Sunday 28 November 2021

Solved it and Can’t Repeat it

Grooved 6 piece board burr #6

I’m visiting the outlaws in Bonnie Scotland this weekend and have tried my hardest to find a way to produce a little nonsense for you to read. It will be short and sweet because using Google's Blogger platform on a 7 year old iPad Air 2 is a bit hit and miss (mostly miss). 

This is (so far) the last in Juno's grooved board burr series and is, by far the toughest. It is gorgeous having been made from their original home made plywood. Satin Sycamore in the outer layer and the yellowish timber used for the inner layer is PNG Rosewood. It is just as tactile as all the others and demands to be played with.

The grooves in this one are in the outside of long lengths which is different to the last few. There are initially only a few possible moves and confidence grew quite quickly. I really seemed to be making progress as the puzzle stretched out enormously. Despite this, when it looks like something will come out being really precariously held in place, the blasted thing remained very well held together by the small dowels in the grooves - nothing else was holding it:

This looks so unstable but it’s very well held
Juno said about it:
"This little beast requires a maximum of 35 moves among the Grooved 6 Board Burr series to remove the first piece from the assembled shape. During the solving process, you may feel that the pieces are no longer interlocking together, but none of the pieces will come apart in a simple way. A few pieces tend to partially rotate and become very unstable especially around 14 moves from the assembled shape but there seems to be no shortcut solution for the first piece using rotational movements. It is somehow like playing with cast puzzles."

He certainly wasn’t kidding when he called it a "little beast"! It’s a monster! I spent nearly 2 weeks going round and round in circles. I got completely familiar with every single possible move in the first 20-25 moves. Nothing would induce it to go any further. I looked for hidden pathways but couldn’t for the life of me find anything new - it had been quite fun doing the initial exploration and gradually finding the pathway. Somehow the crucial step was obscured for me and I started playing with the Bubinburr that I had also received (got nowhere with that one either!)

At some point I must have inadvertently taken a hidden pathway and not realised it. I do suspect that I should not multi-task whilst puzzling. My pea brain barely manages to breathe and puzzle let alone watch TV, talk to Mrs S and puzzle all whilst breathing! Having found myself somewhere new, I tried to return and couldn’t. Oh well, let’s see where it takes me.

I have absolutely no idea how this happened!
Whilst it was really quite exciting to achieve this, it was a little disappointing to not understand it. But I was going to have fun with Burrtools. The model I finally produced (using quite a large grid) wouldn’t work so I asked for advice from the BT-meister, Derek, and he explained what to do (Juno also sent a copy of his file). The beast was reassembled and I tried again…

Nope! Nope! Hell nope! It’s not going to happen. Having solved it once by accident, I cannot do it again. I will keep trying but I cannot seem to find that hidden step. If you like Burrs, especially board burrs and are happy with grooved versions then this one is absolutely fabulous. It is still in stock here. You might find a few other beauties whilst you’re there…it would be a shame to just buy a single puzzle, wouldn’t it.

In the meantime I have another few beauties to work on. There will be a new bunch of releases from Pelikan very soon. Driving back from Edinburgh to Sheffield today in what looks like terrible weather. Hopefully no mishaps. Gulp! 

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