Showing posts with label Puzzle Master. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Puzzle Master. Show all posts

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Toys, testing, and trial and error.

Toy: a material object for children or others to play with (often an imitation of some familiar object); a plaything; also, something contrived for amusement rather than for practical use.
-the Oxford English Dictionary
Well, today's puzzles certainly fit that bill. Imitations of other items, and something designed for amusement.
I've got two from Vesa, one from Puzzle Master and one from Derek Bosch.

Shapeways had their annual sales recently and once again I took advantage of them. I really don't like the feel of these things, but over the years they have gotten less gritty so I thought what the heck and put in an order. Now I frequent a number of forums, and thought what the heck, I'll get them in white, buy some dye and color them myself....famous last words....

I'm not at the level of Cantonese where I can just go out into a shop and ask for dye. After many trials with this, I gave up and went for a different tactic. I tried food coloring! That I have plenty of. The results were mixes to say the least! My yellow was orange, my green was yellow, my blue was pink(!) and my red was, well, red. So maybe food coloring isn't the best of puzzle dyes. But someone had to try it!

So on to the puzzles. First, I got two from Vesa: a breakfast egg and an onion. I've looked at these two for years now but always just passed them by. Well this time around I hit the purchase button and I'm glad I did. The egg is four pieces and the object is of course to put them together. It's a nifty little thing, but it is easy to spot the solution for it just by looking. To solve it I had to assemble it without the yolk (or orange?) just to loosen up the pieces a bit. A one minute puzzle but fun none the less. The onion is made of six pieces and a tad bit harder to solve but not very much harder. This one was a two minute puzzle I'd guess. These two I didn't purchase for the puzzling factor, but rather for their appearance. Vesa has designed an orange as well which Hanayama has mass produced under the name of Globe Ball. It's hard to come by now, but if you can find one its a great little puzzle as well.

On to the torpedoes. Now this one I have many different versions of. After quite a long discussion about this the other day, I decided to buy yet another version. I'm sure I got it from Bits and Pieces during their last sale. 25% off AND free shipping! I'm in. I'll have to check the packaging again, but I'm pretty sure it's a Puzzle Master product. At any rate, it's listed as an 8/10 and that about sums it up. It's not as easy as the hedgehog and not as difficult as trying to get one of those birds out.

My last puzzle today is Derek's tubular burr. What a hoot that one is. I've sat here grinding away at it for the past three hours off and on and have managed to get. Nowhere yet. I see what it needs to do, I just can't get it to do it without looking. It's not a "by feel" puzzle. Well, at least it hasn't been for me. It's only a three piece puzzle and the object as always is simple, put the pieces in and take them back out again. What could be easier? (A lot of things, believe me!) This one would be a fantastic puzzle for the magpie in me! I'd love to see it made of silver and gold. Shiny smooth metal bits would make it even better fun!

This one is a bit odd. When I colored it, it got a bit 'squishy' I'm not sure if it is meant to be that way, but I can tell the area between the walls of the barrel bit are hollow. It still plays, but I'm afraid ill deform it if I squeeze too hard.

So back to my start. Toy: a material object for children or others to play with (often an imitation of some familiar object); a plaything; also, something contrived for amusement rather than for practical use. I think that definition holds. And today, we've had all three. Although I'd argue that helping me maintain my sanity through 5 hours of low level speakers is a very very practical use for a toy!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Broken Heart

This puzzle comes from Puzzle Master, and I just had to have it because it looked so cute.  Who can't resist a heart....and one that's locked is even better.  Locks were made to be opened.  Curiosity of man has always made it so.  This puzzle is no different. When I saw it on the website, I just knew I had to have it.

The puzzle is made of brass and has a nice heft to it. You know you're holding  something with this one.  There are two keys attached and the string is plenty long enough for you to open the puzzle without taking it off.  A nice little extra with this one I discovered by accident.  Well, not by accident, but by mucking about with a bunch of puzzle locks at one time and some old keys I had laying around the house (doesn't everyone have a bunch of keys laying around?) Skeleton keys with a hole in the shaft will work to open this one!  After I solved it while doing my normal weekend testing, I got to thinking about it and realized I have a few keys that have a hollow shaft and a not so long bit section.  When I got home I tried them out and sure enough, they opened the puzzle!  That's good news because if I ever loose those keys....

Puzzle Master rates it as easy, and they weren't kidding!  This one is a walk in the park.  Insert key, turn.  that's what you do with a lock isn't it?  No, that's not quite the solution, I wouldn't be that nasty.  Over all, I think it took me less than a minute to solve. I'm very serious.  I tried the obvious and that didn't work so I tried something that worked on one of my old Chinese locks and sure enough, that was the solution.

While this one is super easy, it did stump Mr. Man for a while and bug had problems with it.  It's not a puzzlers puzzle, but it's a lark to pass around to those smartypants type people.  $15 Canadian isn't a bad price either.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

2 keys

Help please! I don't know what this is that I'm playing with. I bought it from puzzlemaster at IPP32 and it has no name on it.

The object of course is to take out the peg that holds the puzzle together. Once you do that the two pieces simply slide apart.

See this was a bit of a lark. I had a bunch of Canadian dollars left over from my trip there and I knew Puzzlemaster would take them. During the puzzle party I made a bealine for his table and picked up a few toys I wanted. Then I spent the rest of my Canadian. I showed him how much I had left, and he gave me puzzles to finish off the cash. (see Kevin, you really don't have a bad problem-the real problem is when you do things like that.)

