Ecorider

Thursday, December 31, 2020

12 Days of Christmas PuzzlePalace style 2020. Day 6.

 6 New Brass Monkeys

We all know them. Those two gents from the UK who seriously must be over compensating for something with all this heavy metal hanging around. Really, these puzzles could have been made of plastic or wood and people would have been satisfied.  But noooo, they had to go the extra mile and make everyone who doesn't have these get brass envy.  I can't wait to see them come out with a set of brass (puzzle) balls.

First up we have the trio of Brass Monkey's: the classic one, two, and three.  These are tough little buggers. The first step is of course to work out how to get the protection off without breaking it.  The last thing anyone wants is broken protection. Then, there are these dumb buttons you have to push.  I broke a nail trying to solve one of these things.  George had much more luck than I did with them.


Next up we have the hyperboloid burr designed by Oskar.  This was an IPP exchange given out in wood.  As expected, these two had to go one better and Brass it up.  George played with this one at a DCD and when it became available we just had to grab it. 



Feed the monkey is yet a heavier puzzle from this duo. To keep this blog Rated G, I removed the rather large banana that Mrs. Monkey is eating.  This one is a packing puzzle in the extreme. This poor girl has to have 16 varying sizes of shaft inserted into her.  


With a grin like that, what's not to love.  Nova Plexus sounds like it could be  a good puzzle, but I've no idea because it came in and went right up to the metal room.  George was unimpressed that I had once again brought in shiny puzzles for him.  This pair comes in brass and stainless steel and will probably remain unfinished on the shelf until we get a real monkey over here to put it together.  


Kong.  Who doesn't want big brass rods?  I purchased this one from their Kickstarter campaign knowing it would be hidden away until Christmas.  Well, Christmas came and with it, 4 pounds of rock solid rods.  It now sits on the master bathroom counter waiting it's turn in the queue.


And here it is.  The one we've all been waiting for.  The Joy of Hex.  Yes, you see that right, this set has 4! boxes of hex pieces, it's very own manual of different positions and a hex aid for when you need a little extra help.  


All of these puzzles and more can be found at Two Brass Monkeys.
And yes, I have the Monkey's nuts.


5 Puzzle Rings

The colorful one on the left was made by Carl Hoff.  I believe it is called Wasp.  It can be purchased in a much smaller version at Puzzleringmaker. This particular version was sold to me at an IPP a few years back.  It's much to large even as a bracelet.  I can wear it around my  upper arm.

The large yellow one was made by Oskar and I'm sure you can still find it on his shapeways shop or on Puzzleringmaker.  Again, I bought this at an IPP many years ago.  At the time, it was raining and the dye had not quite set yet.  I looked like I had urine running down my arm from the dye. The green ring is also made by Oskar.  This one can be unwound and worn like a necklace.  This and other variations of it can be found on Oskar's shapeways shop.

The grey ring was made for me by George.  I wanted a puzzle ring that was attributed to Miguel Berrocal but was actually made by Antonio Bernardo. I didn't realize this at the time, and only later discovered taht his rings sell for upwards of $5000.  George made 3 copies of this ring.  We gave one to his son Joe and the other two are in my collection.  They were made on an SLA printer in Hong Kong, and he says as they are so much work, he'll never make another.  I'd love to have one made in metal and perhaps one day I'll send his design off to Thailand...This copy is sufficiently different from the original to not be a copy.  He didn't want to make me an exact duplicate. 

The final gold ring is my wedding band. It was designed by Oskar for George and me.  The difference between this ring and other puzzle rings is that all three bands can be separated when the ring is taken apart.  George's has a phallus like protrusion while you can see mine has an opening.  Yes, they can be combined in a rather interesting manner.  Oskar sells a rated G version called trinity ring on his shapeways page. 



