Monday, 7 December 2015

Cubic Burr

Designed by Tom Jolly, who has to-date 68 designs on PWBP, the Cubic Burr was Tim Udall's IPP35 Exchange Puzzle. Also made by Tim himself, this one is hardy, can stand knocks and abuse. That's why I took it with me on my present business trip for some puzzling (instead of pubbing) fun after work.

The Cubic Burr is a 6-piece interlocking solid with one congruent pair of pieces. Its made of Red Meranti which gives it the dark brown appearance. The Cubic Burr is 7.5cm square all round and solid and heavy. Construction and finish is good and all the pieces appear well cut and glued together. The only gripe I have is that I wished the pieces could slide against each other more smoothly; it was a bit stiff here and there but thankfully there was no jamming during play and things improved as the burr got broken in.

The Burr came solved so the object is to disassemble and re-assemble the 6 pieces. It didn't look like one of those complicated type high-level burrs but this puzzle is no walk in the park either with a level solution. Right from the start I was stumped a while and it took me a good nearly 10 minutes to move the first piece, after a bit of shaking and light banging to make sure the pieces were not stuck to each other (which I initially thought they were).

With some manipulation, I was able to remove the first piece and after nine more moves, the second came out. Because the burr consists of only 6 pieces and the first two came out in a similar sort of way, it was easier to remember the moves and the orientation of the pieces. This is one of those burrs which I did not have to resort to Burr Tools for assistance. Of course I didn't want to scramble the pieces and give myself problems later. So I did the smart thing to lay the pieces out on my hotel room bed in the order they came apart during the solve. Returning the pieces to the solved cube was the reverse and I managed this without too much fuss.

Overall a nice and well made interlocking puzzle with just the right level of difficulty for an exchange puzzle. Fun to solve too!