Wednesday 2 October 2013

Choreographed Motion

Choreographed Motion

Andreas Rover. For those of you who do not know, Andreas is the developer of BurrTools, the wonderful saviour programme that allows users to solve mechanical puzzles, mainly those consisting of square, prism or sphere shaped units, including high level burrs.

Andreas Rover. Currently still available via his website for 17 Euros.

Type & Classification
Interlocking; Take-Apart.

6.4cm (length) x 6.4cm (Width) x 2.7cm (Height)

Materials & Construction
Acrylic (perspex). Overall good quality of build with the moving pieces nicely cut to tight tolerances. There is glueing of pieces involved here. As the acrylic is transparent, there are some areas where you do see the dried glue between the joined surfaces and a couple of small stains here and there. But this can't be helped since Andreas did it all manually by hand, 140 copies in all! Check out how he did it from his site.

Choreographed Motion was Andreas' Exchange Puzzle at IPP29 at San Francisco, USA in 2009.

I first saw the Choreographed Motion from fellow puzzle blogger Oli Sovary-Soos' Flickr album that accompanies his Hotmail. I asked Oli where he had got his copy from and he promptly directed me to Andrea's puzzle website. After exchanging email with Andreas and several days later, the Choreographed Motion, along with two of his other puzzle designs were on their way to me.

The Choreographed Motion consists of an acrylic box "frame" within which sit four interlocking pieces. Each of the pieces have notches and grooves formed by different shaped black acrylic pieces glued to the transparent ones. Physically, the Choreographed Motion does bear a certain resemblance to the Internal Combustion puzzle, except here you can see the insides.

The object of the puzzle is of course to remove the four individual pieces. However, unlike the Internal Combustion which is more a sequential movement puzzle, the Choreographed Motion requires (as the cleverly chosen name does suggest) certain coordinated moves to disassemble the puzzle.

I tried the traditional one-piece-at-a-time approach but from very early on, discovered that this wasn't going to work. More than one, two or even three of the pieces have to be manipulated, all at the same time, to slowly manoeuvre each piece away from the frame. While disassembly was fairly challenging, surprisingly I found the assembly easier (strange!) and was able to get the pieces back into place quite a bit faster than I had taken them apart.

Difficulty Level
A nice challenge but not too difficult, given its only two dimensional. The pieces may squeak a bit here and there at first and you will experience some tightness, but after some playing, they will be "seasoned" and loosen up slightly so that movement becomes smoother. With some practice, I actually could solve it repeatedly quite easily.

For 17 Euros, very good value for money both from a quality and puzzling standpoint. Nice design of a "framed burr" puzzle using transparent acrylic (instead of the usual wood). I am wondering how much more difficult it would be if the frame is not transparent. Highly recommended and do approach Andreas before he runs out.

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