Showing posts with label Oskar van Deventer. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Oskar van Deventer. Show all posts

Saturday, November 7, 2020

Viruses Times Three

Today's puzzles are brought to you by the Corona Virus that has been crippling the world this past year.  Whether you had a day without toilet paper and other necessities, became unemployed, or lost a loved one, this past year has affected us all.  It's been one heck of a ride so far and I for one have had enough of the worry of catching a disease there is no cure for.  Living in the US is worrisome. The President thinks that because he had the best medical treatment available and was 'cured' that the virus is under control.  He refused to lead by example and by doing so, has endangered the lives of many Americans. At the time of writing this post, over 9,570,000 people have contracted the disease and 237,000 people lost their lives.  We spend our lives sheltering in place (here at Puzzle Palace, we are fortunate to live on a golf course and have all these puzzles and games to entertain ourselves with), not going out to eat in restaurants, no more concerts or sporting events, no family gatherings, and the obligatory dreaded masks.  If we all do our part and follow WHO and CDC guidelines we can eliminate this virus. 

Which of course brings me to my first puzzle of the day:  Eliminate the Virus.
This puzzle was obtained in 2020 from I have no idea where.  Ebay, Amazon, Taobao?  Maybe it was one of many puzzles that have been sent to me to try. I don't know if it came from China or Taiwan.  I've purchased so many puzzles that I just can't keep track anymore if it isn't written down when it comes in.  The puzzle is a logic puzzle that uses coverup pieces.  It has 6 clear pieces of plastic that are used to shoot disinfecting spray at the many viruses on each of the 60 challenge sheets.  This puzzle is very similar to many others produced over the years.  SmartGames has a number of them from Raf Peters including Down the Rabbit Hole, and the Go-Getter series. 

The best part of this puzzle is not the puzzling itself, but rather the instructions.  They are a public service announcement.  I would like to say this is reminiscent of what I would see on TV when I lived in Hong Kong and assume it is from China.  The only problem is, there is no Chinese on the instructions.  I'd also like to think this puzzle was produced prior to the discovery of COVID-19 but again, I can't be sure.  

The first 15 puzzles have lines drawn as to where to place some of the tiles.  Puzzles 16-24 give the position of two sprayers, 25-30 give the position of one sprayer, 31-35 give either one or two sprayers in a shadowed sort of way  and the final 16 have no clues at all.  

George had a crack at it this morning.  He saw how solution one was done, jumped to puzzle 36, and now he is attempting 60.  All in all, it's a fun puzzle variation on a familiar theme.  I wouldn't go hunt it down purposefully, but if you find it, it is appropriate to the theme of 2020. 

Following on from there, we have Anti-Virus.  Again this puzzle has 60 challenges but this time with 11 pieces that need to be shifted around to get the red virus out of the board.  This puzzle was designed by Oskar van Deventer in 2003 and was brought to market in 2008.

This puzzle was originally designed by Oskar using plastic sheets, and exacto-knives. He then designed one that was tin cast in a laser cut mold!  Ah the technology he used.   The puzzle was put on Jimmy Stephens website as a puzzle called the Bulbous Blob.  Later Oskar designed the wavy board that was ultimately used and George prototyped this one for him. It was delivered to Smart Games and the rest is history.  

As with Eliminate the virus, I really enjoyed the instructions for this puzzle.  It makes one wonder if Oskar could foretell the future.  I later learned through looking at George's stl files that there were googly eyes on the pieces and to me they looked more alive. 

Unlike most puzzles of the 'remove the piece' type, this one has pieces that move on a diagonal instead of the normal left/right, up/down moves one would expect.  I revisited this puzzle this past week and have found this difference in movement to not work well with my simple brain.  I'm just not used to it.  I originally got this puzzle when it first came out and because of my lack of other entertainment I worked my way through the challenges.  I wonder if I found it easier then than I do now.  Perhaps if I were to go through all 60 challenges again I would find the moves to be easier.  And I wish I had access to this giant version! That would look so cool on our coffee table. 

The final puzzle of the day is Anti-Virus Mutation. This one was based on Oskar's original puzzle but re-designed by Raf Peters. Instead of 11 pieces, it has only 6.  It is sold as a travel game, and the case for it makes it much easier to take on the road.  The other major change is that the pieces can be moved in that left/right, up/down positions.  It is no longer a diagonally based game.  This makes it much easier for my simple brain. 

Oskar tells me that since the date of release that Anti-Virus has sold 450,000 units at the end of 2019 and Anti-Virus Mutation has sold more than 50,000 pieces between 2016 and 2019.  Who knows what this year will bring for these puzzles.  

Smartgames has this as an online game that can be played here.  You can sign up for free and play for 6 months.  Now that is what I call a deal!

Below is a video of the storage solution we have come up with for this type of puzzle.


Friday, January 4, 2013

On the 11th day of Christmas

On the 11th day of Christmas my true love gave to me,
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.

Oskar has got to be one of the most prolific puzzle makers I have ever met.  I think he's made more puzzles than most companies.  Looking at his website is great fun if you want to see a few of the designs he's made over the years.  It is in no way comprehensive but it's a good start.

What I find to be amazing about Oskar is that he can design in anything.  And I do mean anything.  He has a number of the Hanayama puzzles that he's designed, he's done puzzles in wood, and he works quite a lot in plastic.  He's made twisty puzzles, burrs, take-apart's, calendars, and toys!  The guy is a walking puzzle!  He's made so many that I wouldn't even begin to try and list them.  I'm sure I'd never be able to do it.  I'll bet money you have at least one design by Oskar in your collection.

Saturday, September 22, 2012


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.