Sunday 10 January 2021

Having Hex helped Me With My Plexus!

It appears that the only way that I can have Hex and keep it up is to use rubber bands. Allard had to remind me how to have Hex by myself as it had not occurred to me that I could support my rod(s) without female assistance and when Mrs S refused to help me have Hex and I read about Allard's fancy threesome with Gil and Derek as well as a rubber (band) I had a hunt around my house for rubber bands of my own. We don't have rubber bands in the house because the cats absolutely love them and as soon as your back is turned they chew through them and then swallow them whole. Whilst this sounds very funny, it really gets unpleasant when they reach the opposite end of said cat and they then get the zoomies with elasticated poops hanging out! It's especially bad if they romp across my pillow whilst I am asleep and something rather yucky bonks me on the head! Hence, after just one morning of zoomies, there are no rubber bands around!

When doing my annual rummage through my excessively heavy work bag to try and lighten my load, I find a very heavy set of metal chunks from the TwoBrassMonkeys! It was the Nova Plexus puzzles in Brass and Steel that I have singularly failed to solve so far. I had bought these way back in September 2019 and after a couple of months of concerted effort to assemble these beauties, I had totally failed and had given up. They had accompanied me to work for a year without managing to be assembled.

I had bought mine directly from Big Steve and Ali but they are also available from PuzzleMaster if you live in the Americas. They arrived very nicely packaged in a box with a useful (and highly inappropriate bag for a senior doctor to carry around in a hospital):

Nicely boxed complete with carrying bags
It was this very monkey pouch that had been with me for over a year. The extra item that had been supplied but not pictured was a couple of large zip bags filled with Loom bands. Whilst I had never joined the craze to create pretty things from Loom bags as I am a 50something year old bloke and not a 10 year old girl, I had tried all sorts of techniques to use these Loom bands to hold the pieces of the Nova plexus in place whilst I had attempted what I figured was a correct assembly. I even tried multiple bands per rod intersection but no, it still kept falling to bits as I attempted to insert extra pieces.

The Loom bands were my salvation when it came to assembling the coordinate motion Hex puzzle, Bish, Bash, Bosch. Mrs S was not going to have Hex with me and going solo was going to need assistance. Apart from getting stuck inside the intersections/notches and preventing the final part of the coordinate assembly, they proved very helpful and I finally had my trio of Hex assemblies for my Best of 2020 post:

Thank you for the Loom bands Steve!
Whilst my little pile of bands were being eyed by one of my pussy boys and I had a couple of days off over Xmas, I realised that maybe I should make one last ditch attempt at putting these bloody things together. Boxing day turned out to be rather full of swear words but I made some progress. I was almost there when someone made a bid to eat a pile of the bands and it all fell in a heap in my lap. Sooo close!

After pushing the hungry cat away, I tried again and finally after 15 months I had it...the brass version was assembled and stable (even without the Loom bands) - Yay! Flushed with success I fetched the stainless steel version. I had thought I would put that one together in the mirror image of the first but just couldn't seem to manage it! In the end, after another couple of hours of swearing and repeatedly having to fend off a cat with a rubber fetish, I went back to trying the same way around. 

There was something different about the Steel version - it was MUCH tougher than the brass one despite being identical. I would always get to the very last step of trying to get it clicked together and stable when it would always crash into a heap. Had I gotten a faulty set? Knowing Steve and Ali's stringent standards, there was no way that would be the case - it must be me being crap!

Finally after 15 months!
I really need to make them a mirror pair
I kept at it for another 2 days and at last have my pair of Nova plexii assembled together. There is definitely something about the Steel one that makes it particularly tough. Maybe it is that it is that bit less flexible than the brass version? I have no intention of taking them apart again although before I put them away on display, I do have a hankering to disassemble one to make it a mirror version. Gulp! Maybe not!

Next I need to spend a few more hours with the Kong puzzle - so far I have singularly failed to find an assembly for that as well. The mini briefcase is taking up a lot of space on my desk and needs to be cleared away. There is no way that I am going to carry that around at work! It weighs 4Lbs and might permanently damage my shoulder! Here goes!

Stay safe out there guys! Things are now absolutely horrendous in the UK NHS just now with huge numbers of Covid cases being admitted to hospital and requiring either CPAP or ventilation just now. For the first time we are being forced to cancel urgent cancer surgery in many hospitals because the critical care beds are not available post op to look after people who have had major major surgery. I cannot remember in my 30 years as a doctor it ever having been this bad. It is much much worse than any winter Flu surge and we are seeing people in their 20s and 30s with no pre-existing conditions requiring ventilatory support (once you are on a vent then that will be you for at least a month). If you possibly can - stay at home! You don't want to catch this and you don't want to give it to your parents or grandparents! Hopefully in the USA, now that the Orange prick is going to be ousted, the American public will have a decent set of policies and approach to mitigating the dreadful problems they have had there with this virus.


  1. I have a steel and brass Nova Plexus and I haven't noticed any difference. My son and his girlfriend put them both together from scratch in half an hour, which surprised me. I did point them to Geoff's video. Have you watched that video?

    1. They did in half an hour? OMG! Maybe I should hang up my puzzling hat and give up now? That makes me feel particularly useless!
      Just watched Geoff's video and now I see why it took me so long - I definitely didn’t do it like that. Damn! I’m rubbish at puzzles.