So I've no idea the name and I've no idea the price. Fun little distraction though. It has two layers with different maze patterns so there's a bit of thought needed to solve it. At the end of the day though it's not a very difficult puzzle to solve. It might have taken 20 minutes while watching a movie.
Thanks to Canuck I now know he name of this one!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Three from Logika

Today was a puzzling day.  No wait, it was a working day-testing again. Well, I can only stand so much of that before I start to go stir crazy and since it was a 8-5:30 day of it, I grabbed a wheely bag, tossed in the rest of my  marking, a few papers I was working on and 6 puzzles!  I can't say I was bored now can I?

This is the first post on a number of puzzles I picked up from PuzzleMaster.  (The others will probably come later in the week)

These 3 puzzles are all made by Logika Spiele out of Germany.  I'm going to freely admit to stealing the photos from PuzzleMaster, because I can't seem to get my old computer to recognize my phone tonight and I can't be bothered to start up my laptop (how's that for admitting laziness-but my excuse is that 9 1/2 hours of testing)  Besides, I'm linking to the site so I'm sure Alan and Leon won't mind too much.

First up Herzpuzzle.  This one is 3 hearts nicely sized, around the size of my palm for the big ones and the little ones are around the size of my thumb joints. :)  That tells you all a lot doesn't it?  This and the next puzzle, 2 disk puzzle, were a sad disappointment for me.  I had them in my hand when a kid walked in the room, and rather than put them back on the table, I kind of left them in my lap and 'adjusted the positions of the pieces simply by feel.  Oops!  One heart in place.  Must have been a fluke so I tried it with the second heart.  Nope, no fluke.  This puzzle took less than 4 minutes of not even looking to solve!

Well nuts!  On to the 2 disk puzzle then.  And another bust.  This one I did visually.  It took all of 30 seconds to solve.  I could see by one of the bumpy bits and one of the holes that this wouldn't work in the way as one would expect.  I tried what I thought was needed and it was.  For me, it was a real let down.  But hey, for $4CAD each, you can't go wrong.  The only problem or complaint I have with these is the packaging. Both come in a ziplock baggie with no padding.  When I opened the box the other day, the heart had a bump missing.  Thankfully it's not a needed bump or I would have been really upset.

Last up tonight is quadrospass.  This one was pretty neat.  It is 4 pieces each with a different cut pattern on the outside.  The object is to put the pieces into the carved out top.  I like it because once you solve the puzzle, it's like it has its own case.  You can take it with you everywhere you go for instant puzzling fun-or some other infomercial type speal. Ok, so this one took a bit longer than the previous two.  It sat on the table in front of me through 3 candidates (14 minutes @ if you are wondering) and I just stared at it out of the corner of my eye. I would never be so unprofessional that I would actually look at a puzzle while a candidate was in the room.  When that last candidate walked out, I had managed to sideways stare long enough that it was a piece of cake-or plastic maybe-to put it together. This one was fun.  I do wish I had purchased the 3 piece one at the same time.  Ah well, another order it will have to be I guess.

All in all, I would recomend these puzzles for ones that you could use to torture your friends with.  They look deceptively easy, and yet, the non-puzzler would have problems with them I'm sure.

Thanks to the lads over at PuzzleMaster for letting me steal the photos tonight ;)

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

On the Fourth Day of Christmas

My true love gave to me
Four Revo Mazes
Three Diamond Puzzles
Two Crystal Dolphins
And a Santa on a cube tree.

Ok, these have me stumped.  The Revo Mazes, which I've been told are easy, are not!  I've yet to solve a single one of these things.  I'm surprised that anyone can.  As you can see from the webpage, there is a gold version as well. I think since I have 4 expensive paperweights I may just pass on the 5th.  But if anyone is feeling rather generous and wants to gift me one....(Ok, a girl can dream can't she!)  I bought the blue and the green from the company in the UK when they first came out-or maybe when the green came out I bought backwards to save shipping costs (lord knows how I hate those) I had them sent to a friends in the UK and had to wait until he went home and came back during that summer.  The wait almost killed me, but once I started playing, the holding on to that little tiny bolt that pokes out did.  My hands simply aren't strong enough for that!  The bronze and silver I picked up at IPP30 for a good price.  PuzzleMaster just didn't want to ship that extra weight back to Canada, and since I was only traveling to HK and bringing all my puzzles on the plane, I simply couldn't resist the deal!  I read over on another blog there is an orange one out there, and as much as I'd love to get one....Money better spent on other toys.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

a mini-megaminx?

Well, yes and no. The Hryahlavolamy puzzles (from the Czech Republic) are based on the megaminx but oh so different.

You can see three of the puzzles made by this company in mid-turn. They are tiny little things. I don't have big hands, but anyone who does will have difficulties turning them. Heck, for that matter, the glowball (bottom center) I find very difficult to move. There simply isn't enough to grab onto. The puzzle to the top left is a bastardization of the flower and the metamorphix. Top right is simply called the flower.

If you can solve a megaminx, you can solve these. The challenge comes in being able to turn them. Not at all easy.

I picked these 3 and more up at IPP30 but all are available from Puzzle Master for around US$35. Dollar for puzzling value? I'd go for a megaminx. But if you want something pretty to add to your collection, well this fits the bill.