Puzzlefriend’s Weblog

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OK. So it hasn’t taken the world by storm yet, but right around the world there is a small hard-core group of metagrobologists whose passion is designing, making and solving puzzles.

No, not jigsaw puzzles, or crossword puzzles, but real solid 3-dimensional objects that can be put together, taken apart, disentangled, sequentially interlocked, re-orientated and generally solved.

I’ve been a puzzle fan since my childhood and have fond memories of both of my grandfathers having small collections of dexterity puzzles and curious objects. In my teenage years I discovered Martin Gardner’s column in Scientific American magazine and was enthralled by his regular features on puzzles that could be made at home.

The first wooden cube I ever made was a tiny version of Piet Hein’s Soma Cube, made by gluing togetherĀ 27 white single unit cubes from a set of Cuisenaire Rods that my parents had bought us to help us with our maths homework.

Over the years, I gradually improved my woodworking skills and progressed to making burr puzzles of ever increasing complexity. My favourite wooden puzzle type has always been the interlocking 4 x 4 x 4 cube which has numerous variations and levels of difficulty. Making and solving wooden puzzles was (and is) great fun but the ultimate goal for me was to design my very own puzzle.

This seemed likeĀ just wishful thinking until, in 2003, I discovered LiveCubes – like Lego for puzzle designers. I bought a starter pack of cubes from their shop and before long I had my first two creations.

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