Sunday 31 March 2024

MiBinity 1 - Allard Got There First...

And He Is Right Yet Again!

MiBinity 1
A collaboration between Michel van Ipenburg and Jack Krijnen
Quite a long time ago, Michel sent out an email to a group of his friends telling us all that he has been working with Jack to create something that anyone with an interest in N-ary puzzles would be delighted to own: "would we like to buy a copy for our collections?"

I think that about a nano-second went by before I emailed back to say that I was in! As you know, I have a bit of an addiction to N-ary puzzles (I still need to order some of the latest ones from Stephan Baumegger but I have sort of run out of money recently for after my latest purchases). I also cannot resist anything made by Jack - he doesn't produce may puzzles but when he does they are amazing. There was a short delay once everyone had replied to Michel and Jack made the correct number. It arrived in a surprisingly neat little package. 

The original design remit was to make a 3-piece N-ary burr and just this description alone caught my attention - how can you make a significantly difficult burr with 3 pieces to be challenging? And how can you possibly make a 3 piece N-ary burr? Well, this combination of puzzlers made it not just possible but really good. 

The small leaflet included

Challenges listed

On the  other side of the leaflet was a list of challenges - who can resist?

The puzzle is beautiful to look at and very tactile - it is an interesting burr that only moves in 2 dimensions. I don't think that I have seen anything like it before. I am very used to pushing and pulling in 3D that this new idea must have upset me somehow because I found it a little confusing at first. The key to an N-ary puzzle is to find the repeating patterns and I struggled to do that with this one.

After a few moves
Each of the pieces moves along an axis back and forth along a track that Jack has cut in the inside. To make it N-ary there must be more than one track - there is indeed one on each side of the inside of the puzzle. Being able to see small segments of the tracks doesn't seem to help much with the solution - it's all down to exploration. I'm a little ashamed to admit that it took me 2 or 3 days to work it out properly.

Two different tracks show how the N-ary solution is created
Having worked out the correct repeating sequence, it gets much easier. At level 25.5, this is not a hugely difficult puzzle but it is very different from everything else in my collection. This is a delight and I am hopeful that there will be a MiBinity 2.

Have I managed all the challenges? I dismantled it, I found 2 maker's marks and mostly explained the name. Fab!

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