September 18, 2014

2014 Puzzle Design Competition (Part 2)

This is a continuation in my series of posts about the puzzles in the 2014 Puzzle Design Competition. All photos are by Nick Baxter from the 2014 Design Competition website.

Coronation Cube - Richard Gain

The goal is to assemble the seven pieces into a 5x5x5 cube. I have enough trouble with 4x4x4, so I wasn't particularly optimistic about being able to solve this one in the limited time I had (particularly considering the number of possible placements for each piece).

I played with it for a short while, but ended up having to move on, so unfortunately I can't say much about it! I wish I could have spent more time with it.

Cross Links - Michail Toulouzas

The goal is to disassemble and reassemble the puzzle. It is very nicely crafted and looks like a really beautiful puzzle. Unfortunately, the wood unavoidably gets a bit dinged up during the solving process, which is a shame since it is so pretty.

If I remember correctly, taking it apart isn't much of a challenge, but getting it back together is where the puzzle lies. Still, not too challenging once you see what's going on. It wasn't super clear that you haven't assembled it correctly, a lot of people just stuck it back on the stand thinking it was done. The pieces should be seated snugly together when it is complete.

Cubic Dress - Yasuhiro Hashimoto

The goal is to completely cover the cube with fabric. The clip is handy to keep it from slipping off when you're done. It seems like fabric is becoming more popular in puzzles recently!

It seemed impossible at first, since there's not enough fabric to do it the more obvious way, but with a bit of fiddling I was able to figure it out by thinking about how much fabric I had and how to use it most efficiently.

Day and Night - Dimitar Vakarelov

The goal is to swap the positions of the black and white ring. It is hard to see in the picture, but there is a clear plastic sleeve in the middle. I liked that the sleeve was clear so you could see what was going on inside.

I don't consider myself very good at puzzles with flexible elements like this, but I ended up getting through this one without too much trouble. It didn't seem to get tangled much, which is always a good thing in a puzzle like this.

Diagonal Slit Folding Paper #1 - Tsugumitsu Noji

The goal is to separately make two images (IPP/34 and LON/DON) by folding the paper. This type of folding puzzle is often given as a gift in the bag of stuff you get at IPP or left on the table as entertainment, but not often seen in the design competition.

I didn't find it particularly challenging to solve, typically you can reason your way into which way the folds should go based on the image you're trying to get, but the slit in the middle made this one more tricky. One downside to this type of puzzle is that once somebody solves it, you can sort of follow the way the paper has already been folded.

Digi Fork-Lock - Namick Salakhov

The goal is to remove the slider and then return it to its original position.

There have been a lot of this style of puzzle recently, and I'm not sure what differentiates this one. Generally, I think it works best if only one set of pieces moves (the ones going through the n-ary sequence), or maybe that plus a slider. This has a set of switches as well to enable the mechanism, which just adds additional moves without gaining much.

Don't Shout Box - Phil Tomlinson

The goal is to open and close the box. I like the way the curved inlay looks, and it is nicely crafted by Phil. The solution isn't too tricky to find and it reveals two compartments. The solution has a nice symmetry, though perhaps adding additional steps to get to the second compartment would have been interesting.

Dubio 64A - Lucie Pauwels

This puzzle has two goals: assemble a 4x4x4 cube and assemble two cubes simultaneously.

This puzzle has a lot of pieces, so I didn't spend much time on either challenge. Taking a peek at the solution, the second challenge is clever, I wished I had attempted it. I'm not sure I would have figured it out.

Ei Ei Ei - Albert Gübeli

The goal is to assemble the four pieces on the
base into a rhombic dodecahedron such that the outside is all the same color.

Two of the pieces have rotating elements, and I found it fairly simple to determine the correct orientation and placement for the pieces. A simple puzzle that would be pretty accessible to a non-puzzler.

The Fairy's Door Puzzle Box - Michail Toulouzas

This is a puzzle box that won the Puzzler's Award (most votes by IPP attendees). It has some sequential discovery elements, which I always enjoy. I think it was received well because it draws you in quickly, the first few steps are pretty easy. The following steps are more complicated, but still pretty accessible to most puzzlers with a few nice surprises along the way.

On top of all of this, it is a really beautiful puzzle, and I liked the whimsical theme of a Fairy's Door. The only complaint I heard was that the door tends to slam shut on you, which maybe could be fixed by making the hinges a bit tighter. Awesome puzzle!

Five Worms - Frederic Boucher

The goal of this one is to assemble the five worms such that the felt layer glued to the worms fits within the area defined by the worms. I have difficulty with these dual-layer assembly puzzles, so I wasn't able to figure this one out in the time I had. I spent about 5-10 minutes on it without any luck.

Stay tuned for Part 3 tomorrow!


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    Japanische Puzzlebox

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