Sunday, 19 March 2017

More Pelikan Wonders

Big Quadrox
Jakub from Pelikan puzzles showed off a couple of new designs from Stéphane Chomine. He let me buy them a bit early to review them - they will be coming on the market very soon. Above is Big Quadrox which is a larger version of the Quadrox puzzle that I bought from Brian Menold in July 2015 and wrote about here. The smaller version was a great challenge so this one should be amazing!

Continuing the series of puzzles with burr sticks in a ring frame, Jakub also has made Tribord - it will be available in 2 different wood colours. 

I cannot wait to play with these - the quality is amazing as usual.

Sunday, 12 March 2017

Wire and Wood Arrive Chez Moi

Tronc Commun 3
T Cube
Brian Menold update his site a couple of weeks ago and I just couldn't resist another couple of wooden beauties! Having solved and raved about Gregory Benedetti's Tronc Commun 4 and compared it to my prototype version of version 3 I could not resist getting a Menold version of number to match. It is stunning in Wenge and Zebrawood with lovely brass pin reinforcements. Of course I couldn't just buy one puzzle so I added the beautiful looking T cube (designed by Yavuz Demirrhan in Red palm and Bloodwood.

Slant Cube
I missed out on the Slant cube made by Eric Fuller and so when a good friend offered me a new version as well as one of his old puzzles I jumped at the chance.

This is supposed to be very tough!
I am rubbish at symmetry finding puzzles but I also got given one of these - it might take me many months (I know the infamous symmetrick did!).

A nice new batch of wire puzzles arrived from the Far East - thanks to 2 very good friends who worked together to get them for me:

I think I am going to be busy for quite a while! I haven't even dared look at the 3x3 Mixup ultimate that arrived a couple of weeks ago - it frightens me to death!

Sunday, 26 February 2017

A Little Flurry of New Toys

Binary Bud
Namick Salakhov sold me a copy of his Binary Bud puzzle. This was his entry into the 2013 IPP design competition. It has several aims which might keep me occupied for quite some time. My initial play has been quite confusing but I have been assured by Goetz that it is a great puzzle.

I had been waiting a while for Wil Strijbos to get a few more JCC puzzles back in stock:

These two are sequential movement puzzles with B-nary having the aim to remove a ball bearing that is trapped inside - it needs a logical N-ary sequence to navigate through to an open channel. There is a little twist to it too! Junc is very similar to the N522 but the top perspex can be removed to allow it to be reconfigured in a few other positions for new challenges. In fact there are 425≅1015 different possible configurations which should keep me occupied for a while. Don't tell Mrs S or she will stop me buying new puzzles until I have worked through them all! If I do one every 5 minutes (very very unlikely) that will take me 1.07 x 1010 years which is more than the probable remaining time the sun will survive!

A new JCC disentanglement - looks fearsome!
The amazing hexagonal coordinate motion box
Now in my last blog post I mentioned getting some new twisty puzzles from Marty's store. They arrived yesterday and I am delighted:

The Crazy Comet is a new design which looks like a Bermudaminx but is much more complex
The Crazy comet was a design by Oskar van Deventer which has been mass produced - it looks tough but apparently has some parallels with other puzzles that I own and can already solve - here's hoping!

The 3x3 Mixup Ultimate
The centre slices do 30º turns and can still be rotated
Plus my stickerless 4x4 and 6x6 cubes arrived and they are fabulous! I have already attempted a layer by layer solve of the 6x6 which proved really tough!

Sunday, 19 February 2017

The New Old School Completed

Got the final 3 to complete the set
When Eric announced his latest update had gone live, I immediately put down the puzzle I was playing with and went straight to his site and placed an order for 3 new 6 piece burrs. But these are not just any old 6 piece burrs, they are the last 3 of Gregory Benedetti's fantastic series of New Old School (NOS) burrs. Eric initially did not think that he could produce them in wood but after seeing them in 3D printed form he decided to have a go and I am so glad that he did. These puzzles require multiple coordinate moves and one even needs a rotation. The design of the pieces make them a woodworkers nightmare and caused the price to be a little on the high side. I and quite a few other collectors couldn't resist them and jumped straight in. I think there are still quite a few left - go pick them up!

All seven together

Sunday, 5 February 2017

A bountiful week!

This week saw the arrival of a nice big package from Tomas Linden's Sloyd store. I couldn't resist ordering the puzzles that Mike D reviewed for me last week and of course couldn't stop at buying just 2 or 3.....I got lots!!!! Blush! Mrs S is not pleased to see jingly puzzles - I expect to be showing off some new bruises and laser burning stares!

