Check out Part 1 if you're just joining us.
trick bolts, which Rob says are one of his favorite groups of puzzles. Rob has found a nice wooden book box that he uses to house part of his collection: he cut foam to fit the interior and keep the bolts from clanging around.
I had seen these on his website before and always thought that they would be interesting. The concept seems so simple, but he has over twenty five of them, most of which have different mechanisms! I was quite eager to see how they worked, so I decided to tackle a few of these next.
As you can see from the photo, there were a ton of them, so Rob was kind enough to suggest a few of his favorites that weren't going to stump me for the rest of the day. I started off with One-L-Nut by Rocky Chiaro. He hand-machines each of these out of solid brass, which I love. As far as I'm concerned, there are few things more badass than machining puzzles out of metal. I would love to learn how to do this. Here is Rob's complete collection of Rocky's Trick Bolts:
I tried One-Wa-Sure next (third from the left), which was also quite cool. This one was about the same difficulty as One-L-Nut. I was starting to get the hang of these, so I figured it out pretty quickly. I would have loved to work my way through his whole collection, but many other puzzles awaited, so I decided to move on.
Eric Fuller. It was one of the First Prize winners in the 2008 International Puzzle Party Design Competition, so I had seen this box many times before online and always wanted to give it a try. Jerry Slocum confirmed that this mechanism is completely unique, so I was very curious to see how it worked.
I futilely tried all the usual things that one would try when working on a puzzle box, but I wasn't optimistic because the mechanism is supposed to be different than anything else I've seen. I did discover a few moves, but was unable to make any progress. Rob kindly offered to show me how it worked, but I declined. Hopefully one day I will have the chance to solve this one for real!
Maze Burr. This puzzle won the both the Puzzler's Award and the Grand Prize in the 2006 IPP Design Competition. It was quite exciting that I got the opportunity to give it a try! This is another puzzle that I have drooled over for quite a while.
The cool thing about this box is that the movement of each face of the cube is controlled by the 'runes' carved on the plates on the outside. After taking the box apart, you can rearrange the plates in a ton of different ways to make a new puzzle with a different solution.
Another very cool thing about this puzzle is that the black frame completely disassembles, so it is both a burr and a box in some sense. Definitely check out Kagen's site for more info and pictures of this puzzle. Very cool!
Ok, enough raving, on to my experience with the puzzle. I had a great time trying to figure this one out. Rob said that it was currently configured in its default configuration. I shifted the panels around and started to figure out how the different pieces interacted. Before seeing it, I didn't really understand the mechanics of how the panels slid, so it was great being able to try it firsthand.
I think it was about at this time that Brett was kind enough to whip up some lunch for us, which was great. I was barely able to tear myself away from the puzzles, but I figured I could use the brain fuel!
Update: Check out Part 3!
2 days ago