September 25, 2014

2014 Puzzle Design Competition (Part 6)

This is the final post in my series about the puzzles in the 2014 Puzzle Design Competition . All photos are by Nick Baxter from the 2014 Design Competition website.

Tel Arad - Yael Meron

The goal is to fold the pieces into a three-layer stack. The rectangular pieces are joined by string, which can be slid around to some degree to position the pieces where you'd like them.

I had a good time solving this one, folding problems tend to involve a bit of logic and a bit of trial and error. You can see which pieces need to be adjacent to which pieces based on whether there is string joining them. Yael had a smaller version of this as her exchange puzzle.

Tetra-Pack - Ton Brouwer

The goal is to remove the cube from the tetrahedron and put it back in. This puzzle was one of the Top 10 Vote Getters.

The assembled puzzle looks great, with the points of the cube poking out the sides of the tetrahedron. It was disassembled when I found it, so I tried putting the pieces back in. It turns out that the tetrahedron likes to block you at every turn, the first few pieces are easy but then I started getting stuck. I would have liked to spend more time with this one, it is a neat design.

Thor´s Hammer - Stephan Baumegger

The goal is to disassemble and reassemble the burr. I loved the theme of this one, but it ends up being quite a tricky burr! I was able to get a number of moves along, but it just kept going. I meant to return to this one but didn' thave time.

3 Celestial Stars - Stewart Coffin, Stephen Chin, George Bell

Three different assemblies based on the stellated rhombic dodecahedron, each by a different designer and crafted by Stephen Chin. Each assembly comes apart differently, it is quite an interesting geometry with some nice coordinate motion.

3 Pentagons - Koshi Arai

The goal is to make a flat symmetric shape, there are three solutions. I had a tough time with two-piece Symmetric so I wasn't too optimistic about this three-piece puzzle which seemed similar. I didn't have a chance to figure this one out.

Trinity - Michail Toulouzas

The goal is to disassemble and re-assemble the pieces. I had a pretty easy time of doing both of these, which makes me think that I was missing something. Perhaps I just lucked out!

Two Dogs - Diniar Namdarian

The goal is to exchange the position of the two dogs to make them face one another. It is another challenging sliding block puzzle. I really should practice more of these, I had a tough time with this one!

Whitebox - Volker Latussek

The goal is to insert the ball in the maze on one side and navigate it to the other side. I wasn't sure if there was some trick to this one, but I ended up being able to solve it pretty easily with some random shaking and tilting.

Well, that's all for this year's design competition, I hope you enjoyed it! I know I've been slacking off on the blog recently, but hopefully I'll be getting started with more regular posts again.


  1. Fabulous review Brian. Really appreciate your interesting reflections on the puzzles.

  2. These writeups are great. I can't imagine how many people are reading and enjoying them, for each person that chooses to actually write a thank you comment.

    (Also, I couldn't figure out how to use the Comment As feature on my iPad. I'll have to try again later.)

    Thanks again.

  3. You could try contacting him on Facebook:


Please don't post spoilers! Thanks for commenting!

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