Ecorider

Showing posts with label Bram Cohen. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Bram Cohen. Show all posts

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Hanayama Galaxy

I hope I'm not going to be beaten for this, but rather than another post about Wil's egg, I thought I'd post about another little sparkly puzzle I have recently obtained. The newest puzzle in the Hanayama line up.  This one  first hit the puzzling scene in the 2013 IPP design competition.  The puzzle was designed by Bram Cohen who has been known to design a few others in the past.  The puzzle itself earned an honorable mention in the design competition that year.  Well done Bram.  Not only on the award, but also on getting another puzzle manufactured by Hanayama.

Ok. So on to the puzzle.  It's not exactly out on the market yet.  But you see, I go to my spa just 4 floors up from the HK Hanayama office.  The other day I was over there relaxing and decided to deliver a puzzle to Kyoo Wong.  We made an exchange and had a nice little chat about the next(!) puzzle to come after Galaxy.  (No, the one in the photo is not it. That's an ancient design that I had in my pocket.)  I had an interesting conversation about puzzle designing with Kyoo, and once the next one up is put on the web, I'll write up a nice little story about it.  In the mean time, The photo above to the right is a prototype if you will of something Kyoo was working on in year past.  He gave it to me because of the similarity to the Galaxy.  If I understood the story right, he and Bram had a conversation over these four bolts around the time Bram designed the Galaxy.  (Tell me if I got that wrong Bram.)


After I got the puzzle home, I managed to take it apart quite quickly.  That part is not all that hard.  I think it took me around 15 minutes of fiddling to do so.  Putting it back together again is another story.  It has still defeated me.  But I will keep at it until I win.  This puzzle will not beat me.  You'll notice, that while each of the four pieces look identical, they aren't  there are two matching pair.  As always, Hanayama has put a bit of a twist on the original design that makes it more difficult.  I'll not tell what it is.  I know you'd rather find out for yourself when you get the puzzle.

So where can you pick this up?  I'm sure Puzzlemaster or others will have it up soon.  I do believe this puzzle will be released in July of this year.  I think it's a level 2 or 3.  I'm not sure.  See, there's no packaging done up yet.  As with all Hanayama, the quality is fantastic.  Go pick one up, you won't regret it.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

On the 12th day of Christmas

On the 12th day of Christmas my true love gave to me,
12 other puzzlers
David Litwin, Bram Cohen, Eitan Cher, Mr. Yao, Jason Smith, Steve Winter, Vesa Timonen, Peter Wiltshire, Mike Toulouzas, Ayi Li, Wil Strijbos, and Stuart Coffin.

11 Oskar Van Ds
10 Chinnimoto's
9 Robert Stegmann's
8 Jerry Slocum's
7 Eric Fuller's
6 Tony Fisher's
5 Richard Hess'
4 Mr. Fok's
3 Da Yan's
2 Brian Young's
And Stickman in a pine tree

It's day 12 and this little story has come to and end.  I thought the best way to do that would be with 12 final puzzlers!  Links and photos are provided where available.  Go look, go buy, go make sure the designers keep designing and the puzzlers keep puzzling!

Dave Litwin, Geert Hellings
David Litwin is a long time friend.  He's designed and built my collection of elemental puzzles along with a few others over the years.

Bram Cohen, Adam Cowen, Bob Hearn
Bram Cohen in addition to being a computer wiz has had a number of puzzles made by Hanayama as well as being the inspiration for many of Oskar's designs.

Eitan Cher is a young up and coming puzzle designer.  He's currently doing post-graduate work in Chicago but still finds the time to put out a puzzle or two.

Mr. Yao is the man behind Witeden.  He's designed a number of his own puzzles and that number keeps growing.  In the past few months he's put out over 10 new puzzles.

Jason Smith
Jason Smith first brought the helicopter cube to the market.  recently he has been designing a series of deep cut puzzles.

Steve Winter is new to the puzzle building scene.  He specializes in mazes, but has recently designed  few twisty puzzles with a maze built in.

Vesa Timonen has been designing puzzles for a while now that can be found in shops all over the world. He works in all media.

Peter Wiltshire is another relatively newcomer to the world of puzzling.  His Ferris box won the 2012 Jury Prize at IPP.
Peter Wiltshire

Mike Toulouzas builds beauties in wood.  His Judges Gavel won the first prize at IPP in 2011.

Ayi Li is a designer of a number of new twisty puzzles. I love Ayi because like me, he calls his puzzles TOYS!

