Sunday 6 October 2019

They Made it Right...

In Fact Probably Better Than Ever!

Yes it’s time for you all to rush back to Pelikan Puzzles again and look at a bunch of gorgeous new toys! Not only have they released new stuff but the mistake they made with the last Yamamoto packing puzzle has been fixed and the replacement box is available for all who purchased it for free.

Back in the mists of time (2014) when I attended my first IPP in London, I remember playing with and admiring the stunning beauty of a puzzle designed and made by Mike Toulouzas in the Design Competition room (he actually had 3 entries that year and won the puzzlers award for his Fairy's Door puzzle box). I did not know at the time that it was one of Mike's puzzles but other puzzlers with more experience recognised straight away who had made it from the craftsmanship. I do remember playing with it briefly and not getting anywhere quickly. I made a mental note to keep an eye out for one possibly being released in the future because it was very beautiful and very tactile.

Number 3 of 60
Now, five years on, Mike has collaborated with Jakub and Jaroslav to produce a limited run (60) of the Trinity puzzle and I can categorically say that it is stunning! It arrived in pieces and the aim is to assemble the 3 identical notched pieces into a shape that entrap the 3 wooden posts. Pelikan has constructed this from a beautiful wood which has been smoothly turned and finished to enhance the grain. The puzzle pieces are a nice chunky size and finished so accurately that the corners are sharp (don't poke yourself with one).  I initially began looking for a way to assemble the 3 pieces whilst ignoring the trio of posts. 2 of the pieces fit together very nicely in a few ways but getting the third to make a nice shape and fit together proved slightly awkward. Eventually, I thought of a shape that looked like it should be nice but was blocked. Aha!!! This is a Coordinate motion puzzle - something that Pelikan do very well indeed (see here and here and here)! I worked out a nice movement that would assemble the required shape - it looks lovely...a sort of knot/trefoil.

Time to assemble it on the posts. Oh boy, this takes the difficulty level up a notch or two! Trying to make that sweet coordinate motion with the posts in the way and constraining positions proved rather awkward. The posts were positioned in just the right way so as to require the pieces to be held at an awkward angle and then moved in an even more awkward direction. I'm not sure about all of you but I don't have 3 hands and Mrs S absolutely refuses to help me solve puzzles by providing an extra hand. My initial attempts were not aided by balancing the construction on the back of a very mobile cat! After the second evening of trying and failing, I took it to the kitchen granite and worked there. FINALLY! It slid together in a very satisfying manner and looks fabulous! DON'T press the show/hide button until after you have solved your copy.

The Trinity will be going on display on the desk - something Mrs S only allows for one or two of the most special puzzles!

YES! They made it right!
For all of you who bought the Petit Pack with the last release from Pelikan, you will all be aware that a mistake was made with the box. Once Jakub and Jaroslav had been made aware they were immediately anxious to make it right for all their customers and they have produced a replacement box to the same standards as all their other puzzles. The rear hole is the right size and perfect for you to reattempt to solve this wonderful puzzle.

Crystal Ring
Also in the upcoming release from Pelikan is another of those wonderfully simple-looking packing puzzles based on a 3x3x2 box cavity with an interesting entry shape. The Crystal Ring has been beautifully made and Jakub has assured me that the final shape has been checked thoroughly by Osanori-san himself. Pack the 3 pieces inside...easy peasy! Nope! It requires a 2.5.7 sequence to pack it correctly and involves a very nice little dance of the pieces around each other. The assembly is made tougher by the shape of the pentomino piece really restricting the placement of the other two pieces and is not helped by the fact that the other two are identical. When I tried my assemblies outside of the box it always felt like the tetrominoes should be mirror images to fit around the other piece. The final arrangement of the pieces is quite counterintuitive - the final assembly is very satisfying! Osanori-san and Pelikan definitely got it right this time - wonderful:

Nothing is given away here!
My absolute favourite from the upcoming releases from Pelikan is another by the amazing Osanori Yamamoto, Bisect Frame which is "just" a 2 piece burr in a rather fancy bisected frame:

Bisect Frame
Available in 3 different finishes, it is stunning. I got the Purpleheart and Maple version which makes a lovely contrast. My early play revealed the rather startling bisection of the frame which is beautifully hidden by the amazing craftsmanship by Pelikan. Moving pieces around revealed that there was going to be a really interesting exploration with several blind endings. I used my usual back and forth approach to ensure that I didn't lose track and explored as far as I could. At times the puzzle pieces start to rotate on each other which can add to the challenge of finding the next move and a few times it looked like a rotation might release a piece. In the end, it is only possible in one place to rotate out the pieces and this is just before the final disassembly point anyway. It took me 2 evenings to get my 4 pieces and another evening to work out how to put it back together. Making my customary Burrtools file was a pleasure as always.

Amazingly complex pieces!
I love framed burrs and this is a wonderful example. It is my favourite from this release batch although Trinity looks stunning on display and is a real challenge to assemble.

Also released (but not bought by me) is Peamaru by Volker Latussek, a challenging looking pattern assembly puzzle and the Harun puzzle also by him. This was recently sold out very quickly by Eric Fuller and was Allard's exchange puzzle at the recent IPP in Japan (where it was named Guillotine). My copy is less beautiful but very much appreciated as a gift from the main man himself.


  1. Nothing new up on their site yet...

    Any idea when these will be actually available?

    1. I'm never given a date but it won't be long I think - a few days to a week.

  2. First of all say to Mrs s thank you very much for letting this design home display.if you want to know the wood is bubinga rosewood. And a great review as always Kevin.

    1. Hi Mike, thanks for the wood information. Mrs says grrrrrr!
      I still need that copy of the Illusion puzzle ( that you promised me years ago!