Sunday 4 September 2011

MORE toys!!!!

More, More, MORE ....
I really have a serious problem!! My name is Kevin and I am a puzzleholic....

When I first heard about the really high level 18 piece burrs that had been designed by Jack Krijnen (Burrly Sane) I decided that I would really love to try one (in fact I don't have any 18 piece burrs at all). After contacting Jack himself (a delightfully helpful puzzler!) who told me he didn't have any left, I put out a call on the Puzzle World forums to see if anyone else had one available. I got a reply very quickly from Guillaume Largounez that he had a friend who made puzzles for him in wood and had made several versions of the Tiros burr designed by Alfons Eyckmans (if you follow the link then you can see that he is rather talented).

So far I have this mess!
The Tiros is a similar puzzle to that which I was after and Guillaume offered to look through them to find which worked and looked best. About 6 weeks later Tiros is in my grubby mitts and I am bamboozled! It is 150 moves to the first piece removal and 198 to complete disassembly! I don't stand a chance but I will give it my best shot. Just for fun and you know how much I love Burrtools, I made up a file with the solution (I have NOT looked at it at all, I promise! I don't want to spoil the fun!) Burrtools shows that with the colour restriction there are 61 solutions, I have not worked out how to make the bevel restrictions but I suspect this limits it to just one assembly. I did try to see how many solutions there were with just the pieces and no colouring or bevel restrictions but my poor computer told me with a wheeze that it would take 7.6 millennia to finish and I can't wait that long!!! If you want a copy of the file then just Contact me.

The other puzzles came from a mystery collector in America - he had contacted Allard about selling some puzzles and Allard was kind enough to let a few other collectors know. I bought the Drunken Dancing Fraulein designed by Stephen Chin and entered this year as his IPP31 entry in Berlin where it was in the top 10 voted by the puzzlers who attended. It is a beautifully turned puzzle box which I managed to solve quite quickly and will post a review when I can - it has a very ingenious mechanism!

The next is Brian Young's (aka Mr Puzzle) Gold Coast Parking Meter (still available here). This was Brian's entry at the IPP27 held in Australia. The aim is to get the Australian 10c coin into the meter - a sequential discovery puzzle.

I have also bought more toys from Bernhard Schweitzer, after his return from IPP31! I obtained:

Designed by Bram Cohen, Reunification is 2 complex looking but identical pieces which slot together into a cube (reunified!) - it require 6 moves and is beautifully made.

3 Piece What's It
The "3 Piece What's It" is George Bell's entry and slots together to make a rather lovely cube-like structure. I absolutely loved this - it took me about 20 minutes to solve and is a challenge to repeat every time. I have since realised that it has been designed independently elsewhere by Steve Strickland and Don Charnley when they did a full analysis of cubes with offset joints - they called it the Q-cube project. Don's version is called "Donz Q'b".

Finally this is the Trigo, a very complex interlocking cube structure designed and made by Mike Toulouzas. It is 1 of only 17 that he has apparently said will be the only ones he will ever make due to the extreme difficulty of manufacture. It has been reviewed here by Allard. I havent't dared take this apart yet - it looks frighteningly difficult!

That is it for the moment - watch out for future reviews!!

So as I said: "I am a puzzleholic".
BUT I don't actually want to break my habit! I do need to control it a bit before my wife divorces me  since I am impinging on her shoe/handbag collection!!!


  1. All together now: "Hi Kevin!" ....

  2. Nervous reply:

    Even more nervous but very knowing reply to Allard:
    "I'll show you mine if you show me yours!!!"


  3. I'm glad you enjoyed the Three Piece Whatsit! It was inspired by Coffin's Three Piece Block. I was surprised to find that the same design had been invented previously, but I guess it is a natural design once you think of the "cube" final shape.

  4. Hi George,
    There is a whole group of puzzles that Steve and Don has analysed extensively. It does look like the possibilities are endless. I do think that the simpler structures are better and like yours still pretty challenging.