Sunday 26 July 2015

Singapore Puzzle Party (SPP01)

Towards the end of June this year, Roxanne Wong got in touch with me to let me know that Oskar van Deventer was coming to Singapore for a business trip and had given Oskar my email to link us both up. I had met Oskar twice previously, both times very briefly at IPP33 in Japan and IPP34 in London, the latter during which we also exchanged puzzles.

Clockwise from left: Me, Goh Pit Khiam, Seung Ha, Lim Chen, David Chua, David Ang, Oskar and KangZZ
Since Oskar also knew puzzle designer Goh Pit Khiam, the plan was for the both of us to take him to dinner, play with some puzzles (I asked Oskar to bring his latest designs) and have a catch up. In the course of several email exchanges, I also got to know David Ang through Oskar. David runs CubeWerkz, a distributor of twisty (Calvin's) puzzles in Singapore, but I have never met him before. 

Not only that, I also found out, after calling and speaking with David the first time, that he runs Rubik's competitions in Singapore. Kinda of strange as Singapore is such a small country (5.2M population) and I have been puzzling and blogging for some years now, yet have never heard of David nor he of me! Well, then again, its probably because I am not a twisty collector, hence I don't really move in the twisty circles which he operates.

What was going to be a simple three men meet up now became an eight persons gathering, as David was bringing several other twisty puzzle/cubing enthusiasts. There were several others who were invited but were unable to attend. Until now, I always thought I could count puzzle collectors in Singapore with just one hand. 

Fast forward and we get to the evening of Saturday 25th July. Pit Khiam and I met with Oskar at his hotel and we took a stroll to the restaurant which was nearby. There we met David and his (young) twisty gang; two junior college students, one who was doing his stint in the army and a high school teacher.

Dinner commenced (and it was a pretty decent buffet mind you) but it was obvious that food was secondary. Well I should have known better that when puzzlers get together with lots of puzzles to play with, the world can suddenly be overrun by a zombie apocalypse and nobody would really pay any attention. 

As to be expected, no one wanted second helpings and everyone was just eager to get the dirty dishes out of the way. Pit Khiam and I were the only two non-cubers and each of us had brought a number of puzzles with us. David brought some new interesting twisties he was introducing to the Singapore market, and the rest of the folks had a puzzle or two with them. Oskar had the largest stash which he carried all the way from the Netherlands comprising some of his latest prototypes (which incidentally are available on Shapeways but at rather expensive prices).

Everyone got round to playing with each other's puzzles especially the new ones from Oskar and even a couple of cubers tried their hand at Pit Khiam's and my non-twisty packing puzzles. Our table was full of loud and animated conversation. The other diners in the restaurant gave us bemused looks as we passed our toys around. We were in a world of our own! I kept hearing words like "parity", "algorithms" etc; twisty speak of course. The evening ended rather early to the disappointment of everyone...the restaurant was closing and the staff politely asked us come back another day!

Well, enough from me; I will just let the photos do the talking from here on...

This is perhaps the first Singapore Puzzle Party? And I was happy to have made a number of new puzzle friends from Singapore. Certainly it won't be the last...already I am planning on organising the second get-together after IPP35, now that I know there is more than just a few of us collectors around, twisty or otherwise.   


  1. Awesome group - David Ang is well know amongst us puzzlers on Facebook and is on the Puzzle Photography group! Very devoted to twisties but hopefully you can tempt him into general puzzling!

    That looks like a nice restaurant but why not go Singaporean?


    1. Thanks Kevin. Yes I am very happy to have met David Ang and his friends. The restaurant was suggested by Pit Khiam actually cos it has Dutch influences..ha ha...for Oskar's sake...and the buffet menu is fixed price and reasonable

  2. Congratulations to the 1st Singapore Puzzle Party! I think the puzzle circle of Singapore will be expanded in a way we havn't imagine before!

    1. Thanks Otis. I met all these puzzlers which I have never met before and made new friends...hopefully we can meet more at the next gathering..I am pretty sure now there is more than just a handful of puzzle collectors and enthusiasts in Singapore.

  3. Hi
    nice to hear about the next puzzle Party;
    I think I saw in the Pictures some puzzles which are in the design competition too !!??

    1. Hi Bernhard, thanks. Yes, one of my puzzles is in the design competition.