In my last entry, I started writing about my experience at a mechanical puzzle talk given by Saul Bobroff and Chris Morgan that was organized by Eureka Puzzles.
After Saul finished his presentation, he handed it off to Chris. Chris passed around sheets of paper that had number printed on them, and the objective of the puzzle was to fold the paper so that the numbers were in order from 1-8 from top to bottom. I was surprised that it actually ended up being pretty tricky: I figured out one of them but didn't get a copy of the second one.
Chris also did a demonstration of a puzzle/magic trick that involved a piece of paper with a door cut out of it. One side of the paper was decorated like a garden, and the other side was blank. He asked a volunteer to come up to help with this trick. He had her grasp the door on the paper and told everybody to close their eyes.
A few moments later, when we were asked to open our eyes, he had manipulated the paper so that it seemed as though the volunteer's hand passed through the door and ended up on the other side with the garden. This at first appears impossible, but if you think about it for a bit you can probably figure out how it was done. Finally, he concluded with the magic trick that he was practicing before the presentation started.
Kirill Gribnev, which was made out of a full-size wrench, a chain, and a metal ring. Not too tricky, but a fun little puzzle that was nicely made.
There was also a large version of a nail puzzle around that I gave a try. I have no idea what it is called, so unfortunately I can't find a picture. It was quite large with maybe foot long nails that were a quarter of an inch thick. Definitely a good choice for this type of event, because it is almost indestructible.
Nine Drilled Holes, which I hadn't seen in person before. It is actually quite small, maybe a bit more than an inch square. It is very nice looking, as you can see from the picture. The idea is that there are nine holes drilled in the acrylic block, all but one of which are curved. The question is, how does one drill curved holes? They were actually drilled, according to Saul. Quite puzzling!
Hirokazu Iwasawa (Iwahiro), the same designer who made ODD Packing Puzzle, a very cool and award winning packing puzzle. Mmmm is quite simple: it consists of a box with a lid and four identical M-shaped pieces. The objective is to place all of the pieces in the box and shut the lid.
I had no luck with this, even though I worked on it for a good 10 or 15 minutes. In fact, I couldn't even get three of them in, which Iwahiro suggests as the first problem to attempt. I would guess that once you get three in, it is not trivial to figure out how the fourth fits, since he describes these as two separate problems.
I really wish I could have spent more time with this one, because I'll bet the solution is interesting. Unfortunately, these are sold out on the two websites that Iwahiro suggests, hopefully more will be made at some point.
It was great meeting Saul Bobroff and Chris Morgan, and I also met Tim Udall and a few other collectors in the area. A very fun evening, I was glad that I was able to make it. Hopefully this will be the first of many puzzle gatherings I will attend.
Tomorrow, I'll write about a very nice puzzle box that I purchased from Eric Fuller.
Challenged by Cubes from Johan and Brian
5 days ago