Showing posts with label Dave Litwin. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Dave Litwin. Show all posts

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!)

Thursday, February 2, 2012


Well here it is folks.  I said when Dave sent me the latest in the set that I would post about them and since I got in the most recent one last night.  It's that time.  My 8 Elemental puzzles.

So this all started way back in 2007.  Dave made his biohazard puzzles available to all for $100.  There was a bit of a mix up on the pricing, and I didn't get in on that early days price.  Instead, I ordered mine in 2008 and Went for a "deluxe".  In November of the same year Dave offered a DIY kit for Christmas.  It was a whopping $25 and I jumped at the opportunity to buy one.  As you can see, I still haven't quite gotten around to making it yet.

2009 brought a new puzzle in the set.  A Flourine.  He was on a roll that year because just 3 months later he introduced the  Beryllium-10.  In November he made Sulfer.  Good God man slow down would you!  I got a jump on the bugs birthday present and requested a special one for her.  Dave did her gift justice with the Aluminum Heart.  (ok, technically this isn't my puzzle but....)  November of 2010 saw the Argon .  I had just about given up on any new Elementals, but in November of 2011 Dave posted his newest addition; the Scandium.

Since I ordered my first one, I've had this deal with Dave. Basically it is: Experiment and do what you will. All I want is your signature, my name, and the date you made the puzzle.  He has held up his end of the bargain very well, and I keep paying the TechShop fees.  :-) (or so he tells me)  These puzzles are quite nice.  They all have the details I requested and the rest was left up to Dave's creative eye.  The only one I was specific on was bugs heart. The rest?  well I got what I got and I'm very pleased with them.

Each of these puzzles has a series of sliders in them either 3 or 4 depending on the puzzle.  The object is to muck up the design on the inside and then restore it to the original picture.  Much much easier said than done.  I'll be honest here and say it takes me a few hours of moving the bits round and round to work out how to fix the mess that has been made.  And on more than one occasion I have been tempted to unscrew those little screws....but I've been good and never done so.

I'm eagerly awaiting the arrival of the Chromium.  But from the looks of things it might be a long long while before I get that one.

The puzzles can be purchased from Dave over at his  website.  I've done a number of videos on his puzzles.  You can see them here, here, and here.  Klara very nicely shared a video of Dave cleaning her Neon as well.  Talk about good service!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Twas the week before Christmas....Smaz Dino Cubes

Ok, 2 weeks but who's counting! Not me.

I had another of those long rough weeks and it's only Monday I hear you all shouting. Actually, it's been a month of non-stop everything.

Today was a box day. Today was a puzzle gathering day. Today was a day that I'm glad is over. But it wasn't all bad. I got toys! Unbelievable that I had found time to get toys in all that prostituting we were doing. (No, not that kind-the selling of a product kind)

Ok, so this morning I had a really rotten start. I went into work to drop off exam marking and no office staff was at hand. Oh well. I put it all on a desk and ran out to do the previously mentioned other job. As I was leaving my campus, my phone sent out a small vibration in my pocket and what to my wondering eyes should appear but a c-dissection mail saying Zauberflote is here! (heaven help us all, she's been reading too many Christmas books and has hit the egg nog already this year! Let the rhyming begin.)

Ah nuts! I lost the internet connection and needed to be at another place 20 minutes away in less than 15. No time to stop and look. And it was a good thing I didn't. I was met at the train station by my fellow 'workers' and we set off to sell our wares. While the big man was talking, I logged on only to find the one puzzle I really wanted gone. But it wasn't a total bust, I did manage to order 2 others and if Mr. Postman is nice to me, I should get them before Christmas. (and if you read this Mr. Fuller, I sure would like one of those yellow puzzles!)

The presentation went down a treat-I mean who wouldn't love 3 beautiful women and a redheaded man selling their stuff. Well, me for one. After that walk up the hill, and standing and talking for a bit, my feet were killing me-whose bright idea was it to put those 3 inch heals on my boots anyway? Next stop. Lunch. Ok, lunch was good. And I'm still full. But my poor dogs. They are a barking. (sorry, I just couldn't resist that!)

