Thursday, 5 November 2015

Packed Pyramid

I am on a roll....here's another packing puzzle featuring a pyramid. This time the puzzle in question is the Packed Pyramid, Norton Starr's IPP35 Exchange Puzzle. The Packed Pyramid was designed and crafted by Bill Sheckels, a custom furniture maker who also makes very nice looking puzzles on the side.



This puzzle is quite a thing of beauty. The pieces are made from dark Mexican Ebony while the tray is Zebrawood. All in all, good colour contrast, solid, very well made with a nice smooth finish.The 4 pieces are identical pentehedrons (a 5 sided 3D polygon).

There are 3 challenges here; namely to form a pyramid shape outside the tray, then form the pyramid inside tray and finally packing the 4 pieces flat into the tray. The last challenge really isn't one since the puzzle came packed already, probably for ease of transportation and storage for the Exchange.

While there are only 4 pieces and all look the same, the task of the forming the pyramid is not as easy as it may appear...in fact, rather difficult and tricky. Trying to just combine two of the four pieces together to form some sort of coherent shape is itself pretty confusing and I found myself fumbling quite a bit. The trick is not to try to work all four pieces at the same time but start with just two. Eventually you will figure it out after some time. For some puzzlers, that may take quite a while.



Once the first challenge is solved, the second of forming the pyramid inside the tray is not difficult, at least not as difficult as the pyramid packing puzzle the "Lockdown" reviewed in the previous post. Here things are pretty straight forward. The third challenge of just placing all the 4 pieces back flat into the tray is also easy.

Overall a really nice high quality shape-forming cum packing puzzle that is challenging but not frustratingly so. Again, just the right level of difficulty for an Exchange Puzzle! 

The Packed Pyramid is available from Bill via his Etsy puzzle shop linked from his site mentioned above. 

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