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My Biography
Craftsman / Collector

Poiometagrobologist : one who designs puzzles
Metagrobologist : one who makes and solves puzzles
Microxylometagrobologist : one who makes miniature puzzles
. . . . . . . . . . a compilation of utter vanquishment . . . . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . . . an assemblage of total frustration . . . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . . . and a little bit of everything . . . . . . . . .

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Balancing Nails   Bishop Cubes   How Many Squares   Matchstick Cube   Magic Chain   PYRAMYSTERY   Saddle The Horses  

       8-cublet                                                                                                                                                        27-cubelet
According to the fine folks at  Bishop Cubes , "Bishop Cubes® are the evolution of a new shape in puzzles. It’s the shape-shifting puzzle game that lets you create your own challenges."

This extraordinary, brand new invention merges two classic toys: the builder’s set and the cube puzzle. The result is a Set of Cubes that can shape-shift to be transformed from one shape to another.

Bishop Cubes® are a medium for your hands and mind to explore the three-dimensions of space. Let your inner genius out to play with this tactile, kinetic, shape-shifting puzzle. Slide and click the interlocking Cubes into new positions to create a vast variety of amazing configurations."

The next two pics of the toy, Jacob's Ladder, are not part of my collection; they were just added here to head my description of the item that follows:   Magic Chain .

Jacob's Ladder . . . the toy
Back in the 50s (this toy probably dates back as far as, or further than, 1352 B.C.), when I was just a young child , a flip-flop toy known as  Jacob's Ladder -- how to make  came to my attention .   This toy was so named for the biblical Jacob who saw a ladder leading from earth to heaven in a vision, . . . . ."   "And he dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending upon it. (Genesis 28:12)" Jacob's Ladder -- angels  

These next two pics below, however, are part of my collection, but set aside as just a toy, not as a puzzle .   Being a 3D version (with the dog's head) of the basic toy, I couldn't help but purchase it off eBay .

Originally made of wood or strong cardboard, plain (like above). . . or with various decorative patterns on its rectangular surfaces -- or with 3D figure representations (as in the pics to the left), holding the flip-flop in a vertical position, one would allow the 'free' block to start its way down - alternating its descent by flipping on one side, and flopping on the other - the entire 'chain' of blocks until it settled on the bottom .

Magic Chain
ENTER . . . the Modern version, incorporating the use of metal rings .

This amusing toy will boggle anyone's mind.   Everyone will see the ring falling from the top of the chain . . . to the bottom end of the chain, but all the rings are solidly connected.   So how is it possible?

. . . find out how to work it . . .  H E R E  .

Matchstick Puzzle Cube

    One of the most complex of the matchstick puzzles (in 3D), this cube is held together with nothing more than the match heads themselves -- no glue . . . no trick notches .
<<< This picture -- taken from the front paper cover of my hardcover 200-page puzzle book titled  Creative Puzzles of the World , authored by Pieter Van Delft and Jack Botermans, with 216 illustrations, 131 full-color pics, 1304 two-color and black & white drawings -- portrays a cube of basic design .   I don't know where the maker got the red matches with the yellow heads .   Perhaps matchstick manufacturers around the world offer varying color-schemes for their matchstick products .

As an aside :    as of Sunday, April 26, 2015 -- I've been given information by a good puzzle friend (Michel van Ipenburg) that the reason for the red matches with yellow heads is because they most likely are from The Netherlands. Michel remembers those matches, and Jack Botermans (one of the book's co-authors) is Dutch.   Thank you, Michel .

Another aside : Also, according to Ronald Kint-Bruynseels: "Those red & yellow matches are most probably made in Belgium by Union Match. Until the late 1970s (or 80s?) we rarely saw any other matches than these here in Belgium." Thank You, Ronald.

Unfortunately the book has no direct solution to give other than this statement: "Nothing holds the 114 matchsticks of this structure together except the skill of its design .   If you have determination and time to spare, give it a try .   The first phase of building is log-cabin technique -- one four-match square piled on top of another ."

This checkerboard-patterned cube was made by Mark, from Texas, a man with whom I've since began a friendship, and from whom I've had the priviledge of purchasing this mini-perplexity through E-Bay, with much patience and perserverance, has solved the mystery of its unique construction on his own, and has since developed and perfected a special technique of making it in an hour's time -- with first-time success, every time !

One just cannot imagine the amount of dexterity and patience one has to perform . . . and endure . . . to fascilitate a victorious assembly of one of these Little Titans . . . . . until one actually tries it !

Here's a treat:  matchstick cubes--in--bottles  !

These next 3 cubes were fabricated by another friend of mine, Johan Heyns, of South Africa, who, by sheer determination, created them on his own instead of acquiring them from another source .   The two larger cubes were made using 'long' matches, and 507 of them were required to complete the checkerboard version on the left .

The bottom cube is of 'normal' length . . . the most common of all matchsticks bought in a grocery or hardware store .

Saddle The Horses . . . a cardboard puzzle

According to the folks at  PuzzlePLAYGROUND  :

"Puzzle promoter Sam Loyd invented 'Saddle the Horse' in 1872. Loyd sold the concept to P.T. Barnum (of Barnum and Bailey circus fame), who handed out millions of them to circus-goers under the name "P.T. Barnum’s Trick Mules.

It has since taken on many variations, from clowns on donkeys to witches on black cats, and has delighted generations of puzzle lovers around the world. "

Arrange the three cards so that each rider is in his correct riding position on top of each horse, and that the horses are then in a full-out racing position .

For the solution, click  here  

    Balancing Act

Can you balance 6 nails on the head of a seventh, without any of the six nails touching anything below or above the head of the seventh?   Yes, it can be done .   But, probably not the way you may think . . . . .

Give up?     Go  here  for the solution .

How many squares do you see? 20? 24? 25? Click on pic to find out.


 Russian Puzzle 2   . . . solution for woosies is  here        Russian Puzzle 1  . . . solution for woosies is  here  

 Exceptional Puzzle Boxes      Everything you always wanted to know about puzzles .....

 SAM LOYD'S Cyclopedia Of Puzzles

 very Expensive Puzzles

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