September 24, 2014

2014 Puzzle Design Competition (Part 5)

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.

7-4-2 - Lucie Pauwels

The goal is to make two crosses with the seven pieces. The first cross is pretty easy, but getting the second one is more challenging and a clever idea.

Simpleda - Ede Gergényi and Péter Gál

This string disentanglement uses a split and curved piece of wood, which I thought was an unusual choice. Typically you'd see wire here, but it worked pretty well other than the sharp edges on the wood catching the string a bit. The puzzle was a moderately challenging string disentanglement, I think it took me about 5-10 minutes, so not exceedingly difficult.

Six Cube - Evgeniy Grigoriev

This puzzle looks like a burr, but it actually rotates like a Rubik's Cube! This is pretty surprising when you pick it up, but it solves like a twisty puzzle. I'm not much into twisty puzzles, so I didn't dare to scramble this one up.

Six Locks: Two Keys - Simon Nightingale

The goal is to open the box using the keys, but the keys start off inside the box! This puzzle won the Jury Grand Prize.

It wasn't too tricky to free the keys, but actually opening the lid is quite challenging. Fiddling with the various locks started to reveal a pattern, and eventually I had it open. Looking at the solution, I was making some unnessary moves, but it still did the trick. Very clever box and mechanism! I always love to see what Simon has come up with.

Six Ring Circus - Eric Harshbarger

The goal is to assemble the six rings into a sphere. I was able to get most of them together, since the info sheet showed an assembled version I could tell which pieces went where, but getting that last piece in proved to be more difficult! I ended up getting kicked out of the design competition room when it closed, so I had to quit, and I didn't return to this one.

The 69 Puzzle - George Miller

The idea is that you can assemble the cube to make the number 69 when you add up all the external faces. I'm not a big fan of doing math while I'm solving a puzzle, so I opted just to make a cube, which isn't hard at all (of course). Getting the numbers you want on the outside would be more challenging!

Skewered Cubes - Tom Lensch

The goal is to put the two blocks and the divider in the box and close the lid. A simple matter of permutations, right? It turns out to be a bit more complicated than that. It was a bit too difficult for my taste in this type of puzzle, since it took a lot of fiddling to see that a straightforward approach wouldn't work.

Slidoku - Simon Nightingale

A combination of a sliding block puzzle and a sudoku puzzle, the 3x3 frames move and so do the pieces within the frames. The goal is to solve the sudokup by sliding the pieces around. There are some hints marked on the wood regarding which pieces should end up where, but it is still quite challenging! I didn't have time to finish this one.

Space Axis - Osanori Yamamoto

The goal of this puzzle is to assemble the three pieces. I liked the use of the contrasting light and dark woods. Since there are only three pieces and there aren't many ways to place them, there isn't much trial and error involved. The puzzle is more about the movements of the pieces to get them into place, which is the part I enjoy.

Sunleaf - Gondos Gábor

The goal is to place the pieces in the tray. When I came around to this one, it looked terribly tedious and difficult, but due to the shape of the pieces it is actually fairly simple. Once you get going, the pieces only seem to go together one way, which makes it more like a jigsaw puzzle than a tray packing puzzle. The final solution has a nice rotational symmetry.

Symptomino - Péter Gál

The goal is to create a symmetric polyomino with 2, 3, and all 4 pieces. These symmetry problems can be tricky challenging, but I didn't find it too tough to figure out the 2 and 3 piece solution. Unfortunately, I didn't have time to find the 4 piece solution.

Stay tuned for Part 6 tomorrow!

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