March 23rd 2016

De Land's CIRCLE

March 10th 2016

 SLIDA®   Puzzle Ball

    According to Sydney business man and entrepreneur, Gianni Lavermicocca -- Founder and CEO of SLIDA®:

"SLIDA® is a world-first, Australian-invented 3D puzzle, designed for people of all ages. After winning a Gold Medal at the International Exhibition of Inventions in Geneva, SLIDA® is predicted to be the next Rubik’s cube.

    The puzzle features an interlocking technology system that expands creativity and mental capacity. Its aim is to provide a fun yet purposeful challenge for children and adults, enhancing development and problem-solving skills.

    In today’s tech-driven world, there is a lack of traditional games such as 3D puzzles, which can lead to developmental difficulties. After 23 years of extensive research, Lavermicocca invented a tactile, interactive puzzle that would help people learn and grow through cognitive challenges. SLIDA® is set to build the next generation of thinkers."

pieces                                                 twin pack (gumball & Jelly) >>>

Purchase can be either for a single ball or a twin-pack.

To solve any SLIDA® puzzle, pieces must slide and interlock in the correct sequence. The dovetail slides are tapered, so engagement can only be from the wider end.

The SLIDA® Story :

    The SLIDA® journey began in 1992. Back then SLIDA® was only a foam ball that had been cut with a hot wire machine. I built several prototypes in this way but it was never ready for a big production run.

    It wasn’t until 2013, when my son was in a work placement with Sydney-based Design Momentum that I really could get things moving. The advent of 3D printing technology meant that we could model various prototypes to begin fine tuning the design & get it ready.

    After 23 years SLIDA® is finally here. The SLIDA® team has worked hard to get here. Everywhere we go with SLIDA®, we see friends coming together, families teaching & helping one another and everyone from zero to 102 loving the challenge.

The SLIDA puzzle is of exceptional quality. The sliding dovetails are of precision exactness, uniquely tapered at one end so that fitting the pieces together has to begin at the wider end. The plastic used in its fabrication is measured by its high rigidity without the brittleness that usually accompanies it. The varied colors and outward 'fin' effects give it exquisitely delicate and aesthetically, pleasing qualities; the gratifying feel in one's hand exhibiting a charming and delightful touch. All joining seams mesh with an absolute exactitude.

Watch the founder express how the project started, and eventually came to a conclusion . . .  here 

March 3rd 2016 >

cast Hexagon     SOLD

<<< This picture depicts the fact that the pieces are not just placed within the frame . . . . . they engage both sides of the black frame .

All 3 pieces eventually come away from the frame through the large void.

The following 3 pictures show comparisons of where the particular piece is in the frame, at the position where it exits from it, through the large void . . . . . and . . . . . in the order of their removal.

January 28th 2016 >

Rubik's . . . raised spots . . . regular 9-cubelet face (from ebay member craig177 -- China)     SOLD

A nice version with a clear body core and raised color spots . Also, the twisting action is very loose . . .
~ excellent for speed-cubing ~

February 19th 2015

clear Lucite ball . . . from ebay member katesimplesale     SOLD

Rare 1970s vintage clear Lucite puzzle ball . . . Dorothy Thorpe Era . . . measuring 2¾" in girth .

Another version of this is done in brass, by Rocky Chiaro.

Most simple 6-pc burr 'star' puzzles -- which have similar solutions with this ball puzzle -- have all 6 pieces identical, with 2 notches. This ball puzzle is slightly different, in that 3 pieces have 2 notches . . . 2 pieces have 3 notches . . . one piece (the 'key') has no notches . . . which makes this one a tad simpler to do.

January 7th 2015

Tubular Burr Box   . . . 9 laser-cut wood pcs     SOLD
(from ebay member luckbuy2014

                                                                                     pieces >>>

A design by Ronald Kint-Bruynseels (1988) .
In the picture of the pieces, the letter   'A'   piece starts the re-assembly; and continues on from there alphabetically .

December 24th 2014 >

HEXCROSS   . . . coordinate motion

                                                            inner & outer views >>>

Six identical pieces form this exquisite puzzle.

