Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Vectes / Ghidorah

Name
Vectes / Ghidorah

Designer
Ghidorah - Yavuz Demirhan
Vectes - Alfons Eyckmans

Ghidorah
Vectes

Manufacturer
Eric Fuller. Puzzle(s) were from www.cubicdissection.com for US$89. Currently sold out.

Type & Classification
Both are interlocking burrs

Dimensions
Vectes - 8.8 cm (Height) x 8.8 cm (Width) x 8.8 cm (Depth).
Ghidorah - 6.6 cm (Height) x 6.6 cm (Width) x 6.6 cm (Depth).

Materials & Construction
Walnut, Canarywood and Yellowheart. Quality of construction, fit and finish is of the usual Eric Fuller excellent standards. Very tight tolerances and pieces moved smoothly, but when left out in the open, was not really affected by the humidity and this is due to Eric making them a "looser fit" to begin with.

Overview
This puzzle is rather unusual because its really "two" puzzles combined into one. Both the designers of the Vectes and Ghidorah puzzles had co-incidentally designed a "cage" which was identical for their pieces to fit into. So I suppose you can say I got two puzzles for the price of one; well... more like one and a half puzzles since there was only one cage supplied.

Eric says the Ghidorah is the "warm up" puzzle, meaning its suppose to be easier and the one you should begin with of the two. The Ghidorah has a "simpler" 22.3.4 solution, in that it requires (only) 22 moves to remove the first piece, while the more difficult Vectes has a 37.2.3 solution; 37 moves for the first piece to be extracted from the cage. I am not sure how even the Ghidorah can be considered easier (not easy), not for me at least.

Vectes / Ghidorah with a common cage

The puzzle came disassembled and so it was not a matter of getting the first piece out but rather figuring how to insert the pieces into the cage correctly and solve the puzzle. Using the photo on Eric's website, I tried to see what I could do. But as in interlocking puzzles of this nature, they are usually way beyond me almost always all the time. Without any luck on Ghidorah after quite a while, I didn't even try to attempt the harder Vectes.

But luckily I have learnt to use Burrtools and this as usual came in very handy indeed. However, because the puzzle came unsolved, I had some initial difficulty trying to get the drawings rendered right with the programme. I could only rely on photos of the puzzles in their solved state, not the actual puzzles themselves. So even using the software here was a bit of a challenge.

Difficulty Level
Just two words - Extremely difficult! Made more so by the fact that they are shipped unassembled.

Summary
For me, they are more a collector's puzzles than something that I will play. As one well known puzzle designer has commented, there are puzzle collectors and there are puzzlers solvers, and the two are sometimes mutually exclusive. I definitely fall into the former category.

If anyone wants the Burrtools files for these two puzzles, please feel free to PM me via my profile email.

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