Friday, 26 February 2016

Baffling Bolted Book

Baffling Bolted Book ("BBB")

Louis Coolen & Adin Townsend

Manufacturer & Availability
Produced by Allard Walker (but all 3 gents had a hand in doing the modding and fittings with Louis doing most of the work!)

Type & Classification
Trick Opening/Take-Apart/2D Packing

18.2cm x 12cm x 3.8cm 

Materials & Construction
The puzzle is actually a box which has been made to resemble a book and I believe the box is commercially available. Made of plywood with canvas wrapping. The 2D packing puzzle is laser cut acrylic.

This is one of the more unusual looking (and rather large in size) puzzles at the IPP34 Puzzle Exchange and it was fellow puzzle blogger Allard Walker's exchange puzzle. The BBB follows the theme of his previous year's (IPP33) exchange puzzle the Conjuring Conundrum where an available object (in the case of the BBB, a box-book) is fashioned and modified into a working mechanical puzzle. 

Like the Conjuring Conundrum, the BBB offers two challenges. The first and easier (not easy) task is to open the box. The second is to use three pieces stuffed in a bag inside the box to make a line-symmetrical shape in a frame that is attached to the underside of the lid.

This is a sequential discovery puzzle where you are required to use whatever's in the puzzle (eg; tools etc) to solve it. No external implements or tools are allowed. To open the box requires approximate 7-8 steps. After about 3 steps, the lid opens partially and you get to have a bit of a glimpse of the inside. An a-ha moment! You can just about see a cloth bag and a card which holds the acrylic pieces for the second challenge but not more. From here, the difficulty increases. Not easy moving forward and it does require you to do some thinking how to use what's within the box to progress further. The next 4-5 steps if executed correctly will release the lid fully and bring you to the second challenge, forming a line-symmetrical shape inside the frame.

In case you are wondering what's a line symmetrical shape...simply put is this...if you draw a straight line over the shape you have formed with the three pieces and if the shape is the correct intended shape, you will get a mirror image on the left and right side of the line. Although its only three pieces, this 2D packing challenge is tough because you not only have to firstly form a symmetrical shape, but you need to form one that fits inside the parallelogram shaped frame. There are several symmetrical shapes to be found but only one which will fit inside the frame. Here is what makes the second challenge so very difficult, despite only having three pieces. Took me a while to figure this part out. I will not link the solution here but will provide it via email upon request.

Difficulty Level
For sequential discovery puzzle lovers, this is a pretty good one with some tricks here and there. Need to be careful or might miss some things. Not overly difficult but by no means easy either. For the 2D packing challenge, very difficult and can be a real pain! Not that many symmetrical type puzzles out there and this one is really a toughie.

A very nice, unusual and well executed exchange puzzle which provides two challenges in one puzzle. The BBB is available in limited quantities from puzzle purveyor Wil Strijbos. The 2D packing challenge is also available as a standalone puzzle (called the Symmple Puzzle; what an understatement! and designed by Adin Townsend) and available from Louis Coolen.


  1. I found opening the book harder than making the mirror symmetric shape.

  2. I am still struggling for the second challenge....
    Opening the book was not too difficult and I could open it without having discovered the tool! just using finfers work perfectly... ;-)