4 (00+) Crystal Puzzles


I started putting these puzzles together Christmas of 2010. The bug and I went to the Toys Street with my then sister-in-law and my niece and nephew to look for some Christmas bag goodies.  We came across the 'bags in bags' store and discovered our first crystal puzzles.  (Not really, but this was the real start of our addiction.) We had a few from the toys fair in earlier years, but this year we found a bag of 20 for less than 1 US$ each.  We bought the bag, took all the duplicates, and gave the rest for goody bags.  This was the beginning of an obsession.  In Hong Kong, the kid and I assembled around 50 of the larger pieces and at least as many keychains.  When we left, her father refused to let us have them. No skin off my nose, I have friends in high places and managed to get all but 5 of my original puzzles back.  Now I hunt auction sites worldwide to find those missing pieces.  

These are simply 3D jigsaw puzzles.  Many come with solutions, but many more do not have them. Knowing how to read Japanese (yeah right!) helps.  But seriously, the google gods know all if you need it. I've found my own special feeling way of solving these puzzles.  Last night I managed to solve 6 dragons of 56 pieces each in less than 2 hours.  After a while it just becomes second nature.  If you haven't tried one yet, I recommend them as a good form of calm.  Perhaps that is why I like them so much.  I  just go into a zone when I'm puzzling in this way.  Very zen-like. 

Since the beginning of the quarantine, I have assembled 530 of these.  I just adjusted my spreadsheet. I guess this is a bit more than 400+!!!

3 3D Printers
My beautiful lover is the father of home 3D printing.  He bought his first many moons ago and spent a long time perfecting the art of 3D printing.  He is the premier prototyper.  When he left his life in California and came to Hong Kong to live with such a woman as I, he left behind his printers.  He engaged the services of a 3D printing company to aid him in his continued puzzle printing.  He used 3D Mart Hong Kong who had wonderful service. When we finally arrived in Boca Raton, he purchased an Ultimaker S5, the same as was used in HK.  He has enjoyed printing many a puzzle on it.  

The next machine we see (with my monkey on top) is a FormLabs 2 SLA printer known for its high resolution and weird method of printing from the bottom.  

The final printer was purchased through kickstarter.  After a scam I endured, I never expected to receive it but the Creality CR-6 SE is in the dormitory installed and ready to go.   Filament is commonly available in the two standard diameters of 1.75 mm and 2.85 mm and now he has two FDM machines to handle filaments of both sizes.

2 Crazy Puzzlers


and a SPH in an APT

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

12 Days of Christmas PuzzlePalace style 2020. Day 5.

 5 Puzzle Rings

The colorful one on the left was made by Carl Hoff.  I believe it is called Wasp.  It can be purchased in a much smaller version at Puzzleringmaker. This particular version was sold to me at an IPP a few years back.  It's much to large even as a bracelet.  I can wear it around my  upper arm.

The large yellow one was made by Oskar and I'm sure you can still find it on his shapeways shop or on Puzzleringmaker.  Again, I bought this at an IPP many years ago.  At the time, it was raining and the dye had not quite set yet.  I looked like I had urine running down my arm from the dye. The green ring is also made by Oskar.  This one can be unwound and worn like a necklace.  This and other variations of it can be found on Oskar's shapeways shop.

The grey ring was made for me by George.  I wanted a puzzle ring that was attributed to Miguel Berrocal but was actually made by Antonio Bernardo. I didn't realize this at the time, and only later discovered taht his rings sell for upwards of $5000.  George made 3 copies of this ring.  We gave one to his son Joe and the other two are in my collection.  They were made on an SLA printer in Hong Kong, and he says as they are so much work, he'll never make another.  I'd love to have one made in metal and perhaps one day I'll send his design off to Thailand...This copy is sufficiently different from the original to not be a copy.  He didn't want to make me an exact duplicate. 

The final gold ring is my wedding band. It was designed by Oskar for George and me.  The difference between this ring and other puzzle rings is that all three bands can be separated when the ring is taken apart.  George's has a phallus like protrusion while you can see mine has an opening.  Yes, they can be combined in a rather interesting manner.  Oskar sells a rated G version called trinity ring on his shapeways page. 



