Tuesday 13 September 2011


Digigrams is designed by Martin Watson and made by Eric Fuller. This puzzle came from CubicDissection and as of the time of this writing, there are still 4 copies of the puzzle left. This puzzle measures 3 1/2in x 3in x 1/2in and is made of walnut for the frame, grandillo for the base (tray) and for the numerical digits, acrylic. Quality of construction, fit and finish is excellent. While not obvious, the edges of the frame are also very slightly beveled, adding to the attention to detail. The acrylic digits are very neat and precisely cut and they fit just nicely into the box frame.
This is a packing puzzle and instead of the usual blocks or other odd shapes, the pieces are actually digits (hence the name Digigrams) numbering from 1 to 9 plus a 0. The object is to fit all 10 digits into the frame. The font of the digits are similar to those found on LCD digital watches.

This is my first packing puzzle and I had a quite a bit of difficulty with it. Every time, just when I thought I had got all the 10 digits in, there would invariably be one piece that cannot fit in the last remaining space and I would have to re-arrange all the digits again. The difficulty of the puzzle also lies in the fact that not every digit is to be placed in either the vertical or horizontal orientation, but rather a mixture of the two. This is compounded by the requirement that the digits (the way they have been cut) need to be placed face up properly, otherwise adjacent pieces may not be able to fit as intended. Visually, I feel the laser cut acrylic digits also make the puzzle much harder to solve.

After quite a while I gave up and decided to look for a solution. Unfortunately none came with the puzzle. But I remembered seeing photos of the all-wood version on Steve Strickland's puzzle site (WARNING - don't click on the link if you do not wish to see the solution....just yet) where the digits were crafted out of 3 different types of wood. With the aid of these photos, I had no problem packing the digits into the frame. I committed the position of the digits to memory and after several practice runs, had no problem solving the puzzle repeatedly and quickly.

Overall, a nice pocketable puzzle of just the right kind of size for you to take anywhere. For the price and quality, Digigram is also pretty good value for money.

1 comment:

  1. Fifteen years on from designing this puzzle, I am still very proud of it, and it still gives me a lot of trouble. I enjoyed your review. The full story is on my web site. Sadly it gets copied a lot without my permission, but I work hard to prevent that.