Wil Strijbos is the dealer of choice for the puzzle world.  One and all go to him for their puzzling fix.
Wil and Tom

And finally...Stuart Coffin. He has got to be the builder of puzzles with the most designs to his name.  As he numbers each design, it is fairly easy to keep track of what he's made.  At IPP this year I picked up number 258 "Octet in F".  That sure is a lot of puzzles!

(AND 12 bloggers blogging (Gabriel, Allard, Kevin, Jerry, Neil, Brian, Oli, Moises, Gunnar, Scott, Tom, and Rox of course!))


Neil Hutchinson and Allard Walker
For a real enjoyable trip through puzzledom, click on the bloggers names above. Some of them you might have seen before  others may be new to you, all are enjoyable reads. This was my originally intended ending, but as I went through all the puzzle designers in the initial write-up of this blog back in December, I realized that not all the bloggers are designers   For this reason, I changed it to the above 12th day, but since we all enjoy reading about puzzles and people, I thought I'd leave it in here for you to get a small bit of extra Christmas cheer!

designer and blogger Scott Elliot
Merry Christmas all!  I hope you enjoyed my little poem this year. I only wish there were more than 12 days of Christmas as I have many many more than 12 puzzlers I'd like to introduce you to.  To do that and learn more, I guess you'll just have to continue reading my ramblings.  The more I do these, the harder they get.  It is becoming more and more difficult to come up with ideas....But next year....well, I'm already thinking ahead now aren't I?


And just for you Mr. Stickman:


On the 12th day of Christmas my true love gave to me,
12 puzzlers puzzling AND bloggers blogging
11 Oskar inventing
10 Chinny spinning
9 Robert Webbing
8 Jerry Collecting
7 Eric building
6 Tony cutting
5 Richard Hess'
4 Mr. Fok's
3 Da Yan's
2 Brian Young's
And Stickman in a pine tree

(Are there enough verbs in there for you now? I left them out intentionally because I wanted to name names and tell tales!)








Saturday, September 22, 2012

Rings

You see that pile of rings down below. They all come from the slightly puzzled minds of Bram Cohen and Oskar van Deventer. Seven they have made so far and I'm sure that's not the end of them.

I got my first one in 2009 and haven't looked back. In 2010 I bought a few more and then this year I went to Oskar with rings on fingers hoping he would be able to tell me which one I was missing. Sure enough-he said the dark blue and the pink! Nice way of remembering which is which. Color coding. I love it. I'm a big time color coder myself!

The rings in order of the photograph but not the order of design are:
Top row: Take five, Cross Rings, Six to Three, Weave Six
Middle row: Weave Five, Holistic Ring
Bottom row: Sixth Sense

The green ring I bought for bug in 2009. Green was her favorite color then so I thought it might get her interested in puzzles. I should have known better. She was only interested in taking it apart to see if mom could put it together again. I'll tell you, it was a real pain to do. All of these so far have been a real pain. They aren't your usual for or six band rings that's for sure. If you want a bit of a challenge, then you won't go wrong with these rings.

The red one I got last year and it is relatively easy (compared to the green and the yellow.) This one is a bit loose so I had no choice but to solve it. When I snipped the connector band it just fell into a mucked up state.

Not all of these rings have been taken apart yet but eventually they will be. As you can see, the one I'm working on now is that big yellow one. Not by choice though. When I took them out the other day to make a YouTube video I accidentally bumped it and it fell off my desk! So now I've a bit of work to do before I can wear it again. and let me tell you, this one is a royal pain! I worked it for just over three hours yesterday and managed to get two of the bands lined up. Ugh! You'll note the thread on them...I don't want any more accidents that will take me hours to fix. I'd rather take them apart on my own terms.

The white ring was Bram's exchange puzzle this year. But for anyone who is interested in purchasing it, this one like all the rest are available on Oskar's Shapeways page.

All in all I'd say if you're up for a challenge these are the way to go.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

On the Fifth Day of Christmas

My true love gave to me
Five Puzzle Rings (not gold, sorry ndiamond-but puzzles all the same)
Four Revo Mazes
Three Diamond Puzzles
Two Crystal Dolphins
And a Santa on a tree.

The two on the left (white 3^3 cube) came from Oskar's shapeways shop (weave five and sixth sense). They were designed by Bram Cohen.  (He makes some pretty cool rings!) The two on the left (black 3^3 cube) are from an IPP exchange (two bands), and eBay.  I wanted a puzzle ring and so I found this silver one on our favorite auction site for next to nothing around 15 years ago.  It has 6 bands and is a standard ring configuration.  They can be found most every where.
The last puzzle ring is on Santa's sack. It was a birthday gift from my lovely niece Rachel this past year.  What a thoughtful kid!  It's not a puzzle puzzle, but a 'picture' of 4 jigsaw pieces.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Puzzle exchange and puzzle party.




