Sunday 28 May 2017

Bounty from the Midlands

Yesterday I attended the 26th Midlands puzzle party and caught up on puzzling, gossiping and the general teasing that always occurs when the bunch of us get together. Someone actually was hoping to meet the present Mrs S which I thought was particularly brave of them! They couldn't believe that I got away with what I write about her most weeks. I informed them that she never reads my drivel and that they were welcome to take her off my hands whenever they wanted! She even comes with her own shoe and handbag collection.

Having spent so much time puzzling yesterday, I feel that I ought to spend a little time with "the frightening one" today and will postpone the post I was planning on until next weekend. Instead here is a little summary of my purchases from the MPP.

The two highlights of the meetup was getting to see Laurie Brokenshire and Ethel again who was looking rather well considering all he has been through recently and also getting to meet the most famous puzzle pusher in the world, Wil Strijbos. I did purchase a few things from him (how could I resist?) the most important of which was his newest creation, the Revenge lock aka the Wanderer. Here's what he said about it:

Sunday 21 May 2017

Christoph's Burrlock is Amazing!

Burrlock E
The last update from Eric (aka the Doctor of wood) on Cubic Dissection caught me a bit by surprise - not the timing but the sheer number of absolutely ESSENTIAL purchases! I try (for financial reasons and to prevent discord with she who frightens the living Bejeezus out of me) to keep the number of puzzles arriving at once down as much as possible because I have sort of run out of space and she is getting fed up with the mess!!! Things are so bad that my desk is currently strewn with puzzles that I don't have anywhere to put away! Here's a quick snap:

Lord help me! Where am I going to put these?
When Eric did open his store I absolutely HAD to buy 4 puzzles - the voices told me to and they drowned out the buzzing disapproval from Mrs S. One of the puzzles that I really couldn't resist was the Burrlock E by Christoph Lohe - he makes absolutely fantastic designs that are not hugely high in level or enormously difficult but are just plain fun to play with and solve. He seems to pay special attention to the playability. I reviewed his Mimicry puzzle from Jakub's New Pelikan Workshop puzzles here - it was not a tremendously high level but was a fabulous challenge and great fun to solve. The Closed box was also a fantastic puzzle also produced by Jakub. So not only do I lurve the puzzles designed by Christoph, I also really like burrs that have an interesting shape - this one in the shape (and with the function) of a padlock particularly appealed to me. I had also enjoyed the Padlock burr from Eric and designed by Tim Alkema, so how could I possibly resist another one?

Sunday 14 May 2017

Has the Snake Turned me to the Dark Side?

Carousel Puzzle
This post will be a bit shorter than normal - I've had a central heating engineer here most of the day as our heating packed in. This means that I'm starting late. I was contacted by Kelly Snache (aka Kel Snake) a few weeks ago. He was touting his wares and knew how much I loved beautiful wood. He was right and I immediately collapsed and sent some PayPal. It is even nicer in real life than the photos show. It is also really quite large - at 13x22.5x12.8cm. Mrs S was immediately horrified: "where is it going to go?" I actually don't have a proper answer to that just now as a major reorganisation to create space is required for all my latest puzzles (most of the ones from this year).

I resolved that this puzzle was allowed because it was really a sequential discovery puzzle with a cavity but many of my puzzle friends seem to be unconvinced.

Sunday 7 May 2017

Even a Visit to Aaron's Dentist is Fun!

No one likes the Dentist......except me!
Back in March I showed off some new wire puzzles from Aaron King (aka Wang Yulong) and I have been working on them on and off ever since. I have of course been sidetracked by a few wooden things in the meantime and unfortunately work has got in the way quite a lot. I have managed to solve a few of them and am stuck on most of the others - I actually think that Aaron might well be the most talented disentanglement puzzler in the world. A friend of mine who knows him quite well has told me that he can solve almost all of these puzzles entirely in his head which is absolutely amazing.

Aaron doesn't sell his puzzles direct to us, the usual place to get them is via the Felix puzzle store in China. I have dealt with them quite a few times over the last year or so and have had a very good experience each time. The puzzles I am showing here are not yet available on the store but hopefully will be available soon. The ones that are on sale were reviewed by me here and are simply brilliant. Also for a peek at possible future puzzles have a look at Goetz' page (date 2017-04-28) for some more which includes some wonderful looking and very advanced N-ary puzzles which I hope I will also manage to buy in the near future.