Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Heat Wave

As I was trawling through my box of IPP35 Exchange Puzzles (hoping to find something interesting and not too difficult to play with), I came across Yee Dian Lee's puzzle called Heat Wave. 


My prototype on the left and Yee Dian Lee's Exchange Puzzle on the right

Heat Wave is one of many 2D packing puzzle designs from Goh Pit Khiam. Goh has designed a number of 2D and 3D packing puzzles including some award winning ones such as the IPP33 Puzzlers' Award Dancing Shoes as well as two Honourable Jury Mentions during IPP35 for his Road Blocks and Number Blocks. Very prolific indeed!

Prior to receiving Yee Dian Lee's puzzle, I had already obtained Goh's Heat Wave design a couple of years earlier and with his permission had laser cut a prototype copy for myself based on an even earlier prototype wooden laser cut copy made by Walter Hoppe for Goh. In keeping with the name of the puzzle, I chose bright yellow and red acrylic for my copy!

Goh's original version has 5 pieces which has to be fitted into the tray that has a covering on the top with a square hole that the pieces have to go through. Lee's exchange version is the same design, except that his has an additional small square 6th piece and Lee's top covering has dimensionally smaller square hole than the original design. Lee's version also has a transparent cover to better let you see how the pieces form up inside the tray.


Beautifully laser cut and great attention to detail
with the pieces each having their own slots at the back

Heat wave is not an easy puzzle at all and I needed Goh's help to solve his version back then. Hmm...maybe things may have been less frustrating if I had used a clear cover instead. Lets just say its not your typical packing puzzle (those who have played with Goh's puzzles would know what I mean) and a number of "unusual" moves are required to fit all 5 pieces into the tray underneath the cover. Can't say more without any spoilers.

With a transparent cover, I feel Lee's version is a tad easier since you can see your progress or mistakes as you move along. Although it's actually meant to be harder than the original. But to be fair, I had played with the prototype previously. A newcomer may find it very challenging indeed. And as Heat Wave was one of my earlier packing puzzles from Goh, it did give me the experience necessary to later solve his other packing puzzles such as Retrofit and Fusion.

A great (and difficult) packing puzzle, unfortunately none commercially available except Lee may have some spare copies left over from his Exchange.


5 comments:

  1. One of my all time favorite puzzles comes from Goh Pit Khiam. I don't remember the title, sorry!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, Goh is a very prolific designer..packing, burrs, etc

      Delete
  2. This is a nice puzzle but is not one of Goh's "top three" designs. I solved it in under an hour, and was left wondering if my rotations were legal or not. One of the pieces is also quite small, which I didn't like. It is a good puzzle, but not up to "Dancing Shoes" and "Retrofit".

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  3. What I understand is that the small piece was put there to make the puzzle harder and also to cater to the square cut-out which is smaller than the original design

    ReplyDelete
  4. What I understand is that the small piece was put there to make the puzzle harder and also to cater to the square cut-out which is smaller than the original design

    ReplyDelete

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