Wow is all I can say. I really dropped the ball on these posts this year, but will attempt to make up for it now.

At the exchange, there were a number of different puzzles out. One nice variation on the bandaged cube, a nifty couple by Bram, Sheridan's is always a hit. I don't even know where to begin with all those. I brought 5 on the plane with me to work on the way home, but only managed to open one. Dead doesn't even begin to describe how I feel.

For those of you who have never been to an exchange, it works like this: each participant brings 100 puzzles along to swap out with someone else. When you make the exchange, you describe the object of your puzzle to your current exchange partner-wash rinse repeat 100 times over and there you have spent the past 6 hours in the most enjoyable way. This was my first exchange, and I have to say, I was overwhelmed. I feel like such a dolt amongst these people. Maybe given a few more years of it I'll know what I'm doing.



After the exchange were 3 lectures. One was on puzzle locks, one on burr tools, and one on smart games. I enjoyed them from the back row, and caught up on TP posts at the same time. (They did loose me a bit in the middle there!)

Once this was finished, it was time to make a tribute cube with Oskar. Now I was nominated chief heckler and think I managed ok. David Litwin, bless his cotton socks, helped me to put my dino cube together. He and TomZ were both great helpers all round.



The banquet was held that evening, and you can find a few photos of the entertainment as well as a video linked on my YouTube channel

Sunday was the last official day of IPP and it was the best for getting puzzles. This years puzzle party I didn't purchase nearly as many as I did last year. But I did bring home a few mazes, a few Russian puzzles, a few other toys I'd been looking for. I have no idea how many I got, and will end up counting later on. I did walk out with 2 bags full though....probably 30+

More lectures followed, but David and I both realized that there is a TP member who lives in Berlin so we invited her over to see a few toys. I skipped the lectures and went to an impromptu meet up instead. It was great fun, and I've got to brag a bit about those who were there. Indulge me please!

That evening was the awards dinner and Once again Panda's team of puzzle builders got an honorable mention! I was very pleased that Panda let me use this for my exchange puzzle!

Leaving this time was not quite as hard as last year. We all took off in different directions at different times.
Monday saw some of us on a trip to Potsdam, Tuesday I went geo caching with Pavel, Wednesday I left for HK.

Now for the really exciting bit: Which TP member was caught in a dress???? Follow the posts on Twisty Puzzles to find out! And no, it isn't the first photo up there! That wouldn't be any fun now would it?


Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Puzzle party Hakone

Puzzle party today and it was even more amazing than the one in Osaka! If that is even possible.

I took another 488 photos again today! On to the puzzle party. I had a few more hanayama I wanted to buy and ended up buying 6 more! Other purchases today were a few puzzle box kits, a couple more wooden puzzles, an old russian slide, a few paper puzzles-folding boxes, some icecream puzzles, a number of cd puzzles...I can't remember them all. At the end of the event I have added over 100 new puzzles to my collection. I'll have to count when I get back to HK.

Matt and the bug even came to the puzzle party. I saw that it was open to the public, so I made a bee-line to the room to get them before they went exploring. We all got to use a plane and shave a bit of wood. 7 microns thick I was told.

Matt looked at the wooden puzzles, tried a trick lock and loved looking at the tools used by the craftsmen.

We went up to the room so I could pack up the bags (and what a job that was!) Snap a few more photos and get ready for dinner.

Awards dinner-totally uneventful! Not. Surprise, Laurie and Ethel Berkenshire both won a prize for the puzzle rally. His and hers matching puzzle boxes.

HARMONY by Dmitry Pevnitskiy and Krill Grebnev was the puzzle of the year. It's a real beauty too. Easy to solve but very very pretty.

I'm happy to say that Pantazis ONE FOR ALL AND ALL FOR ONE, as well as Bram's CAST RATTLE both got prizes. (I voted for both of them!)

My little bug got an "award" for being best announcer at IPP! I just love Nick Baxters sense of humor! Her "AWARD" was CANNIBAL MONSTERS (a puzzle in the competition) MINE!!! hahaha, she won't even let me look at it. Good thing I played it during the "judging".

Heidetoshi refused to change t-shirts with me, but he made up for it at the end of the day with a most generous gift of a puzzle! I was again overwhelmed.

When I return to HK and can put puzzles to people (with the help of the attendee list) I will endeavor to post who I got what from.

Once again it is past midnight and I've been up way too late.

I will end this blog a simple 'I LOVED IT AND CAN'T WAIT UNTIL NEXT YEAR!'