Thursday, 26 June 2014

Pentomino Maze

Pentomino Maze

Tamas Vanyo. A very prolific designer with numerous designs to-date. Click here to see his latest designs.

Pelikan. Currently available from PuzzleMaster.

Type & Classification

Interlocking, sequential movement

10cm (Length) x 6cm (Width) and 3cm (Height). 

Materials & Construction
The frame is Maple while the pieces are Mahogany. As usual, very well made and everything fits and slides together smoothly and nicely.

This is my third puzzle from Tamas, the previous two being the Orsi and Noncsi reviewed a while back.

Pentominoes have a place in my heart. My first five wooden puzzle designs were based on Pentominoes. Aside from this, I also tend to like non-cube shaped puzzles.

Unlike my amateurishly designed puzzles, Tamas' sophisticated version here consist of an irregular shaped maze frame to which the pieces, consisting of 12 pairs of pentominoes (connected together) must be inserted in to form a rectangular solid box.

As the name implies, the puzzle is indeed like a maze and you need to "navigate" the pieces through a single opening of the frame. Be careful here though as the frame can be rather delicate since its only connected at two places and excessive force may result in breakage.

Removing the pieces is relatively simple since its just a matter of sliding the first piece out and the rest will follow suit. 

Re-assembly (everything in reverse) is far more difficult if you mix up the pieces, their orientation or forget the order they come out. My suggestion is that you photo document your disassembly moves. Trying to first find the rectangular shape of the box with the pieces away from the frame probably won't help much since there are 2339 ways to form a 6 x 10 rectangle using all the 12 pentominoes. Tamas didn't make it easy for this one. But rest assured, there are no rotations needed here.

Difficulty Level
Easy to take apart but very difficult to put together (if you happen to choose to scramble up the pieces and lose your way). But help is at hand for those lost via either Burr Tools or

A different take on a very nice interlocking puzzle with a Pentominoes theme, fully utilising all 12 flat pentomino shapes.

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