On the drive, I was eagerly watching the ETA on my GPS and counting down the minutes till when we would arrive at Brett's house. When we got there, I could barely contain my glee at the amazing feast of puzzlement that Rob had laid out on Brett's dining room table. Akio Kamei, Eric Fuller, Stewart Coffin, Rocky Chiaro, and even a Berrocal! I recognized them from all the pictures on Rob's site, and here they were! I hardly knew where to begin!
It was flawlessly crafted and looked very nice. It took me a little while, but eventually I started to figure out how the panels slid. Similar to the less expensive small boxes, the best approach on these was just to try sliding everything in every direction that it could slide. This box was tricky because every outside surface moves, so it became tricky to hold it without inadvertently closing it back up again. Finally, I managed to carefully pull it apart. I admired the amazing precision with which it was crafted, it was very elegantly designed both inside and out.
Next, I tried Cube Box I, which is similar but has a somewhat different mechanism. Since it is similar, I'm not going to go into detail, but suffice it to say that this is also a very nice box.
Impossible Lock by Rainer Popp. I think I discovered the first move, but quickly realized that this would probably take me all day (and more) to solve, so reluctantly abandoned it.
Brett brought out a small lock from PuzzleMaster called Broken Heart. I fiddled around with it for a bit and was amused to find that what I hypothesized was the first move on Impossible Lock was the solution to Broken Heart. Not too tricky, but it could stump you for a while if you didn't think of it. Definitely good value for the money.
Miguel Berrocal's Portrait de Michele, so I decided to try that next. Berrocal is a Spanish sculptor born in 1933 who was known for his puzzle sculptures. Portraite de Michele is a sculpture in his limited edition 'mini' series.
I took it apart very carefully, laying the pieces down in the same orientation that I took them out. I also kept them in order so I wouldn't get confused. I was intrigued to find that it didn't come apart as easily as I expected. Once the base was unlocked, the pieces came apart in a specific order, sometimes requiring one or two sliding moves to release it.
I would imagine that it would be quite challenging to assemble after scrambling the pieces. In addition to being an interesting puzzle, it is quite nicely made and a beautiful sculpture. It had a great weight to it and was beautifully polished.
There are a bunch more puzzles that I saw, so I'm going to have to continue this entry tomorrow since it is getting late. Stay tuned!
Update: Check out Part 2!