According to the fine folks at  PuzzleMaster  , "Exquisite wood puzzles that you would be hard pressed to find anywhere else in the world. The workmanship on each puzzle is so fantastic that we can't even begin to describe it. Each piece is made with loving care as if the master craftsman was making them for royalty. There is a full range of puzzles from very small to extremely large puzzles" .

Vaclav 'Vinco' Obsívac is the extraordinary artist/craftsman behind this puzzle . . . and others like it, as seen on PuzzleMaster's website (logo at the top of every one of my pages).

And, according to the complimentary words as described by the folks at the  Age of Puzzles  ,
"Wooden puzzles which are thoroughly designed and crafted by Vaclav Obsívac are so perfect that they can be described as a Harmony in Wood. Just browse through all of his puzzle creations (more than 170 at the moment!) and you will hear that Harmony."

September 17th 2014


According to the fine folks at PuzzleMaster, "As the name implies, there is a hidden trick inside the cylinder puzzle.  There is absolutely no hint or clue on how to start from the outside appearance.  If there is one hint that we can provide, it is to go about it as if you were cracking open a safe.  Enjoy finding the solution while pretending to be a spy cracking open a safe with a shaken not stirred martini by your side.  The theme is "lock".

Designed by Vesa Timonen from Finland .

You can see the solution  here

You can see the video solution on YouTube  here

(This video is what helped me the most.   AWESOME !   I always thought that the 3 vertical pcs were identical.
Only 2 are identical . . . the third is the 'key' to the whole solution. The video will explain why.)

Once you find where the inside ridge voids are within the 2 outer rings, put masking tape on the outside of both rings (as long as the voids are -- so that each end of the tape strips coincide with each end of the inside ridges). This way, you always know where they are throughout the rest of the solution.

note: just to add some helpful hints here . . . . .

* each of the 3 pieces are 1/3 of a circle (120º)

* after finding the synchronized position for the voids inside the 2 rings, while holding the 2 rings from moving with one hand, with thumb and forefinger of the other hand (thumb underneath the rings, forefinger on top), rotate the 3 pieces until a piece suddenly drops down partially through the rings . . . holding both rings from rotating, place a finger inside the rings and move all 3 pieces counter-clockwise to the next 120º location .

If the pieces resist moving, try the next piece to drop, again placing a finger inside the rings and try to move all 3 pieces counter-clockwise to the next 120º location .

Again, if resistance is met, try the 3rd piece. If after trying all 3 pieces, and the entire group resists moving, you have the assembly upside down.

Turn the puzzle over and try again. You may want to mark an arrow on the masking tape so that it indicates where the 'top' of the puzzle is supposed to be . . . or . . . put a tiny piece of masking tape on top of the 'key' piece (off to the side from where you'll ne touching it).

* after continuing to hold the synchronized position for the voids inside the 2 rings, while holding the 2 rings from moving with one hand, with thumb and forefinger of the other hand (thumb underneath the rings, forefinger on top), again rotate the 3 pieces until a piece suddenly drops down partially through the rings . . . this will be your 'key' piece (but, not the first piece to be removed)

* after the 'key' piece partially drops, continuing to hold both rings from rotating, place a finger inside the rings and move all 3 pieces counter-clockwise to the next 120º location (inline with the void position of the 2 rings -- where the masking tape is)

* the piece (one of the twins) to the left of the 'key' piece will drop further down from the 'key' piece

* rotate the rings counter-clockwise again, only about halfway towards the next 120º location . . . the twin piece will now disengage from the assembly . . . the other 2 pieces can now easily be removed from the assembly.

September 13th 2014


According to the fine folks at PuzzleMaster, "Like the swirling shape of the galaxy…that is why this puzzle was named Galaxy.

It is not that difficult to solve but one becomes totally mesmerized by the pieces that move freely. It is more difficult to put them back together than to take them apart. Take a good look at how the pieces move when taking them apart so you can put them back together again.

The theme is knot and was designed by Bram Cohen from the United States."

August 2014

Rob's Pyraminx

Received this from my collector friend Rob Stegmann .

Thanks Rob !    Greatly appreciated .

