent over a year in the top 5 best seller list) and us kids were all aware of it but not allowed to have a look. Just think of what I could have learned at age 6 from it.

Stunning boxes inside -
perfect for a high end Hex Toy
I was astounded to learn that Big Steve and Ali (the co-owners of TwoBrassMonkeys) had been practicing safe Hex together and were ready to release the fruits of their Hexual Hexperimentation to the puzzling world and beyond. It should not have been that big of a surprise since at the last MPP I was able to attend in person (back in February) we had all played with a prototype version of this creation - Steve had 3D printed a huge set of Hexagonal burr pieces. Allard described a bunch of us having a very enthusiastic coordinate motion group Hex here. I did not realise that after joining in with this deviant Hexperiment that the fruits of their labour would be quite so glorious.

Every single aspect of this puzzle set has been beautifully produced to create a Hexstatic Hexperience. The Two brass monkeys have created a Hexagonal burr set in brass (yes I have yet another Burr set to go with those mentioned last week) with fantastic packaging, a Joy of Hex book and even a Hex aid for those unable to have keep it up alone or without a helpful Hex partner to assist them. It is always possible that you might need to buy one of those little blue pills that are being advertised by email all the time or maybe you might need help from the puzzling Urologist, Steve C with his array of unspeakably painful devices to help you with your Hexual organs. Personally, I think having solo Hex, can still be fun with a nice piece of 3D printed plastic to help you and avoiding chemical or surgical assistance. I am 3 long paragraphs in and still not shown you their masterpiece, so here it is:

This is the full Hex kit. This allows you to try many many Hexual positions if you are strong enough.
Their site is selling either 3 individual Hex challenges or a beautiful Hex kit which adds an extra 5 pieces along with a Hex manual and the Hex aid. Needless to say, I wanted the full Hexual experience and bought the kit. Each hex piece is milled from solid brass and is 6cm (2.36") long making an assembled puzzle weigh in at about 840g (1.8Lbs). The whole kit gave our delivery man quite a shock at a Hexcessive 3.8kg (8.5lbs) of Hexy fun.

Even the book cover is reminiscent of the naughty book from last century - they have the lettering completely correct and inside is a wonderful fore-play-word from Dr Eric Shun. The book is printed on heavy card, spiral bound with Hex pictures too - I suggest that, like happened to me many years ago, you definitely shouldn't let your children see this book and these Hex toys.

I have been working far far too hard recently and not had much chance to play at all (yesterday, when I could have been having Hex with my lovely wife, I was forced to spend 10 hours writing our on-call rotas instead which was far less fun). This morning, however, I decided to start at the beginning and have try the most basic Hexual position, the Missionary. I am terrible at assembly of puzzles but this one really is solvable alone. I asked Mrs S to hold it upright for me but she said that she had a headache and did not want Hex just now (I guess that just after breakfast is not the most opportune time). Luckily the Hex aid is really useful and keeps things upright as long as you need:

A very nicely made Hex aid
Keeping things up
You still need a certain amount of Hexpertise
I set to work playing with the 12 pieces - for all these puzzles they need to be placed in sets of 3 in four different Hexual orientationsand it is great fun to play with yourself until it goes just so. Like all good Hex, it's pretty clear when you have got it right and the end result is just so satisfying:

Despite the lack of help from Mrs S I have satisfactorily had Hex!
Having completed this one, I will need to brace myself to try and have Hex with my friend Derek! The computing groundwork for this Hextravaganza was performed by Derek who analysed the possible pieces using Burrtools and a VERY VERY powerful computer (I guess that cyber Hex is better with a machine that has lots of RAM?) and he has a Hex challenge named after him - Bish Bash Bosch which apparently requires co-ordinate motion. The description seems to say that I might need 6 hands. My medical degree tells me that will need a third person and I am absolutely certain that Mrs S will not participate in a threesome with Derek or anyone else...particularly me! I do worry that I will be unable to complete this puzzle but I will give it a good try.

After that there are another 28 challenges in the book for me to try and then many thousands more if my back and brain are up to it! Whatever you do when you get to the end of the book, do NOT look at the rear cover page - the sight might put you off Hex for life! Don't press that spoiler button!! Just DON'T do it! I cannot be held responsible if you do - the sight of Big Steve might ruin you.

I guess images like that is what the internet is best for!

Go and get your copies of the Joy of Hex at their site whilst it's still available

Stay safe out there, it's still pretty dangerous as we are in the second wave and the USA is sort of in a third wave with massive numbers of people getting sick. The vaccines are just around the corner and all my research into them points to the fact that they are safe and effective - so much so that I felt able to accept my first dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine on Wednesday. 


  1. In Italy there is this saying: the eye wants its part. I mean, not only are your articles enjoyable to read, but it's rare to find such perfect photos on blogs.
    A retired photographer.

    1. Wow! Thank you Sandro. My photos are taken with an 8 year old micro 4/3 camera and then edited in Lightroom 4. I think it is the editing that makes the difference as I don’t use any fancy lighting apart from a well lit kitchen and the on camera flash. It’s amazing what post processing can do.