Cross is a tray-packing puzzle designed by renowned Singa-porean puzzle inventor 'Pit' Khiam Goh and made by John Devost. The design is a variant of Pit's Stealth tray puzzle that was designed after Walt Hoppe caught a false solution in the original design. I recently had the chance to give it a try through John's puzzle library. Thanks John!
The four dark pieces in the corner are stationary: the task is to fill up the cross shape that remains with the six pieces.
I had a fun time solving this one: it isn't too tricky if you have seen puzzles with a solution of this nature before, but otherwise you could spend a while before you discover the 'trick'. Even though I had seen puzzles with solutions like this before, it still took me a good 20-30 minutes to figure it out.
I had a brainy friend over for dinner and suggested that he give this one a try. I was curious how difficult he would find it. At first I was worried that he wouldn't finish before dinner was ready (I feel guilty when I give somebody a puzzle that is too hard for the time allotted), but he figured it out right before! I think it took him about 20 minutes as well, with some slight hints.
As far as puzzles go, I haven't gotten too into tray packing puzzles. I think what bugs me about them is that you can't display them in their solved state without revealing the solution, so they are always in partial disarray. However, I think this disarray is more tempting for a guest to solve: they'd rather solve something that is messed up than risk messing up something that is already solved.
All in all, this is a very nice puzzle. Great quality construction and fun from a puzzling point of view as well. Congratulations to Pit on a clever design!
2 days ago