Sunday, 19 September 2021

A Beautiful Gift From Casey

Twistytex's 3x5x7
This week I received a new copy of one of the seminal cuboids ever produced. SuperAntonioVivaldi encouraged the production (by 3D printing at Shapeways) of the original 3x5x7 and I got a copy from my friend Rline who had the Ultimate solution YouTube channel. 

The original
I adored this puzzle but after the first few solves, I had to put in down out of fear! It continually dropped black powder and this drove Mrs S wild! I now have a version made by Casey Weaver that I can play with. I just have to hope that I can solve it as it has been a VERY long time!


Sunday, 12 September 2021

Jakub and Jaroslav do it Again

Yes, it's that time already! Pelikan puzzles have produced another wonderful batch of puzzles for us to drool over and for me to fail to solve!

Play-girl 2
Yes Alexander Magyarics has been working with funny grids again! Another wonderful packing puzzle with two holes to cover. Made from Pink oak and Wenge, this should be a fun challenge.

Get Trunk 1
Another hangable tray packing puzzle designed by Alex, this will be very special for me - my family connections with elephants makes anything like this very poignant for me. This looks really tough!

Half soma
No Pelikan release is complete without something from Dr Volker Latussek. This is another of his anti-slide puzzles based on the soma cube pieces (this time they have been sliced in half. The aim to fit them into the box so that they hold up and fill the top layer and do not fall down inside. This will be VERY tough as I cannot even put the pieces neatly back in the box again!

Hidden curry no 90
Another by Dr latussek - a packing puzzle with pieces in a tray - tip them out, turn the tray over and start packing - slightly harder that way around!

I suspect I will not break my failing streak on this!

Octopus 33
Another puzzle by Osanori Yamamoto - remove the pieces from the frame - the movement is heavily constrained though!

Turtle is a burr designed by Alfons Eyckmans and, I think, it contains a captive centre piece shaped like a...turtle! This might be rather difficult!

Another fabulous design by Stephan Baumegger - there is a small dragster racer inside which considerably hinder the movement of the pieces. This will be a huge challenge as I have tried the original from Stephan himself and singularly failed to solve it.

Sunday, 5 September 2021

Save Me From Mrs S! I Have More Jingly Puzzles

I bought another batch of puzzles from Aaron!

An embarrassment of complex toys!

Inside the boxes were a nice amount of protective padding and some of the most wonderfully complex N-ary puzzles:

Sunday, 8 August 2021

She Might Just Murder Me Soon


Delivery from Mine
Mrs S gave a gasp of horror when we emptied one box out - Mine has been toiling away for weeks assembling his latest batch of delights and I ordered erm....quite a few!

Delivery from Eric
Then just a few days later she opened a box from Eric. So far she hasn't shouted at me too much or threatened to chuck me out but she certainly is starting to mutter evil imprecations whenever she sees me.

Maybe I should tidy up my study?

It has been months since I put anything away

Saturday, 31 July 2021

Derek Gets Dastardly

Polar Burr
Named because of the ice cap on the end, this is the most challenging helical type burr yet from the evil genius brain of the doctor of twist, Derek Bosch. Printed by Big Steve (one of the two brass monkeys), this will prove to be a huge challenge I think. Ali has solved it but that doesn't mean much because Ali solves everything!!!

Sunday, 25 July 2021

Mrs S SaysIt's Never Ending!

Free Me 7
Joe Turner has released his long awaited Free me 7 puzzle and it looks lovely. Hopefully I am up to the task.

Mrs S has seen me receive rather a lot of new toys recently and she is hoping it will end soon. Do I dare tell her about the one coming from Juno?

Sunday, 18 July 2021

Something Really Special from MrPuzzle

Abraham's Well
The puzzle community have been waiting for a new sequential discovery delight from the warped mind and brilliant hands of Mr Puzzle himself, Brian Young. To try and stop the massive increases in price that occur after a new puzzle release, Brian has made a LOT of these and will be releasing them in phases. I was lucky enough to get in there as soon as the first batch was made available and it arrived really fast!

It is incredibly beautifully made and the instructions look really intriguing:


Sunday, 11 July 2021

Obscure Burr


Obscure burr
Yes I know you all recognise the craftsman immediately! Apparently this puzzle solution is based on an obscure mathematical theorem. I need to avoid using the usual lock picking method of solving it and work out the solution from the theorem. Not managed it in the last 4 days!

Sunday, 4 July 2021

Jakub Goes Into Overdrive!

Upcoming puzzles from the New Pelikan Workshop
Luckily for me I am about to start a week of annual leave. Jakub has just sent me 9 (yes NINE!) puzzles to play with. The pressure is on to solve them and get some words for him and you (so that you can decide what is worth your cash).

We have (from the back Left to Right):

Camel Ride by Stephan Baumegger (a 12 piece burr with a character inside)
Colliding Galaxies by Alexander Magyarics (a packing puzzle through an odd shaped hole)
Fermat by Dr Volker Latussek (a packing puzzle with prism shapes and the usual box)
All tetra pod by Osanori Yamamoto (a new shaped packing puzzle)
Palace by Oasnori Yamamoto (a new variant of packing puzzle)
Play-boy 2 by Alexander Magyarics (a packing puzzle based on a triangular grid)
Lutz by Dr Volker Latussek (a sliding piece puzzle)
Waffle by Osanori Yamamoto (a take apart puzzle with rotations)
Web 3 by Dan Fast (a grid assembly puzzle)

All these are gorgeous and beautifully made - I have had time to only photograph and have a little fiddle so far!

