This is the fifth part in my series of posts about the 2013 Puzzle Design Competition. All photos are by Nick Baxter from the 2013 Design Competition website.
Qin Nez Borz - Stephen Chin
There's a hole on the opposite side, and if you press the piece of wood on that side you'll hear laughter and the inside of the ball will light up! You could probably guess this one was Stephen Chin, he likes his electronics!
Rain Drop - Kelly Snache
I worked on it for a bit and made some progress, but didn't end up being able to figure this one out. When I looked at the solution, it did make sense but it would have taken me a while to get there. One issue with this puzzle is the glass: it broke once during the competition which is kind of dangerous. Plastic may have been a safer choice, but then you'd have to deal with it scratching.
Rattle Twist 4 - Osanori Yamamoto
When I encountered this one, it was disassembled so I tried putting it back together. I spent a little while on it and didn't have any luck, definitely a good challenge. Later on, I also encountered it while it was together, and it was also tricky to get it apart! There is a lot of movement, but it wasn't obvious to me how to proceed.
Ze RD: Evil Twins - Stuart Gee & Stephen Chin
The outer shell and middle shell opened like I expected (a move Stephen loves), but the innermost puzzle has an interesting 3-piece coordinate motion. Quite clever!
Rhombic Maze Burr - Derek Bosch
The goal is to remove the "exit plate", the only plate that has a maze path that leads to its edge. In this picture, it is the plate on the top.
I knew this puzzle was in the works, so I was quite excited to give it a try! I am a big fan of Kagen Schaefer's Maze Burr (which won Puzzle of the Year in 2006), so this looked like it would be interesting. It has twice as many sides, which makes for even more potential configurations of the maze panels.
The initial configuration started out pretty linearly, with each move logically following after the next, but midway through things got a bit more complex. Good fun! I'm hoping to get a copy if Derek starts selling it at some point.
Ring and Cherries on a Stick - Dimitar Vakarelov
The goal is to remove the ring, but the cherries get in the way! It is a fairly simple looking disentanglement puzzle that actually is quite challenging.
When I ran across this one, it was a bit of a tangled mess, so I set myself to cleaning it up. After a little while, I had it back to the starting position but didn't have any idea how to actually solve it! I fiddled with it for a bit, but eventually gave up.
Six of One, Half a Dozen of the Other - Junichi Yananose
I worked on this one a few different times, and kept getting stuck after a few moves, there is a lot of movement which makes it difficult to tell how to proceed. Also, some of the moves require a group of pieces to move together, further adding to the difficulty. Tricky puzzle and very impressive at this size!
Slide Twist Twist Slide - Tony Fisher
The goal is to assemble the pieces into a 3x4x4 block. The catch? Each of the pieces has a 2x2x2 Rubik's Cube at its center, so you can reconfigure each of the pieces. You need to get them each in the correct configuration, then assemble them.
It is innovative, which is probably what the judges saw in giving it an honorable mention, but I think it is too difficult for my taste. I think even if the correct initial configuration of the pieces was given, it would be a challenge to assemble them.
Snake Case - Hiroaki Hamanaka
There was a key detail that I noticed which led me to the solution, it is pretty clever! One of my favorites in the competition this year.
Symmetrick - Vesa Timonen
I actually got a copy of this at IPP32 and had a heck of a time figuring it out, it's another one of those puzzles that takes advantage of the way you tend to solve these things. Eventually, I just tried an exhaustive approach, since there's only so many ways it can go together! A very clever puzzle, nice and compact, and definitely worth getting a copy. Another great design by Vesa!
Well that's all for today! Tomorrow, the final part of this 6-part series.
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