Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Box Packing

Name
Box Packing

Designer
William Hu. To see his designs click here.



Manufacturer
Pelikan

Type & Classification
Interlocking, sequential movement

Dimensions
8.0cm (Length) x 8.0cm (Width) and 7.0cm (Height). 

Materials & Construction
A combination of 3 solid hardwoods. The box frame is Cherry while the pieces are Wenge. Nice contrast of colours here. Top-notch construction and finish as always.

The pieces are glued together to form their irregular shapes. Do be careful since they are thinner than usual (at just 1.0cm sq) and rather delicate, which makes them susceptible to cracking or breaking if there is undue use of force during play. I did experience a fair amount of flex while pushing and pulling the pieces.

Overview
This rather nice and different looking interlocking puzzle is my first from designer William Hu

The object is to remove the 4 pieces and reassemble them within the open top/bottom box frame. It looks unusual because the 4 pieces besides interlocking themselves inside the box also "claw" the external surfaces of the box.


As you start puzzling, you will find the pieces have to move in sequence in order to progress. Removing the first piece while seemingly complicated is actually manageable. For me it was a matter of experimenting with each of the pieces to see how they interacted with each other and the frame. I didn't take that long to extract the first piece but I remember it took quite a number of moves. Once you have the second piece out, the remaining two come out easily.   

Like a number of interlocking puzzles, reassembly poses the harder challenge. However, with such puzzles, I try to document each step with photos just in case I lose my way. True enough during reassembly I did. Got confused with the orientation of the pieces mid way through. For Box Packing, I could not have remembered the correct steps and moves if not for the photos, which guided me in the reverse order of "packing" back together everything.

Difficulty Level
This is a level 8.4.3.1 puzzle requiring 8 moves to remove the first piece and 4 to remove the second and so on. Relatively easier (not easy) to disassemble but challenging to put back. But once you memorise the steps and where each piece's position is, in relation to the others, may not be too difficult to repeat solve, and thankfully there are no more than 4 pieces to deal with.

Summary
Aside from being a challenging puzzle, the Box Packing stands out from the atypical cuboid shapes that adorn many interlocking puzzles. Very nice for display and excellent value for money too. I just wish the puzzle had been made dimensionally larger to be more sturdy. 

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