Sunday, 27 June 2021

Aaron Produces Something Challenging

Axes and Hammer and Three Bodies
These puzzles have been stuck in limbo in a Chinese airport for 3 months! Finally they arrive and boy, they are worth the wait. 2 challenges that are beautifully made and both based on very old ideas - they have been made MUCH more difficult! I cannot wait to have time to play!

Sunday, 23 May 2021

Pelikans coming soon!

Jakub and Jaroslav do it again!
I have received a batch of new toys from Pelikan puzzles again - they look incredible! I will power my way through them as fast as I can so that you can get your copies.

I have already received a trio of others which they are holding back for the same release in the next week or so.

Yay! Fun times ahead!

Sunday, 11 April 2021

I Don't Collect Boxes Except...

 For the occasional Stickman!

Stickman #35 The Onehanded Puzzlebox
My friend Asher Simon designed this and collaborated with Rob Yarger to create something amazing and really very tough. The original copy that Asher sent me got badly damaged by the Customs officers and I got a cardboard box of bits (several of which were broken). This time he left a stern letter to the customs officers and they left it alone. So far I have only looked inside and taken the pieces out.

I now have this and am not sure what  to do next:

What have I done?

Sunday, 7 March 2021

More Pelikans a'Coming


These are stunning!
I might just have received a few new toys from Jakub this week. The pressure is on - I need to solve them extra fast and write something for him to put on his site.

From back left:
Akku by Dr Volker Latussek
Rattlesnake by Alexander Magyarics
Sliders by Alexander Magyarics
Chamburr by Christoph Lohe and Andrew Crowell
Fake Cube by Dr Volker Latussek
Pepper Castor by Alexander Magyarics
Cyburr by Christoph Lohe and Andrew Crowell

I hope that I can find some time soon!

Sunday, 6 September 2020

He Just Keeps getting Better and Better

My Friend Brian is just amazing! Shut away in his little corner of America, he slowly and carefully produces some of the most beautiful puzzles I have ever seen. In the most recent release, I nabbed 5 new designs from Andrew Crowell, Alexander Magyarics and Haym Hirsh:


Opposite 1&2
The wood choices are fabulous and the finish is amazing! I have some annual leave coming up in a week and, with the pandemic, nowhere to go. I have a whole lot of chores to do but hope to have plenty of time to devote to these beauties!

Thank you Brian, I greatly appreciate your skills.

Sunday, 23 August 2020

Aaron is Going to Keep me Occupied a Long Time

Over the last month or so, Aaron Wang has been showing off his upcoming puzzles (some designed by him and others by friends). He is a disentanglement genius and always produces absolutely stunning and incredibly difficult puzzles. After receiving them yesterday, I have had almost no success even on the "easy" ones!

The latest production run
They come with no real instructions as it is all fairly self evident but there is a little paper insert in the  bag with them:

Basic instructions but absolutely no solution!
If you fancy buying any of these then contact Aaron using the email address in the photo above

Not routinely available but I was able to get a couple of extras to add to my N-ary puzzle collection:

They look horrific! Rainbow and Piano
I can’t wait to try them all even if I do expect to fail!

Sunday, 5 July 2020

A New Puzzle Lock Maker is in Town

Andrew Coles showed off a puzzle lock he had designed and made at the last MPP (Wow! That seems such a long time ago now). Those who played with it were wildly enthusiastic and encouraged him to make it generally available. Andrew has been a busy man - he's produced a bunch and set up a web store and they are available to order now. I've not yet had time to play with mine but what I can tell is that the quality is superb!

Go and buy one to encourage him to keep this up!!

Sunday, 17 May 2020

PuzzleMaster's Own Brand of Metal

I couldn't resist!
PuzzleMaster have a rather lovely range of metal puzzles of varying difficulty levels. I decided to try a few!

Sunday, 10 May 2020

What Was I Thinking?

Rhombic Tuttminx
I have been watching the increasingly complex twisty releases from Leslie Le and his team at Very Puzzle. My friend Pete had shown off many many of their puzzles and they had frightened me at the same time as intrigued me. Eventually, I could stand it no longer - my lockdown mania (yes, I know I still get out) had caused me to impulsively buy a couple of new twisty toys.

The puzzle above is the Rhombic Tuttminx - it appears to be a combination of rotating pentagonal faces and hexagonal faces. The stickers are absolutely incredible - I am so glad I paid a few extra $ to have them place the stickers for me!

This one seems to have disappeared from their site. It is the CORD - because the axes of rotation match those of the Cube, Octahedron and Rhombic Dodecahedron. I personally can't visualise that - but to me it looks like a spherical transfromation of a cube with rotating faces, corners and edges (you can just about see that in the picture above). I am also not sure that I can solve this one!

Sunday, 22 March 2020

I Have Yet Another Burrset!

The Phoenix 18 Piece Burrset
Jack Krijnen makes beautiful toys! He often makes small toys! He sometimes makes sets of toys. A few months ago on FB, he showed off a particularly gorgeous Burrset. He has called this the Phoenix Burrset.

Absolutely stunning - and really pretty tiny!
This set consists of a set of 45 burr pieces in 3 different woods, a pair of tongs to pull out the pieces and some cards denoting 12 challenges including SuperNova (level 166), Excelsior (level 156), Burrly Sanefor extreme puzzlers (level 151/2) and Tiros (level 150). These are incredibly tough burrs and will be a huge challenge for any burrista - I know that my large copies of SuperNova and Tiros remain unsolved. Each burr piece is 10x10x40mm - it's going to be very fiddly to play with these but with the aid of Burrtools, I shall have some fun!

Several different kinds of wood were used - my copy has a Mahogany and Cedar box with Zebrano, Birch and Amouk burr pieces.