4 (00+) Crystal Puzzles


I started putting these puzzles together Christmas of 2010. The bug and I went to the Toys Street with my then sister-in-law and my niece and nephew to look for some Christmas bag goodies.  We came across the 'bags in bags' store and discovered our first crystal puzzles.  (Not really, but this was the real start of our addiction.) We had a few from the toys fair in earlier years, but this year we found a bag of 20 for less than 1 US$ each.  We bought the bag, took all the duplicates, and gave the rest for goody bags.  This was the beginning of an obsession.  In Hong Kong, the kid and I assembled around 50 of the larger pieces and at least as many keychains.  When we left, her father refused to let us have them. No skin off my nose, I have friends in high places and managed to get all but 5 of my original puzzles back.  Now I hunt auction sites worldwide to find those missing pieces.  

These are simply 3D jigsaw puzzles.  Many come with solutions, but many more do not have them. Knowing how to read Japanese (yeah right!) helps.  But seriously, the google gods know all if you need it. I've found my own special feeling way of solving these puzzles.  Last night I managed to solve 6 dragons of 56 pieces each in less than 2 hours.  After a while it just becomes second nature.  If you haven't tried one yet, I recommend them as a good form of calm.  Perhaps that is why I like them so much.  I  just go into a zone when I'm puzzling in this way.  Very zen-like. 

Since the beginning of the quarantine, I have assembled 530 of these.  I just adjusted my spreadsheet. I guess this is a bit more than 400+!!!

3 3D Printers
My beautiful lover is the father of home 3D printing.  He bought his first many moons ago and spent a long time perfecting the art of 3D printing.  He is the premier prototyper.  When he left his life in California and came to Hong Kong to live with such a woman as I, he left behind his printers.  He engaged the services of a 3D printing company to aid him in his continued puzzle printing.  He used 3D Mart Hong Kong who had wonderful service. When we finally arrived in Boca Raton, he purchased an Ultimaker S5, the same as was used in HK.  He has enjoyed printing many a puzzle on it.  

The next machine we see (with my monkey on top) is a FormLabs 2 SLA printer known for its high resolution and weird method of printing from the bottom.  

The final printer was purchased through kickstarter.  After a scam I endured, I never expected to receive it but the Creality CR-6 SE is in the dormitory installed and ready to go.   Filament is commonly available in the two standard diameters of 1.75 mm and 2.85 mm and now he has two FDM machines to handle filaments of both sizes.

2 Crazy Puzzlers


and a SPH in an APT

Tuesday, December 29, 2020

12 Days of Christmas PuzzlePalace style 2020. Fourth day

4 (00+) Crystal Puzzles


I started putting these puzzles together Christmas of 2010. The bug and I went to the Toys Street with my then sister-in-law and my niece and nephew to look for some Christmas bag goodies.  We came across the 'bags in bags' store and discovered our first crystal puzzles.  (Not really, but this was the real start of our addiction.) We had a few from the toys fair in earlier years, but this year we found a bag of 20 for less than 1 US$ each.  We bought the bag, took all the duplicates, and gave the rest for goody bags.  This was the beginning of an obsession.  In Hong Kong, the kid and I assembled around 50 of the larger pieces and at least as many keychains.  When we left, her father refused to let us have them. No skin off my nose, I have friends in high places and managed to get all but 5 of my original puzzles back.  Now I hunt auction sites worldwide to find those missing pieces.  

These are simply 3D jigsaw puzzles.  Many come with solutions, but many more do not have them. Knowing how to read Japanese (yeah right!) helps.  But seriously, the google gods know all if you need it. I've found my own special feeling way of solving these puzzles.  Last night I managed to solve 6 dragons of 56 pieces each in less than 2 hours.  After a while it just becomes second nature.  If you haven't tried one yet, I recommend them as a good form of calm.  Perhaps that is why I like them so much.  I  just go into a zone when I'm puzzling in this way.  Very zen-like. 

Since the beginning of the quarantine, I have assembled 531 of these.  I just adjusted my spreadsheet. I guess this is a bit more than 400+!!!