Old Man's Desire
Russian Heart
Ring Bottle - looks N-ary

Spider Web
4 Bague

The Glasses
Mini Wire 11
Mini Wire 10

A gift from Tomas - no idea what it is!
Mini Wire 16
Reviews for these will be coming soon.

Let me first of all say that Mike's description of Russian heart as:
"quite a few notches lower on the difficulty scale"
"I think the average puzzler should be able to solve Russian Heart in a modest amount of time"
Lets just say that I disagree with Mike....I have singularly failed at it all week!

Shane was up to new tricks too. He made a classic puzzle but gave it a new twist - this is called Laurie's puzzle after my good friend Laurie Brokenshire:

Shane doesn't do interlocking puzzles but I think he should - it is beautifully made!

Sunday, 29 January 2017

New from Pelikan

New from Pelikan
Jakub has allowed me to purchase the latest creations from Stéphane Chomine, Osanori Yamamoto and Lucie Pauwels. As always they are stunning and should keep me going for a while. Expect reviews soon. We have from the back left:

  • Links D by Lucie
  • Grilladin by Stéphane
  • Two Tone Zero by Osanori
  • Campanus by Stéphane
  • Sucrier by Stéphane
  • Confluence by Stéphane
  • Proteus by Stéphane

Sunday, 15 January 2017

Extra N-ary Madness & a Pelikan/Coffin Special

The Merry-go-round
Jack Krijnen offered an amasing new N-ary puzzle which was a variant of his Power tower which made it to number 6 in the 2015 best of list. This time he allowed puzzlers to choose the pieces they got in the set. Mine consists of ternary, quaternary and quinary pieces. I could have gone even higher order like Allard but figured that my poor little brain doesn't have the staying power! Jack even produced a nice little storage box:

Mrs S will be pleased that they store easily!
Just before the horrible virus hit me, I received a fantastic gift from Jakub of Pelikan puzzles in thanks for the writing I have done for his website. He sent me another of his fabulous turned ball puzzles. This one is the Involute ball:

This is perfect for going on show in the living room with the rest of my turned collection from him. I thought I would show you the puzzle it is based on - this is the original Coffin cube version which I bought from Brian Menold many years ago:

Saturday, 24 December 2016

At the end of the year, yet more twisties

Mini Geranium Plus
On Xmas eve, I received the last puzzle delivery of the year from my good friend Martin Fox. His Puzzle store has gone from strength to strength and I am so pleased that he has done so well. It may even become his full time job next year - I hope to contribute to that myself as more great twisty puzzles come out.

Leslie Le's Very Puzzle company have produced some new variants on the Geranium puzzles which I missed out on when they were originally released. Leslie also produced a new variant of the smaller (?and easier) mini puzzle which I couldn't resist. The yellow "arm" have been divided up to allow the puzzle to scramble further and maybe I will manage to solve it? Looking at it in front of me now, I very much doubt it!

Hex Shaper
The Hex shaper is another 2D twisty puzzle which resembles the top of a megaminx. When it was released I thought it might be too easy but subsequently puzzlers revealed that the disks are not flat and it can be solved for colour but the pieces be in the wrong place and the puzzle not return to flat shape. I couldn't buy just one puzzle from Marty so added this to my list. Not sure I can solve that either!

Bermuda Cube Venus
There are 2 triangles opposite each other
Finally, I was not planning on buying this - I bought the Mars version of the Bermuda cube a few years ago and could not solve it....I got to the last face and couldn't orient the corners no matter what I tried! Recently Pete Wyspianski showed off on Facebook that he had begun working on the series again. I expressed my despondency that I couldn't do them and on Messenger Marty and Paul Morrison ganged up on me and encouraforced me to buy a new one to get my skills up! So here we are with another puzzle I will never be able to solve! You three should be ashamed of yourselves - you are a bad influence!

Sunday, 4 December 2016

The Splurge Continues

Mrs S continues to open the door to the postman and get pissed off with my deliveries! I keep telling her that I am making up for lost time but she won't listen. These ones really weren't that expensive (Ahem!)

I cannot resist N-ary puzzles and when my friend Namick Salakhov announced that the Ditwibin was being made available then how could I say no? This is a relatively simple Binary puzzle - easy to solve but still fun. I actually don't understand how the mechanism works though.

The Pass
I also couldn't resist 3 new disentanglement puzzles designed by Aaron King (Wang Yulong) and bought from the Felix Puzzle store.