According to the fine folks at Shapeways, "Rob's Pyraminx was suggested at Rob Stegmann's puzzle  website.    . . . (according to Rob, "The illustration below is my attempt to provide a fun "map" of the Twisty Polyhedra puzzle landscape" )  When analyzing all twisty puzzles with a tetrahedral geometry, Rob found an edge-less pyraminx design that has not yet been implemented. Here it is. It has a Skewb* mechanism inside, so the puzzle is a shape mod* of the Skewb*."

This puzzle is now mass-produced as 'Pyraminx Duo' by Mefferts.

* SKEWB : The Skewb (/ˈskjuːb/) is a combination puzzle and a mechanical puzzle in the style of Rubik's Cube. It was invented by Tony Durham and marketed by Uwe Mèffert. Although it is cubical in shape, it differs from Rubik's construction in that its axes of rotation pass through the corners of the cube rather than the centres of the faces. There are four such axes, one for each space diagonal of the cube. As a result, it is a deep-cut puzzle in which each twist affects all six faces.

* SHAPE MOD : Non-doctrinaire puzzle which can be shape modded to a doctrinaire * puzzle. The Fisher Cube is a shape mod, as is the Mixup Cube.

* DOCTRINAIRE : A puzzle where if you were to remove all the coloration, then every single position would look exactly the same. The Rubik's Cube is a doctrinaire puzzle, as is the Skewb and Megaminx

cast DELTA . . . from Amazon seller Santa Trading Japan    SOLD

                                                                                             partial opening >>>

According to the fine folks at  PuzzleMaster  , "It is the brain-child of Hong Kong native Kyoo Wong who, with the eye of an engineer, has worked on a number of cast puzzles. While simple in form, its geometry somehow challenges and stirs up our creativity. The theme is the number three."

note: this is the point one wants to get at -- where the 3 points form a triangular space -- after which, even /\ though it being a tight fit, with a little jiggling and constant pull-apart pressure, the points slide past each other to separate the pieces, as noted further below.

. . . . . pieces

Why is it called Delta? It closely resembles the fourth capital letter of the Greek alphabet Δ
(an Isosceles Triangle -- 2 sides are equal in length, the base is shorter).
However, the puzzle is an Equilateral Triangle (all 3 sides are equal in length).

I guess the Hanayama folks decided it was close enough to give it the name 'Delta'.

Made of brass, it is finished with an aged bronzed look.
The appearance gives the puzzle a high quality appearance.
The size is small, but feels sturdy and comfortable to handle and maneuver.
It is triangular shaped, and measures 5.7 x 5 x 1cm (2.2" x 2" .4").

The Cast Delta really stands out by its simple and yet elegant design. Because the construction is brass, it unfortunately has that characteristic smell that it leaves in your hands. It does have an advantage, though, due to its rugged texture it hardly gets scratched, unlike some puzzles that have an extra coating finish.

Before attempting to solve it, the solution is thought to be a simple coordinate-motion technique . . . just separate the three pieces, pulling on them simultaneously. Upon noticing the hooks on each of the pieces, one immediately concludes that there is something else to it other than simply pulling on the pieces at the same time, although this is partly true. The ingenious part is, however, hidden from view inside the puzzle, so you need to figure out how the pieces must be separated.

All you can see is a slight view of the inside just a few millimeters long . . . and way inside, a small rod that fits into the hook on the end of each piece . . . . .
(once you've got the pieces separated, of course).

These rods most likely are the parts of the puzzle pieces that keep all 3 pieces together without just coming apart on its own.

A little fiddling separates the 3 pieces from their rods, but a further maneuver must be reached
(the center of the puzzle where one can see the tips of all 3 pieces (as noted by the left-hand pic)
-- formed into an
'equilateral triangle').

This is the crucial part that must be reached before further continuing trying to separate them.

Always holding 2 pieces at a time, if one position fails to separate all 3 pieces, rotate the puzzle to the next 2 holding pieces and try again.
(note: sometimes, you may want to use the forefinger of one of your hands to push against the 3rd piece while maneuvering the other 2 pieces . . . . .)

A little more fiddling and jiggling, and one will eventually find the 'sweet spot' . . . . .

Here, the triangle 'space' from above has finally been overcome, and movement is well on its way towards the '3-tip position' (below).

note: when separation is finally achieved, you will have noticed that hardly any force was needed at all, contrary to the opinions of some blogs.

