Saturday 1 November 2014

Alles Schiebung (All Shift)

This weekend, I played with another IPP34 Exchange Puzzle, the Alles Schiebung (or Google translated) "All Shift" from Hendrik Haak. Hendrik is an Ad man and runs his own advertising agency in Germany. On the side, he runs, his online puzzle store.

The puzzle consists of a five layer sandwich with six sliders and the goal is to navigate the sliders to their outer most positions. Cut into the sliders are maze paths with pegs within which restrict their movements. Somewhere residing in the middle is a small marble that will also hamper the movement of the sliders unless the puzzle is oriented correctly.

Designed and made by Jean Claude Constantin, All Shift comprises of laser cut wood, acrylic and plastic. Good overall construction and finish throughout. However, I did find moving the sliders a bit stiff at times, but I guess this can't be helped given the puzzle has multiple sliding and moving parts.

All Shift is a variation of the N-ary type puzzle; in simple terms, meaning there is a repeating pattern of moves in sequence to reach the solution. And you also need a decent memory to remember the pattern! I managed to solve the puzzle but I doubt if I had systematically applied an N-ary sequence. It was more random trial and error, with a bit of logic thrown in. The marble in my copy also popped out halfway (not sure how it happened, but its suppose to anyway) and went into the crevices of my sofa! In the same manner, I reset the puzzle to its original state, but left the marble out since I didn't know at which stage the marble was to be inserted.

Solved Position
The puzzle came with the solution on a business card and while it detailed the sequence of moves numerically (a total of 42), the accompanying photos on the card were just too small to make out the numbering of the individual sliders. Even with the aid of a magnifying glass, I could not make out the images. I have shot a note to Hendrik for help and awaiting a larger more legible copy of the solution..      

Overall a nice design concept with a different application of "N-ary". For those who are into this category of puzzles, the All Shift is worth considering. It is available on Hendrik's online store.

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