I wrote about the 2012 Puzzle Design Competition winners in my last two posts about the IPP32 Awards Banquet (Part 1 and Part 2), but there are plenty more good puzzles that were in the competition! Over the next few posts, I'll give you my brief review of each. All of the photos are by Nick Baxter from the 2012 Puzzle Design Competition website.
1€ Labyrinth Puzzle - Robrecht Louage
I wasn't a big fan of this one, since the maze is hidden, so it is very difficult to figure out where you are. You could probably do it with enough persistence, but it will take a while! The maze is quite sneakily designed to reduce the likelihood that you will solve it by accident.
13 Triangles - Ed Pegg Jr
Despite the hint of the grid, I found it quite daunting considering the number of pieces involved. I'm sure it could be done if you spent enough time with it, but I wasn't able to figure it out in the time that I had.
3 Color Cube - Lucie Pauwels
I thought that it should be pretty easy to figure out the placement of the pieces based on the colorings of each, since a piece colored red on three adjacent sides would probably be in the corner, however it was pretty challenging! I spent a good 20 minutes on this one without much luck, though I came fairly close.
3H=6T - Hideki Tsuiki
The shapes are fairly unusual, so it was a bit of a challenge figuring out how to pack them into a cube. However, I played around with a few ideas based on the number of pieces and the idea that the solution would be fairly symmetrical, and had it figured out in about 20 minutes. A nice little packing puzzle with some interesting pieces.
This is another beautiful puzzle by the Kosticks, which consists of a bunch of pieces with magnets inside them. There are a number of goals, you can build three separate shapes, but the grand-daddy you see in the picture is all three shapes nested together.
It might look really daunting, but the angles of the pieces and the placements of the magnets guide you quite a bit. Once you start to get the feel for how a shape is coming together, it goes together pretty easily. I think this is my favorite out of Jane's entries this year, just because it is so epic: it is quite a large puzzle and takes a good amount of time to put together. Quite cool! You can contact them through their website to purchase any of their puzzles, they'll even let you choose the woods!
3x3x3 Cube with Chess Board Faces - Albert Gübeli
I encountered this one during one of my last passes through the design competition room, not expecting too much, but it actually captivated me for a good 45 minutes! It seemed like it should be so simple: only 6 pieces. However, it was quite challenging! I kept getting stick with one piece remaining that theoretically should fit, however there was no way to actually get the piece into place without breaking the tape. Eventually I had it figured out, but I was nearly at my wit's end! This was a surprisingly good puzzle!
Arrow Blocks - Goh Pit Khiam
This puzzle had one surprising element that I didn't really expect: I don't want to go into too much detail since it would spoil things, but I didn't much care for it. In some puzzles, this feature is quite brilliant, but in this one I found that it made it too difficult. If you're a real whiz with sliding block puzzles, you may be able to figure out what's going on, but I just ended up going in circles before giving up.
Bare Bones - Steve Winter
I had a good time playing around with this one. I found that if you looked really closely, you could start to figure out what constituted a valid path, and start mapping out the maze that way. There weren't a ton of dead ends, but it just becomes difficult being able to see the way forward. Nicely done!
Befuddling Butterfly - William Waite
Lonpos Cosmic Creatures, though that puzzle has six potential spots for the protrusions/indentations.
I though that this one would be quite well suited toward having a challenge booklet, similar to Lonpos. The full challenge of placing all 10 pieces in the tray was pretty tough, even though there are 231 solutions. The easier challenges would have only 2-3 pieces that need to be placed, building up to all 10. One minor thing that bugged me: it would have been nice if the butterfly's dots were glued down, they fell out whenever I tipped the pieces out.
Bloom - Volker Latussek
It seemed like it was slightly oval, but I thought that the pieces might just be out of alignment. It would have been nice if it is a bit more clear when you've got it. I probably didn't quite get it, but I decided to move on anyways.
Well that's probably enough for today! Stay tuned for Part 2 tomorrow!
Puzzle Pod Junior
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