3 3D Printers
My beautiful lover is the father of home 3D printing.  He bought his first many moons ago and spent a long time perfecting the art of 3D printing.  He is the premier prototyper.  When he left his life in California and came to Hong Kong to live with such a woman as I, he left behind his printers.  He engaged the services of a 3D printing company to aid him in his continued puzzle printing.  He used 3D Mart Hong Kong who had wonderful service. When we finally arrived in Boca Raton, he purchased an Ultimaker S5, the same as was used in HK.  He has enjoyed printing many a puzzle on it.  

The next machine we see (with my monkey on top) is a FormLabs 2 SLA printer known for its high resolution and weird method of printing from the bottom.  

The final printer was purchased through kickstarter.  After a scam I endured, I never expected to receive it but the Creality CR-6 SE is in the dormitory installed and ready to go.   Filament is commonly available in the two standard diameters of 1.75 mm and 2.85 mm and now he has two FDM machines to handle filaments of both sizes.

2 Crazy Puzzlers


and a SPH in an APT

Monday, December 28, 2020

12 Days of Christmas PuzzlePalace style 2020. Third day

3 3D Printers

My beautiful lover is the father of home 3D printing.  He bought his first many moons ago and spent a long time perfecting the art of 3D printing.  He is the premier prototyper.  When he left his life in California and came to Hong Kong to live with such a woman as I, he left behind his printers.  He engaged the services of a 3D printing company to aid him in his continued puzzle printing.  He used 3D Mart Hong Kong who had wonderful service. When we finally arrived in Boca Raton, he purchased an Ultimaker S5, the same as was used in HK.  He has enjoyed printing many a puzzle on it.  

The next machine we see (with my monkey on top) is a FormLabs 2 SLA printer known for its high resolution and weird method of printing from the bottom.  

The final printer was purchased through kickstarter.  After a scam I endured, I never expected to receive it but the Creality CR-6 SE is in the dormitory installed and ready to go.   Filament is commonly available in the two standard diameters of 1.75 mm and 2.85 mm and now he has two FDM machines to handle filaments of both sizes.


2 Crazy Puzzlers


and a SPH in an APT

Sunday, December 27, 2020

Saturday, December 26, 2020

12 Days of Christmas PuzzlePalace style 2020. First day.


 On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me a SPH in an APT.


Standard Puzzle Hamster in an Advent Puzzle Tree.

Friday, December 25, 2020

Days 19-25 of the Advent PuzzleTree and Christmas morning.

Here we are at the end.  What a pleasure it has been for me to watch him open all of his gifts.  I've only failed on 2.  Not bad if you ask me.  So here are the final 6 puzzles.  I hope you enjoyed seeing what I thought would be good gifts.  I hope it inspires you to do the same for a puzzle loving friend.  Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukah, Happy Kwanzaa, or Happy Holidays to you all.  I wish one and all a very happy holiday season whatever you celebrate.  

Day 19: A stone Soma cube.  He needed no introduction or burr tools for this one.  I knew it was a real slack gift, but we have this wonderful collection of a variety of soma and soma-type cubes, I knew it would be a hit.  he loved the stone and remarked that any gemologist (my dear friend Jeremy Crabbe might be able to help me out here) would know what they all are.  He disassembled, and assembled it in record time and placed it where it belongs on the large Dilemma Games soma table.

Day 20: Double tumbler by Jon Keegan.  As expected, he didn't like it.  My fault for being such a magpie. It's now in the metal room with it's partner waiting for anyone who wants to play with it.  

Day 21: Benedetti's Rotations.  I think he spent an hour looking and trying to get it to move.  My beautiful lover finally came to the conclusion that it was too tight and couldn't be disassembled without a man tool so he went into the workshop and softened all the edges.  He reportedly enjoyed it but...It now resides in the upstairs wood room.

Day 22: Vinco's Star of David.  I bought it AGES ago and had no idea what it was.  As with other old purchases I had to go to FaceBook for help and James Kerley came through.  I bought it simply because I thought it to be a very pretty puzzle. George made rather short work of it.  He didn't even bother with burr tools.  It's now in the main wood room among other Vinco puzzles. 


Day 23: Day 23: Gear by Jos Bergmans. He managed to take it apart rather quickly. Putting it back together again was of course done with Burr Tools.     