Patience, perserverence and delicate maneuverings are all that are needed to achieve your goal here.
The puzzle is rated as a level 3/6

. . . . . but, why go through the hassle of a chance release, doing all that jiggling ? . . . . .
There's A Trick Maneuver Here !

Here's a little trick to help facilitate the quick finish of trying to separate your pieces . . .
Follow the next 5 pics and notice the direction of the vector forces involved :

After the core 'triangle' is made, focus your left hand to push in the 'up' direction, at the same time while using your right hand to pull in the 'down' direction . . . . .

push the index finger of your left hand against the 3rd section and push towards the right .

This extra force almost immediately helps release the 'triangle', thus . . . the 3 pieces .

The tips of all 3 pieces are touching . . . and now, separation is finally ready to be achieved.

Along with what you've just read above to help compliment the entire solution, you can see the basic solution PuzzleMaster has put forth . . .  here

Globe Burr Keychain . . . from eBay member ckymingstore

You can watch this  video  of a large wooden version for the solution.

Void 3x3x3 Twisty (white body) . . . from eBay member digital-mart8

Treble Clef puzzle box . . . from eBay member desertskygifts2013    G O N E

Decorative and functional, this uniquely, delicately handmade box is in the shape of a treble clef (synonymously also known as G-Clef), and is made up of four pieces (two interlocking). The contrasting colors and patterns of three kinds of imported hardwoods contribute to the natural beauty of this beautifully, hand-finished puzzle box, possibly made by Vietnamese artisans.

As with all handcrafted puzzle boxes of this kind, there isn't hardly much in the way of it being a challenging puzzle -- more as a conversation piece / collector's item, as opposed to Japanese puzzle boxes which have multiple sliding panels that range from the simplest with two moves, to a super CUBI puzzle box of 324 moves.

cast Harmony . . . from eBay member desertskygifts2013     SOLD

According to the fine folks at PuzzleMaster, "The “G clef” and “eighth note” intertwine and give off a beautiful note as if they’re playing music. The design, which does not resemble a puzzle at first glance, is beautiful to the eye as well as fun."

Theme: “Playing music”

Designed by Russian Dmitry Pevnitskiy and Kirill Grebnev

You can see the solution  here

Keltic Cube . . . from  Bits & Pieces     SOLD

Made of plated nickel and finished in attractive bronze, gold and black. Keltic Cube measures 3" x 3". Designed by Doug Engel. The puzzle contains six cleverly designed interlocking pieces. Unfortunately this hasn't much of a challenge in the puzzle department . . . more of a conversation piece.

CUBE (gold brushed-mirror) . . . from ebay member vickieandneo

Brushed Golden Metallic Sticker Mirror Block 3x3x3
Shifts shapes instead of colors

Rhombic Dodecahedron Twisty . . . from ebay member xyzmall-china

Pink Panther Diamond

Twisty Cake . . . from ebay member vickieandneo

                                                                                                           Different configurations >>>

Switzerland Cross Cube . . . from ebay member magiccube2012

The 'cross-shaped' pins slide out of the main cube structure, which itself remains intact (does NOT come apart). Two of the three 'cross-shaped' pins have different notch configurations.

Not very challenging.

Disappearing Square . . . from ebay member justpeachy56     SOLD

This is the starting position. You'll notice that there is a space in the exact center (deep blue) . The OBJECT: is to shift the same pieces around so that the space is now closed up .

* The small triangles are light tan .
* The large triangles are white .
* The L-shaped pieces are light red .
* The small squares are light blue .
* The hole : a deep blue .
It can be done.

Give up? Did you give it a good try? OK.    Then you can sneak a peak at the solution  here

4 U Tray Puzzle . . . origami version of a wooden puzzle by Khofuh Satoh

Designer: Francesco Mancini . . . Fold #13

A very nice Christmas present from my 11-year-old nephew, Travis -- a local award winner for his amazing paper-folding techniques -- who has his own  website displaying many of his origami creations. There are 2 short videos there also one can view showing the action of the items being shown.

His acclaim was acknowledged in an Origami competition in New York City winning several awards.