Over to Smaz's shop to pick up a few puzzles I've been trying to get since last week, but before that-new boots! (No insane heals this time!) So this time, they are white, not black. (the puzzles not the boots. The boots are black and oh so tall) And there is a great one on the end there that can't be mucked up. Now THAT is my kind of puzzle.

And yes, those black bags all have puzzles in them but I'm not telling what they are just yet.

So I headed home around 5 and when on the way, the bug calls and very excitedly tells me she has a yellow box from Luxembourg. She then proceeded to attempt to read the address. How cute is that? Ok, well trust me it was. I made her wait until I got home, and when she realized who it was from she wanted to make a video. Can you tell she's happy with the earrings or what?

So what about me? Well, dinner came and went and I was sitting here contemplating writing about a Tony Fisher puzzle when I glanced over and saw a package addressed to me-great family I have, they just dump packages on my desk and hope I'll see them in all the mess.

So I open it up and what's inside? A Christmas puzzleball from Ravensburger. How nice! I'll have to put that together tomorrow. I'm simply to tired tonight. I went to write down the return address, and saw a bag drop out with bugs name on it. Didn't think much of it and went on to read another forum. Glancing down, I saw that puzzle was the same as the one in the box. Now hold on here! That's not right! So taking another look at that box, I notice a bit of tape. Opening it up, I find a 3x3x3 puzzle inside.

For those who query this, that is Dave wearing that dress (only because a designer from the Netherlands and a man from Connecticut wouldn't do it for me). These antics took place at IPP last year and I couldn't think of a better gift to send someone. I absolutely love it! So much so that I made Mr. Man order me a dust box for it. I should be able to collect it on Wednesday.

Sorry Tony, you'll just have to wait until tomorrow...

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?

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Day 0

Yesterday was one of relaxation. Well, sort of. NOT! How can it? this is IPP and it's supposed to be exciting.

The morning started out with breakfast at 9:30 with Dave and Tom. Klara joined us for a bit, and after finishing we went off in search of some sights that hadn't been seen in many many years. I wanted to show the bug Check Point Charlie and the museum there and all thought it would be a great idea to spend the day walking around together.

The museum was eclectic. A mix of everything, and a bit odd for my taste truth be told. Bug got spooked a few times, so we didn't stay all that long. Next stop? Alexander Platz. Both Dave and I had been here in our wild young days (don't listen to him when he says he dull and boring :) )

The radio tower is still tall, and that is all one can say about that. We had lunch in the square, then took a walk around the area for a bit. After filling our tums, we headed out in search of toys!
We found a little shop after much running around, and had a peak inside. Dave pointed the puzzle corner out to us, and I dove right in and grabbed a packing puzzle. Asparagus! Unbelievable. I've been hunting for years and found it in Berlin. Happy girl! Klara got a violin, and I picked up a few other toys. Not much of a haul, but great company. Next stop, back to the hotel to drop off some things, and then Tom, David, bug, Matt and I decided to head over to Brandenburg gate. Again, Dave and I saw it before but I wanted the bug to see it and they humored me.

Dave remembered a giant gold ball in the middle of the city which later turned out to be a statue so we headed out in search of that as well. As it turns out, it was right down the road from us. Well, not exactly- a few miles I would guess. Ah well, we're all fit.

Sight seeing done. On to founders reception. interesting. High tables, no chairs. finger sandwiches. Ok, I've seen that on tv. Been there, done that, did not buy the t-shirt (boo for the bad lines) and do not like it. But then who comes for the food. It's the company that is worth while. And company there was. 2 hours of standing around talking, and playing with toys. Tom pulled out his as did Frank and the next thing we knew, there was a table full of twisty puzzles.

Bug was thrilled by the magic of Mark, and Laurie told her she had more instore for her this evening. She's happy.

One of the highlights of the evening was meeting Christoph Bandelow. Greetings were sent all around, and I know Dave was very pleased.

After a few of us went to have some food. A bit of talking in the lobby, and I hit the bar with the big boys. Poor little bug had a nightmare and needed mama, so at 1 I had to call it a night.

Today is the exchange and I really need to get some food in my tum! More photos later.