After I met Saul Bobroff at the mechanical puzzle event organized by Eureka, he was kind enough to invite me to a puzzle gathering that he was hosting in his home a few months later. That party was today and it was really awesome. I got to try a bunch of great puzzles and meet a number of puzzlers in the area. Chris Morgan and Tim Udall were there, both of whom I had also met at the Eureka event.
Saul has a huge collection of puzzles and laid out a selection on the table for us to play around with. Chris Morgan also brought a number of very cool puzzles from his enormous collection, so there was a ton of stuff to keep me busy.
last entry. He really liked the look of it and played around with it for a while, but didn't have much luck solving it. Chris and Tim also attempted it, but didn't solve it. It is definitely a puzzle that you need to pay close attention to when you are working on it: it is very easy to get lost and end up spinning your wheels. If you'd like a copy, you can buy one here while they are still available.
It took me a while to actually start solving some puzzles, since there was so much going on. Everybody was talking about all the different puzzles, so it was easy to become distracted.
There were so many that I wanted to try, that I couldn't decide which ones I actually wanted to spend enough time with to solve them. A cornucopia of puzzles!
A little while later I saw somebody else solve it, which kind of gives away the solution. It was pretty clever. As with all of Tom's stuff, it is very nicely made with beautiful woods and a great finish.
I think my favorites of the ones that I tried were Dovetail and a Half and Pharaoh's Secret. I liked Dovetail and Half because it was double-locked, which made it a bit trickier than the others. Pharaoh's Secret was interesting because the solution was quite a bit different than the others. It also looks very nice. It was the first one I tried, and the last one that I solved.
The object of this puzzle is to put a ball bearing in one of the holes and then figure out how to get it back out. It sounds easy, but it is a bit trickier than you would expect.
I played around with it a bit, shining my flashlight through the holes to figure out what was going on. This didn't help much, but eventually I stumbled upon the solution after 5 or 10 minutes. It is quite cool and unexpected (at least for me). Definitely a cool puzzle.
stumped by this one, so I was happy to get some more time to work on it. Much to my relief, I figured it out a few minutes after I started working on it again. Guess I just needed a fresh perspective! Frequently with puzzle solving, I get into a rut and stop making progress, so the best thing is to take a break sometimes. The objective of this puzzle is to fit the four M-shaped pieces in the box and shut the lid. It has a nice solution.
19 hours ago