Sunday 27 March 2016

Changing my Thought Processes in the Cubozone

Last week I posted on my New Additions page some lovely pictures of some gorgeous toys that I received from Yavuz Demirrhan. Yavuz lives in Turkey and despite struggling to obtain good quality equipment he manages to produce quite a few lovely puzzles and has very recently opened his own Etsy store. It was originally named Creacubes but apparently someone else has reserved that name and forced Yavuz to change it to his current name of Cubozone - seeing as so many of his gorgeous creations are cubic, I think the name is quite apt.

My first purchase from his new store was some time ago and the delivery was very delayed because first of all Yavuz sheepishly admitted that he had taken orders for more puzzles than he actually had made (of course I didn't mind waiting - I know that quality takes time and is worth waiting for) and after he had made my lovely new toys the British customs office held them for 3 weeks before releasing them to me! I had seen them at the last MPP and was getting desperate to get my mitts on them! When they did finally arrive, even Mrs S commented on how beautiful they were!

Sunday 20 March 2016

Make sure you spell it 'Porperly'!

Strong Box (left) and Strong Box 2.0, by Joe Porper. Rubberized Master locks not original, but useful to prevent scratching. US Quarter for scale
Aloha Kākou readers. It’s been a good long while since I’ve interrupted Kevin’s regularly scheduled posts with one of my own. The man deserves a break, wouldn’t you say? Though if you’ve read this blog for any length of time you’ll realize that he is quite mad for puzzles, to put it mildly (Ed - tell me about it!). Taking a break from puzzles or blogging about them is probably a form of torture for Kevin. But it will be brief. He always comes back with a vengeance after these little interludes (Ed - in fact I'll add a little puzzle to the end of your post Mike).

Today I’d like to share with you a special item in my collection. It’s special because it is very well made, it’s clever, and it was not intended to be a puzzle, at least in the traditional sense. Also, it is metal, and we all know that high quality metal puzzles are hard to come by. So I was very excited to come across these two items about a year or so ago.

Sunday 13 March 2016

Standing on his own

How many favourite South African boys does a puzzler need? Up until now, I really thought that I only needed one! That of course had to be the MAIN man, Allard! Just go and read his review of yet another Stickman box to see how brilliant he is. Of course I also have a favourite South African girl but don't tell Allard that I think his wife is amazing - she puts up with even more of this puzzling madness than the present Mrs S (his collection is considerably more awesome than mine) and Gil even seems to do it without the use of the Whack! Ouch! I actually thought that would be quite enough favourite South Africans but I was very wrong. Johan Heyns has definitely become another favourite of mine!

Some time ago I discussed the Really Bent Board Burr designed by my mate Derek and how I managed to entice Johan back into puzzle making after a very long gap. The RBBB was fantastic and it would appear that he certainly hadn't lost his touch. He has gone on to produce quite a number of beauties for me this last year:

Wish Cube
Last year Johan unfortunately lost his job and considered turning to puzzle making to earn a living and of course I wanted to assist him in any way possible - we cannot have too many puzzle craftsmen around. He touts his wares on his Facebook page and in the Puzzle Photography group so you should definitely keep an eye out for him there and see what is coming in the future.

Sunday 6 March 2016

A Couple of VERY Complex Worry Beads

I had seen the Crosscut burr pictured above a long time ago in a Burrtools screenshot when Dan Fast (aka CrazyBadCuber) showed off his new design. I am amazed how quickly he has picked up the skills to design in Burrtools and has produced some absolutely fascinating ideas. A few have already been produced by Eric Fuller and Stephan Baumegger but this is the first to be made by my favourite Czech craftsmen. I got very excited when Jakub showed off one of the first and I immediately sent off an email expressing my interest.

I was delighted when it arrived earlier this week and it is just as special in real life as it was on Facebook. As you can see it is absolutely stunning having been made out of Cherry and Wenge. All the edges are beautifully bevelled and all the pieces fit together so perfectly that you cannot feel an edge between them.

I received it at the end of a VERY long day and after placating Mrs S about yet another delivery and having a bite to eat, I was too tired to do any more than idly fiddle with it. I took a photo and posted it on Facebook and a while later Dan asked whether I had solved it yet - he claimed that it was an easy one! Yeah! Right! He doesn't remember that I am really not terribly bright.