The OBJECT is to place all four pieces -- flat -- within the tray. Try it.

If you've given it a good try, and you still have no success, then you may delve into sneaking a peak into the  solution

Puzzle Pod Cryptex . . . from ebay member: ssmallnov

The cryptex unlocking code can be set to any five letter word of your choice.
This cryptex also has a cap with a slot on the bottom that allow it to be used as a coin and >>> money bank

Great gift container.

inside backside Non-Convex Bi-Half-Hexes wooden BOOK
<<< inside trays . . . . .
. . . from my good collector friend from Connecticut,
 Rob Stegmann . . . Thanks Rob !

                           . . . . . BOOK's backside >>>

For more info about this unique puzzle, click on the above link (Rob Stegmann) and scroll down to the September section.

closed BOOK of wood dovetailed front edge <<< The closed BOOK as seen from the front.

One has to push the top half backwards towards the binder until the dovetail separates >>>

<<< The binder is laser cut to an ultimate precision

                                                                                                                                                  Seven pieces >>>

Luban Lock Sphere . . . from ebay member " shinykingdom 49987 "

Luban Lock Sphere pcs >>>

cast Rattle . . . from a local store  Piece Time Puzzles   in Northwood, NH    SOLD

You can view its solution  here

. . . . . or . . . . .

You can view its solution on YouTube  here

E Z Atom . . . from  PuzzleMaster     SOLD

You can view its solution  here

Marble weighs          20.3g
Silver piece weighs   60.7g
Gold piece weighs     59.9g
Copper piece weighs 58.2g
for a Total of            199.1g (.438 lb)

18 -- PC BAMBOO PIN PUZZLE . . . from ebay seller : vickieandneo

14-BlockKongmingLockToy . . . from ebay seller : milancentral

Multi-Colored Plastic Hollow Box . . . from ebay seller : jetsoshop

Multi-colored intelligence ball (with 2 bells in center) . . . from ebay seller : Dragonmarts Company Limited

Cryptex . . . from ebay seller: 180tothemarker

Made of die-cast zinc alloy, with a surface treatment of plated bronze to give it that 'aged' look.

Total outside length = 4.95"
Outside diameter around letter rings = 1.94"
Inside diameter of 'key' cylinder = 1.09"
Total length of inside 'key' cylinder = 2.660"
Total weight = 563g (1.213 lbs)

Knot Cross (Kong Ming Lock Puzzle)    SOLD

You can view its solution  here

Criss Cross Cube . . . . . from  Bits & Pieces     SOLD

According to the fine folks at Bits & Pieces, " . . . 9 intricately laser cut wooden laminate pieces . . . A remarkable challenge designed by Derek Corbin. It measures 2" x 2" x 2". "

You can view the solution  here

P Y R A M Y S T E R Y . . . LiveCube style
This whopping titan is made from 160 (1.5 cm) cubelets and spans 6" between any two pyramid points.

It weighs 332.9 grams (.73 lb)

I used the same four colors (my blue is darker than BurrTools' blue) as displayed by the BurrTools animated program solution (far right).

You can download the solution file to save in your system (provided you have the BurrTools program)

C & U wire puzzle

. . . A very nice 'hefty' gift from my good friend -- and Connecticut's only seriously avid puzzle collector --
 Rob Stegmann  .

Thanks Rob.

Here is what I call a simply, tricky puzzle :  simple, once you know how it works. But tricky in its simplicity.
The 'key' maneuver is hidden in plain sight.

The wire is a whopping 1/4" thick. Set flat on a table surface (free of tension), it measures 5 + 7/8" long. Under tension, you could pull it another 3/8" (for a total of 6 + 1/4" in length)

For all of you who get easily frustrated, you can view the solution  here

cast COIL

According to the fine folks at  PuzzleMaster  , "It appears like a box-like lump with a hole in it, but is actually comprised of two coiled up virtually identical pieces. You must try to take it apart by sliding and rotating the pieces. Although the pieces are angular in shape, they can be rotated in unexpected ways, making their movements quite intriguing. The theme of the puzzle is Loops."

