Saturday 23 July 2011

Two More Microcubology Puzzles

I couldn't resist the new puzzles that Richard had put up for sale on his Etsy store. I asked for these to be sent out in the disassembled form which I suspect may have been a mistake!!! The first one I tried was Roll up! Roll up! which Richard claims is his most difficult design and probably the one he is most proud of. I only read this after I had done it so I feel particularly proud of myself!!!

Roll Up! Roll Up!
He actually gives a couple of hints on how to go about it on the Microcubology site. Unfortunately I had not bothered to look, so attempted this all alone. It requires a precise sequence of 14 movements including sliding moves and some "sneaky" rotations.
The obvious thing to do was to start with the closed loop, I then placed the piece in the bottom right of the photo (it only fits in one place. Next I tried to place the other large piece and couldn't so had to change my order. This requires a very accurate set of moves but they all work very well. When I got to the very last piece it seemed that there was a small bit left over! Only after carefully looking inside did I see a small hole - changing the order of the last 2 pieces allowed me to complete it:

Pivot Cube
Roll Up! Roll Up 1
Pivot Cube
Roll Up! Roll Up 2
It took me about 30-45 minutes to complete this and is still a fair challenge.
I can see why Richard is so proud of it. It is much harder when they arrive disassembled - I think I will take these to the Midlands puzzle party like this.

The next puzzle from Richard that I attempted was Twist the Night Away. This is a 6 piece, 6 colour puzzle which I ordered fully assembled. When you first pick it up it is very attractively dyed, it is also very light. The pieces are fairly loose but it doesn't fall apart on you. I did wonder why this one was made looser than the others and the reason will be revealed later.

Pivot Cube
Twist the Night Away 1
Pivot Cube
Twist the Night Away 2
The first 3 pieces come out pretty easily and then you are left with the remaining three very well intertwined. One of them is a complete loop and the other two have limbs which pass though and angled pieces on one side and plates on the other. It is really quite unclear how to disentangle them because of the sizes of the pieces and the very narrow hole through the loop.

Last 3 interlocked pieces
After about 5 minutes of fiddling the name of the puzzle becomes quite clear. It requires another 5 twisting movements before you can extricate the green piece. I was really very impressed with this (it also explains why there needs to be a little more "give" in the tolerances to allow easy rotation.

Twist the Night Away pieces
I left it for a while before attempting reassembly and struggled a little to get it back together - mainly because I had forgotten which directions the pieces needed to rotate in. I have to say that had this piece been delivered disassembled then I doubt that I would have managed to assemble it. This is also a great puzzle and quite fun to do repeatedly.


  1. Nice review! Richard also makes some Jos Bergmans interlocking cube puzzles which are also very good Kevin. Check them out at Microcubology on shapeways.

  2. I know about the these ones - I have them too and will be reviewing them in a later post!

    I cannot resist any interlocking puzzles - wood, plastic, metal!! I just can't help myself!

  3. Great review with nice photos...I presume all the puzzles came dyed already? Does any of the dye colours run onto your hands?

  4. Hi Jerry - If you buy them from Shapeways then they just come white! You will need to dye the yourself using RIT dyes. George Bell has a pdf to download on his site explaining the process in great detail - his site is Here.

    If you get them, as I did, from Richard himself or from his Etsy store then they come ready coloured. The dye does not run at all.