I haven't blogged in a while. The main reason for this is the abundance of puzzles that have landed on my doorstep. In total, since my last blog post, I have received a total of 17 puzzles!!! (and I'm still waiting on one more!). They are made up of a large shipment from Mr Puzzle in Australia, several auctions I have won recently and puzzles that have just been recently made (one from a fellow blogger!!). But now I have 10 days off work, I should be able to solve a great deal of them and knock out several reviews while I'm at it.
|The latest shipment from Eric Fuller|
The ones I'll be reviewing today are the ones I've recently solved from Eric Fuller, a brilliant craftsman from America. I reviewed two other burrs from Eric a while back, the Burr Circus and the Uranus, so check that one out if you haven't already.
These two burrs then are from his latest batch of puzzles made this month, from his website Cubic Dissection. I bought four of them in total, but the other two I haven't completed yet, so I'll review those later ... plus it breaks down the blog post nicely!! (hence the "Part I").
The first then is called Derek's Half Dozen and is designed by a nice chap from the Revomaze forum (which I've talked about before and still haven't reviewed the puzzles!), Derek Bosch. However, this burr he's designed is far from nice, but please don't get me wrong, IT'S GREAT!!!!
|Derek's Half Dozen|
But, I'll begin by telling you a bit about the construction. I don't know the entire process but Derek has obviously given Eric the design so he could make it. Eric is most definitely one of the best craftsman based on the puzzles he's made in my collection. They all have near perfect tolerances (with enough space for changes in humidity) and are all made with impeccable quality out of the most aesthetically pleasing wood selections. Eric changed the design of Derek's Half Dozen to make it slightly easier by making it in three separate woods, Ash, Bubinga and Wenge. Therefore making it easier to picture which pieces go where when reassembling it. But they are definitely a striking trio. The Wenge jumps out from the Ash and the Bubinga sits nicely in the middle. It just looks fantastic. As I mentioned before, the fit is near perfect as well. There is a little wiggle room between the pieces, just in case England gets some kind of hot Summer (even for a day or two!!) and the wood swells because of the humidity.
|Derek's Half Dozen disassembled|
Anywho, now on to the puzzle itself. It is an interlocking six piece burr puzzle, similar to the others I've mentioned, except the pieces are slightly different (which you'll see when it's disassembled). This makes for a very nice movement and interaction between the pieces. Normally with a burr the pieces all move "within" each other, interlocking, whereas with Derek's Half Dozen, not only do they move within each other, they can also pass over and under each other, which I haven't come across before (at least not with a six piece burr). It's a little hard to explain, so I'll move on!!
The burr is a level 26.9.5, so it's pretty difficult, but Eric nicely sent it assembled! I'm pretty certain I wouldn't have gotten it together otherwise, because it's insane!! The motions are just brilliant and make full use of all the possible movements of the pieces. Therefore there are a few dead ends at certain points along the way, which just adds to the fun!!
Should probably wrap this up, because I could go on forever!! Overall, this is an absolute joy to solve and is beautifully made. Therefore it is one of my favourite burrs, the other being Junichi Yananose's Uranus, that coincidentally Eric also made.
The second one I just solved is Triaxe and is designed by Stephane Chomine. A few of Stephane works have and are featured on the Arteludes website, but unfortunately I don't own any, until now!
It's made from Quilted Maple and Bloodwood which again is a striking combination as the deep-red Bloodwood stands out from the almost-pure-white Quilted Maple. Again Eric's craftsmanship is stunning as the tolerances are great. The cage must have been a nightmare to keep square and the corners are actually sharp!!
As for the puzzle, it's only a three piece puzzle but that by no means makes it easy. There are lots of dead ends because, right from the start, the pieces move quite far. Which is my only quibble with this puzzle. I like my puzzles to be all square and the pieces lined up when they are being displayed and with this one, is a nightmare, because all of the pieces move right at the start.
Anywho, regardless of my slight OCD, it makes for a great puzzle and it was great to solve. Not too tricky, yet not too easy. According to Eric, it's a level 24, but I've counted my method and I don't think it's 24 moves so I'll have to check it against Eric's solution.
Definitely pleased with these two from Eric and I'm certainly enjoying the other two as well, Vectes / Ghidorah and The Core, which I'll review when I've completed them!!
That's all for now!!!