Sunday, 1 February 2015

6 Ticks

6 Ticks is probably one of the nicest looking acrylic tray packing puzzles around.

Unsolved position
This was Andreas Rover's IPP34 Exchange Puzzle in London last year. In case you don't know who Andreas Rover is, well, he's the guy who created and gave us that wonderful savior called Burr Tools, without which, burr puzzles would have, in many cases, been a nightmare and cause endless misery and frustration.

Now back to 6 Ticks. The tray comprises of three layers of acrylic and one of them is a very nice frosted light turquoise colour. The six pieces are black double layered to distinguish one side from the other. Very well made!

The object of this packing puzzle is to get the six ticks to cover and line the entire inner edge of the tray, leaving no gaps that can be seen. The rule is that all the pieces must be of the same side up (one of the sides have small triangles cut into them). There are two solutions to this puzzle. 

For an exchange puzzle, the level of difficulty is just right. Not hard, but not a walk in the park either. Burr Tools (I think) may be used to help solve this puzzle. However the requirement that each solution requires all pieces to face up the same way is likely to pose a challenge within Burr Tools, although it would seem that specifying the surfaces with two different colors may help. I am not sure about this. If any reader can offer any insight into this, please feel free to comment.


  1. Yep you are right! Using colours would allow Burrtools to solve it very quickly!

    I might need to try and get one of these. I don't really do packing puzzles but if you say it's not too hard then maybe I should try. Your own IPP puzzle travels with me everywhere and I torture doctors, nurses and med students with it. No one has solved it yet!!! I actually have to work it out every time myself - I just cannot remember the solution!

  2. Kevin, go get one. It's not hard, and really high quality. Glad to know you are having fun with my exchange puzzle. But please don't torture your patients! Haha!