Tuesday, 8 March 2016

When Is A Burr Not A Burr?

Update 23 October 2017 - Dear Reader, please check out my new puzzle blog and e-store at http://mechanical-puzzles.com

Pinwheel Burr. 

Oskar van Deventer

Manufacturer & Availability
Produced by Dave Rossetti (mentored by Tom Lensch). This was Dave's IPP35 Exchange Puzzle in Ottawa, Canada last August. 

Type & Classification
Interlocking solid; 3D Packing; Put-Together

9cm x 7.7cm x 7.7cm

Materials & Construction
Made of four different exotic woods; Bocote, African Mahogany, Spalted Tamarid and Ebony and plywood for the base, the construction fit and finish is very good. All the pieces fit nicely.

The Pinwheel Burr looks like a burr, is as difficult (if not more so) than a typical mid-level burr but yet isn't really a burr as such. I would consider it more a 3D packing puzzle since the goal is to fit the eight pieces around a cube and the whole lot onto a base. Not only that, but also to form the "pinwheel" with the same wood type for each of six facings.

Each of the eight pieces comprise three blocks each measuring 1 x 2 x 2 glued together to form different shapes and in different combination of woods. Initially it doesn't look that difficult as you take out the pieces from the base. 

However, the whole ensemble and the orientation of the pieces relative to each other is very confusing to put back once the pieces are fully scrambled (just look at the photo above). Also trying to tell the different woods apart was also quite a challenge for me. To match back the same wood type to form the pinwheel for each side is really no joke. I got nowhere with this one and had to resort to the solution, which thankfully came with the puzzle. 

Difficulty Level
Very difficult and it even took me a while to understand and figure out the solution diagrams too before I managed to get the whole lot back correctly together. Hardcore packing puzzle enthusiasts would enjoy this one!

1 comment:

  1. On this puzzle it can be hard to differentiate the 4 wood types. Other than that, I didn't have much trouble with this one.