Sunday, 9 April 2017

The postman has Been Busy

3 Piece Burr Cube
Johan Heyns has been at it again! He showed off some beautiful new creations on his Facebook page and I couldn't resist a purchase. He is trying to make this his full time career and I always try to support a craftsman in need plus the workmanship is fabulous! His on-line shop is now up and running and looks beautiful - prices are very reasonable. The above puzzle is just $55 and comes with a stand. I cannot wait to give it a try.

Exploding Triangles on Stand
He had saved me the exploding triangles coordinate motion puzzle from his last batch and I am delighted to add yet another of his fine Co-mo puzzles to my collection.

Jakub from Pelikan Puzzles is soon to update his site with some new puzzles. There will be the 2 that I featured on my site last week and a new one designed by Klaas Jan Damstra, the Tower puzzle:

 Klaas' designs are always fascinating and this will probably keep me busy for quite some time.

Finally Martin tempted me with some more twisty puzzles! He's a VERY bad influence but at least these puzzles are relatively cheap!

Clover Dodecahedron - I haven't yet managed to solve the Clover cube!
This may stop me in my tracks!

4x4x3 Mixup plus
Wormhole v2
Wormhole v3
Having recently solved the 3x3 Mixup ultimate, I wanted to go back to some puzzles that had frightened me off when they first came out. The cuboid mixup plus looked horrific and the Wormholes have mixup capabilities but also have an inner puzzle visible through the little windows. Great prices from Martin.

I appear to have a bit of a backlog but as long as Mrs S doesn't murder me then I will remain happy. In fact she has encouraged me to clear out part of my study to make more space and has offered me some storage elsewhere in the house. I am not sure what I have done to deserve this!

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: