September 9, 2010

Mochalov Cube and Lennox Burr

I borrowed a number of puzzles from John Devost a while ago, and for some reason I hadn't written about these yet, so it is about time!

Mochalov Cube is an interesting interlocking puzzle that was designed by Leonid Mochalov and made by the Pelikan workshop. It has quite an unusual shape, and leaves you wondering how it might work. This copy is very nicely crafted, with a smooth finish and a perfect fit.

Getting it apart isn't too tricky, but it may take a few minutes. It actually disassembles into 18 pieces, though 12 of them are identical and it is easy to tell where they go. The core of it is made up of 6 pieces that hook together in an interesting manner. It is held together by a key piece.

Getting it back together wasn't too hard, since I kept track of how the pieces came apart. Emboldened, I took it apart and scrambled the pieces. Since I had an idea of how they went together, this wasn't too tricky. It wasn't too hard to identify what pieces went where since it has a fairly logical pattern.

I think I could have done without the 12 identical pieces, they are more decorative than anything and don't really improve the difficulty. Still, it is a cool puzzle that I had a good time with!

Lennox Burr is a pretty tricky 9 piece burr designed by Wenzel Hieke and also made by they Pelikan workshop. It is non-trivial to disassemble, with a number of dead ends that make it pretty confusing. It is nicely crafted out of three different types of wood.There are two different types of pieces, 6 of one and 3 of another, which I think gives this puzzle a nice symmetry.

You would think that having so many identical pieces would make it easy to assemble, but this is far from the case! Since there are 9 pieces to deal with, I found it pretty tricky to keep track of what is going on and spent several nights trying to reassemble it. Eventually I resorted to looking at the solution for this one to get it back together. Definitely a challenge!

Thanks again to John for loaning me these great puzzles!

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