Day 24: Juha Element by Juha Levonen. This was another bust. He solved it too quickly. It's ok. I can't get all of them right. Maybe tomorrow will be better.


Day last of the Advent PuzzleTree: Martin Garder Perplexing Puzzles and Tantalizing Teasers. This book is a collection of youthful puzzles. George told me he had read them all when he was about 8 years old. He thought they were all published Gardener's column in Scientific America.

Today is Christmas so he gets to open his real gifts now. He recieved a bit of hex in the morning and a bit more hex in the afternoon, and finally a LOT of hex at night. After all, lots of good hex is why I married him. If his Kong weren't so big, I think I'd have passed him by. While I was making Christmas lunch, I walked in the root room and found him reading the Joy of Hex. He didn't even have the decency to cover up this lewd act, but instead, gave me a pat on the backside and read a position of two to me. It now lays on his nightside table waiting for a day of fun.




Merry Christmas one and all.  Have a safe and happy holiday season.  And as my father says everytime he signs off the phone: Stay away from the virus.  



Saturday, December 19, 2020

Days 12-18 of the Advent PuzzleTree

 George has said I've made him very happy this year.  I don't think he's ever had such a puzzling Christmas.  Thus far, he's only had 1 puzzle he didn't like. I hope I can keep this up.  This just makes it harder though for future years.  I'll have to up my game in the future.  

In case you haven't noticed a pattern here, I've been mostly gifting him burr puzzles.  These are his favorite.  I've not worked out yet if he likes to actually solve them, or if he likes to program them into burr tools more.  But what I do know is that he has been one happy man these past 18 days.

Day 12: Unbalanced 6 Board Burr by Juno. I believe he enjoyed this one. It was fun watching him take out the calipers to measure the difference in the size of the pieces. Of course he had it solved before dinner was on the table.




Day 13: 6-T by Dr. Volker Latussek caused much grief.  He started it before bed, managed it outside the box, put it into burr tools and discovered three solutions.  When I woke in the morning he showed me the finished puzzle. It bothered him being in pieces so he woke in the middle of the night and assembled it.  





Day 14: L-I-Vator. 2 rotations. Only three assemblies for this puzzle. Of course he entered it into burr tools. This one is nifty. It has a box with a lid that comes off. I guess you can put it together through the lid, Me? I'd just take it off and make it a packing puzzle. And yes, he enjoyed the programming more than the puzzling.



Day 15: 5th Avenue by Nob. Long ago George told me he would like to get all of the Nob puzzles. I've been hunting for them since. This year I found 5th Avenue in Japan for him. He sorted out the puzzle rather quickly, but then got stuck. Of course he went straight for Burr Tools. That didn't work. He had a great idea on how to program it, but made a small error in his programming. I was told he'd go back to it, but then he found the solution taped to the inside of the box. No Burr Tools solution exists yet.



Day 16: 3Qcube by Takeyuki Endou is an interesting puzzle. It is only 3 pieces inside a cage. How hard can it be? Two pieces are identical and then there is the third. Yes, he Burr Tooled it. No, it doesn't help. As it turns out, this one needed a few rotations to solve. He managed to put it back together and on the shelf in the wood room. He eagerly awaited day 17.





Day 17: Kepler by Felix Ure. This one was a replacement for my foolishness last week. Luckily the puzzle came in the mail the same day so I was able to put it in the box. I love it! It's such a cute little puzzle. George of course immediately pulled out the calipers and set to measuring. He then unscrewed (!) the bottom of the box to investigate. I won't give anything away here, but this is a really clever little puzzle. I highly recommend it.



Day 17 was also the day the driveway was started. We are more than pleased with the way it is turning out. I can't wait until it is finished.


Day 18: Loopy L Cube #3 by Juno is the last puzzle of the week.  His reaction was not as I expected.  I won't give it here to remove any negativity.  As always, he did enjoy putting it into burr tools.  It is now back together and in the upstairs wooden section.  




I'm not sure what the next 5 days  have in store for the advent tree, but I do hope he will enjoy them. 
Happy Holidays All.