Sunday 1 August 2021

Juno Sequentially Discovers a Cube

Sequential Discovery Cubed Box
I am unfortunately at work again today and have rushed to solve something and have posted this in advance to keep you amused. My backlog seems to be getting bigger and I may be looking for someone to let me sleep in a spare room soon because Mrs S might well chuck me out the house when the bunch of puzzles that Mine has posted arrives!

Previous puzzles in the series
We have all known that Juno has been planning something big, something special, something to continue the puzzling line of the Sequential discovery burred boxes (reviewed here, here and here). The anticipation has been rising and many puzzlers have been worried that the puzzle flippers would get hold of it quickly to make a quick buck. True puzzlers absolutely hate those people and none more than Juno (and Yukari) who has written a blog post about how he plans to prevent it from happening - I really hope that he was successful. He will in the future choose not to sell to people who he discovers flip his creations for a quick profit. I whole-heartedly agree with him. I am aware that I am privileged to have a good job and can afford to buy but selling within days is just a sign of disrespect to the creator. At some point I may have to sell some puzzles either to make space or to downsize my house or, more likely, to prevent a murder in my home but at the moment my collection is my pride and joy and I love owning and displaying them as well as solving them.

Ages - still not solved!
The sequential discovery cubed box went on sale and sold out completely in 4 minutes (all 140 copies) - I got a warning from a friend that it was about to happen (thanks so much Jay) and was logged in and ready when the site loaded with the puzzle and and out with my preciousssss. Postage from the other side of the world was remarkably fast considering the pandemic has trashed world wide flights and post, I got my mitts on it on Thursday night and set to work. Turning it over and over to admire the beautiful workmanship revealed a rattling noise inside - what could it be? It is an absolutely lovely object - Fijian Mahogany is used for the main part of the puzzle, and the wood used for the internal parts is mainly Iroko, Jarrah and sapwood of Bubinga, with Jarrah being used especially for the parts that require durability and wear resistance. The base is not part of the puzzle, it is there to display the puzzle - it is made from Spotted Gum.

You might be wondering why I started work on this puzzle when my most recent additions have also been wonderful sequential discovery puzzles from Brian Young and Joe Turner? Lets just say that one has been solved without understanding how it works (I'll get there before long) and the other has me stumped at the moment - in fact I am still stumped on the third move of Brian's Ages puzzle bought way back in November 2019. I also could not resist starting on the Cube because as soon as I picked it up I could feel something moving...just a few mm but definitely moving.

This something moved and stopped and then moved back. It felt "odd". It's a bit like having something painful on you - you just can't stop yourself prodding at it. Each time nothing would happen and it would return to the original position but one time it went clack when I wasn't really looking and I had a really big hole. OMG what had I done? It wouldn't return to the start position and I realised I was committed to working on it properly. I managed to take the photo at the top of the post with the puzzle in the moved position and the changes were carefully hidden from view. We had to have dinner and then it was time to play with a customary cat on my lap and the TV on. Having made that first inadvertent move that I couldn't reverse, the puzzle started to move in ways that a lot of interlocking cubes do. I have hidden the later pictures behind spoiler buttons - I have tried to avoid showing off too much but don't look if you don't want even a small chance of a clue.

After some of this movement we see Juno's classic hand made tools - one is available for the picking and others are stuck in place ready for later. The first tool is now available and easily used (it's just asking for it) and I have the opportunity to return to the beginning. I have a huge grin on my face because the way that first move works is now understood and it's delightful. I put it all back together and have my nice springy area again and OMG! cannot do that first move again! Lord! I am rubbish at puzzles. It is at this point that I recall looking inside and noticing something that didn't really impinge on my consciousness at the time. What if I??? Oh yes that is delightful. A really nice touch to the first move that happened accidentally the first time but should be done with thought.

Couldn't do it without him!
Time to continue the journey. I do my first few moves again and get to further configurations before coming to a halt. Stuck again and time to Think© which seldom works for me. I then get reduced to randomly trying stuff before realising that metal has a very interesting property. He's a very clever devious man is Juno. More progress but only momentarily as it suddenly undoes itself. Stuck again, I look at the cat for assistance and he suggests something. Should I listen to a cat? Well, this cat did manage to solve my disentanglement puzzles recently so I took not of his suggestion and I tried something new. Yet another Aha! moment and the whole puzzle became rather unstable. Gulp! Time to backtrack...except, yet again, I couldn't! One of the moves seems to have been irreversible! Stupid cat! At this point it is time for bed and I carefully put it down in such a way as to not let it fall apart. Another day at the hospital and I was ready to continue my assault.

The next evening, I am back and listening to the cat. I refuse to continue until I understand what has happened and am able to reverse my current position. It takes a while and a bit of deduction. I have a plan and manage to carry it out in both forward and backward directions although I cannot seem to do it every time I try. Time to move on I think to myself. At this point we see that it will come apart (like most interlocking cube puzzles) but there are still compartments to open. Again...if you are awaiting this puzzle or just don't like spoilers then stay away from the next image (don't press the button).

I now have a number of pieces and only my original tool. Now what? I need more tools. Coming right up said Juno and the cat. Actually it took me quite a long time to find the next tool and then another long time to work out how to use it. It continues along like this and then we reach the final compartment - oh that is a clever locking mechanism. I now have found the source of the rattling noise - at least this time it is not bread!  

One cube inside another cube! Solved it.
Reassembly is a nice process with only the difficulty of the quirky move that I struggled to understand the first time. With a bit of practice, I can solve this puzzle at will. I am delighted - it is not the most difficult of puzzles but is truly delightful. I really hope that Juno has more ideas for puzzles in the series - I will definitely be wanting to continue adding these to my collection. Now I need to get back to Free Me 7 and Abraham's Well and maybe play with Derek's latest dastardly creation made by Big Steve, Polar Burr

Remember to stay safe guys - our numbers are rocketing up and the younger unvaccinated population are the ones who are now being admitted to hospital and our ICU. If you haven't yet, go get a vaccine as soon as you can!

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