You can view the solution  here

Kongming Luban Lock Ball    SOLD

Zhuge Kongming is well-known to every household in China. He is known to everybody because his wisdom is far more than ordinary people. So Kongming Lock as traditional educational puzzle toys have been seen as the symbol of wisdom.

It is said that the toy was invented by Zhuge Kongming some 2,000 years ago based on the principles of the eight-diagram metaphysics. It was widely popular among the folks. The concave and convex parts inside the three-dimensional interpolation toy mesh perfectly. Kongming Locks come in different shapes and sizes, with different internal structures, but they are usually easy to take apart . . . and difficult to reassemble.

You can view the solution  here

cast H & H . . . from eBay seller: riscoutmaster

There are two 'H' pieces that need to be separated. Out of a scale between 1 to 10, this is a gruelling 9. Very difficult.

The first pic to the left displays the two pieces from a front view.
Notice the RH piece; this is the main orientating piece to the solution.
It has Hanayama's name stamped onto it.

The second pic are the same two pieces from the backside.

note: . . . after disassembly has been established, when you go to re-connect, the 'unstamped' piece only has one way to join the main piece; so you don't have to worry about orientation when you start to reassemble the puzzle.

You can view the solution  here

           BishopsCube 8-cublet                                                                    SOLD                                                BishopsCube 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."

Gordian Knot/Loony Loop (disentanglement/topological puzzle) . . . from eBay

According to the seller puzzler2 -- from Michigan, "You are bidding on a hardwood Looney Loop puzzler about 11 inches long by 3 inches wide, in fine condition and comes with its own display holder. Made by Btis & Pieces and in its original box, the puzzle comes with a solution."

Zig Zag Knot . . . from  ThinkFun

You can view the solution  here

Steady State Cube                                                                                                                 'steady state'
This is my version of Rich Gain's very clever and famous Microcubology cube "  Steady State Cube   - from his store at  Shapeways   - made out of  LiveCube's  cubelets .

The outside geometry looks similar to LiveCube's  3D Cross Puzzle  , except instead of having 4 cublets on each of the six sides, the "Steady State Cube" has 16 cubelets on each of the six sides! . . . and . . . the 4 center cubelets protrude out from the main 'plate' of each side.

This cube is a whopping approximation of 4 13/16", as viewed in my hand. There are 182 cubelets (with 2 internal voids for movement), all of which weigh 13.32 ounces! (378 grams)

The cube in the pic to the far right is in a final relatively stable state (a 'Steady State') -- after the 6th/top piece was added during assembly (actually, it's the 5th/front piece that affords the stability -- the 6th piece locks it all in place). The next/final step is to push in all six sides (in sequence).

note: the 5th/front yellow piece during the 'stabilization' process is now the 1st piece to start the final 'push-in' sequence of the solution, as noted in the listing below (front/yellow, top/red, left/green, bottom/red, back/yellow, right/green).

the 'twist' movement                                                                                                                                     'unstable state'
<<< The 6th piece to assemble, making a twisting motion into the structure.

Top & front views showing front/yellow piece at the Point Of Disengagement >>>

       > > > > > > Far right: 'unstable state'
without the front/yellow piece.

Each pair of sides has a single color:

yellow = front & back = steps 1 & 5
green = left & right = steps 3 & 6
red = top & bottom = steps 2 & 4

You can view the solution of the original Rich Gain's Shapeways' Steady State microcube on  You Tube  .

                  Bill Wylie                                                                                                                                  Hexidecimal Puzzle (copy)
Bill served an apprenticeship as a cabinetmaker in Scotland a long time ago.   The company he worked for specialized in the repair of antiques, so the work was of very high quality.   He moved to Australia in the mid fifties and eventually started a furniture-making/repair business, and a general building business, with the help of his two sons (both carpenters).

He has since retired a number of years ago, and has now brought to the puzzle genre a resurgence of the famed and rare Hexadecimal Puzzle (16 puzzles in one).

He has recently started selling his new item on eBay.
The eBay page viewed here has since ended, but he will continue to start new pages.

All new auction winners are encouraged to email me with their names so that I may be able to enter them onto my special  Hall Of Hexadecimal Owners  page (as 'copy' owners).

The wood Bill used for this puzzle was Tasmanian Myrtle .