This is the second part in my series of posts about the 2013 Puzzle Design Competition. All photos are by Nick Baxter from the 2013 Design Competition website.
Capsule Construction - Bill Cutler
I was able to get this one apart pretty easily, but had a hell of a time getting it back together! The first six pieces form a sort of cubic cage, and the others slide in from each of the 6 sides. It is a bit tricky getting the cage together, but the real challenge for me was to get the final pieces in. Usually I don't like this type of puzzle, but I got sucked into figuring it out since I felt bad leaving it apart and ended up enjoying it!
Clair de Lune - Yasuhiro Hashimoto
The goal is to remove and replace the moon from the cage. The moon has a slit in it, which is large enough for the dowel on each of the two cage pieces.
Not super-challenging, but fun to figure out the logical series of moves. There are two ways to start, and one will lead to a dead end!
Convergent Evolution: D'Artagnan - Bram Cohen and Wei-Hwa Huang
Top This. In Wei-Hwa's exchange, he presented this puzzle with a larger set of pieces, such that any group of four could make two identical shapes.
Of course, there is only one distinct way of pairing these four pieces so the challenge is figuring out how to assemble them. Pretty challenging since there are a number of different ways you can orient two shapes relative to one another, but eventually I figured it out. Neat puzzle, but I think the exchange version would be even better!
Cuboctahelix - Bram Cohen and Jason Smith
This had the hallmarks of a puzzle I would probably have to give up on, a lot of pieces and a number of permutations to try, but I ended up figuring this one out! The pieces slide together in a nice satisfying way, which may be what kept me engaged. Also, I didn't have to try a ton of different assemblies before figuring it out. Neat puzzle!
Dancing Shoes - Goh Pit Khiam
It won the Puzzler's Award (selected by IPP attendees), and for good reason! It has a neat solution that isn't super-hard to discover, most people will figure this one out in 5-10 minutes, I would imagine.
Dispersed GC Lock - Namick Salakhov
The mechanism was based around a spring-loaded key that you needed to depress in order to move a piece. This worked fairly well, but required some hand strength to hold in position while the move was made. Not bad and a unique mechanism, but I think I prefer some of the other binary puzzles out there.
Drop Slider Designer - Lucie Pauwels
The sliding puzzle part was pretty trivial for the first 20 or so balls (on the challenge I tried), but the last few were a real pain! A good variation on your standard sliding block puzzle, but I think some of the trivial balls could be removed to reduce the repetitiveness. The puzzle at the end to remove the balls was actually pretty tricky!
Eight Wrestlers - Yoshiyuki Kotani
The goal is to arrange the eight wrestlers such that each notch is matched with another notch. It is nicely cut out of neon pink lucite that seemed to glow on its own.
This was a puzzle I found myself going back to a few times: I quickly saw the trick, but wasn't able to quite get it to work. Pretty tricky but fun to play with!
Elevator Puzzle - Sam Cornwell
I didn't like this one as much as Books/TV, since the hole felt a bit narrow to manipulate the puzzle and see what was going on. I didn't end up spending much time on this one.
Elle - Frederic Boucher
There were a few interesting moves in there, but not too difficult to disassemble: reassembly is the real challenge if you don't know how it came apart!
Ok, that's all for today! Tomorrow, Part 3!
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