Kellian and I had been traveling around Tokyo and Nikko a bit before IPP, so check out my travel blog to read about that.
Yesterday Kellian and I made our way from Nikko back to Tokyo for the start of the 33rd International Puzzle Party! We arrived around 4:30 and got registered and settled before heading down to the lobby hang out with fellow puzzlers, most of whom I only get a chance to see once a year!
Vesa Timonen (designer of Cast Loop) was there, with a few of his puzzles. He had two puzzle rings that I don't think I had a chance to try before, as well as a cute interlocking ball puzzle that he gave me. Thanks Vesa!
Roxanne Wong was there too, rocking a massive puzzle ring bracelet/arm band designed by Bram Cohen and Oskar van Deventer. Quite cool!
We all hung out for a while before the founder's reception, where Jerry Slocum gave a short speech and welcomed the new members of IPP. This year, each new invitee was asked to give a quick introduction, which was a great way to see who the new folks were!
As you probably know, my favorite part of IPP is getting to play with the design competition puzzles, so I rushed over to the design competition room as soon as it opened after dinner. There were a bunch of cool puzzles (check out the list here), but unfortunately I only had time to try about 10-15 of them before the room closed at midnight!
The following day was the puzzle exchange, where participants bring a bunch of copies of a single puzzle and exchange it with other participants' puzzles. A great way to get a bunch of new puzzles! I didn't participate, but I assisted Stephen Chin.
Here's the table of exchange puzzles from a bunch of different angles. Too much stuff to talk about it all: Stephen Chin's De Doe Dak Ka is in the center, the jar above and to the left is an impossible object involving Hanayama Cast Puzzles in a jar, and Scott Elliott's Peppermint is the red and white doodad above and to the right of center.
There were two puzzle boxes, which you can see in the photo below: Peter Hajak's Sri Lanka Box (the octagonal wooden shape at 3:00) and Atsushi Katagiri's Cube 2013 in the green box in the center. Unfortunately, nothing by Kathleen Malcolmson or Perry McDaniel this year!
After the puzzle exchange, I camped out in the design competition room for about 6 hours until the banquet at 7:00. Time flies when you're puzzling! There were some lectures, but I decided to skip those and spend more time in the puzzle room.
The banquet was quite tasty, and it was nice getting a bit of a break from puzzling to socialize! As entertainment after dinner, they had a number of magicians and a juggler.
After the show was over, you can probably guess where I ended up: another 2 hours in the design competition room before it closed at midnight. Good thing it closed, or I'd still be there rather that writing this!
Tomorrow, the puzzle party where folks buy and sell puzzles!
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