Berlin Puzzle Party about a month ago. As I mentioned in that blog post, as soon as the puzzle buying and selling began, I did a quick sweep of the room keeping an eye out for Roger puzzles (among other things) that would be snapped up quickly. I was lucky enough to find this puzzle for sale at Marcel Gillen's table and purchased it right away.
The interesting thing is that very few people know who Roger (a.k.a. RD) is, hence the moniker "The Mysterious Roger". His puzzles have always been a bit tricky to acquire, since they were produced it pretty limited quantities and only sold by a few trusted distributors. According to Bernhard Schweitzer, who knows Roger, he stopped making puzzles a few years ago to spend more time with his family.
I had been curious about this particular puzzle after having seen a picture of it on Rob's Puzzle Page, where he has a full list (I think) of Roger's puzzles. It looks so straightforward: get the ball in the upper right down to the channel at the bottom. Surely it can't be too tricky, it is probably just a matter of shaking the hell out of it in just the right way. However, when I read Oli's blog entry about being stumped by this one, it was clear that there would be more to it than that!
It is nicely machined out of aluminum with what appears to be some sort of sprayed coating to give it a matte finish. There is a plastic cover that is screwed to the top so you can see what is going on. It has a nice weight to it as well.
When I first started working on Alles Roger, I found it pretty easy to get past the first obstacle. It takes a bit of practice, but isn't too bad. However, the next obstacle, the two larger ball bearings, is the crux of this one! In order to get the small ball to roll down, you need to tilt the puzzle toward you, however this causes the two larger ball bearings to roll slightly inward (due to the shape of their channel), blocking the path of the smaller ball. As such, it quickly goes from "how hard could it be?" to "how could it even be possible?" which I really like in a puzzle.
This is about as far as I got while at IPP, since I figured I would have plenty of time to work on it when I got home. When I got home, I spread out all my IPP puzzles on the kitchen table so I could fiddle with each of them when I had some spare time. On a few occasions I would spend some time on this one, but never with any luck.
Overall, Alles Roger is a very nice puzzle that I'm glad to have purchased. I'm very much looking forward to checking out more of his puzzles if I ever get the chance.
2 days ago