Saturday, 10 September 2016

Bolt & Golden Rhombic Icosahedron

Here are two IPP36 Exchange Puzzles I played with over the weekend.

The first is Bolt, designed by Atsushi Katagiri and made by Hideto Sato. Bolt is a relatively large puzzle measuring a good 12cm x 9cm x 7cm. Very well made and high quality, its a trick opening puzzle box made of some exotic Japanese wood (I am not sure what it is tho'). Even the turquoise cardboard box which it comes in looks and feels expensive, similar to those carrying Karakuri puzzles.

The Bolt is not a difficult puzzle and requires just four moves to remove the lid.  Not too hard to discover. Inside there is a cavernous amount of free space to put in personal items. A lot of puzzle boxes have tiny spaces to keep tiny momentoes but not the Bolt; it can probably take a couple of men's watches, rings and necklaces as well. A highly functional puzzle box for sure.

The second puzzle is Stephen Chin's Golden Rhombic Icosahedron...quite a mouthful for the name! Stephen Chin is very well known in the puzzle community for his polyhedron puzzles.

An icosahedron is a polyhedron with 20 faces! I am pretty sure few of you puzzlers know right off the bat what "icosahedron" or "polyhedron" means, so click the link here to find out more.

What is unique about this particular icosahedron is that its (perfectly) symmetrical, as far as I can tell. Also called a Platonic icosahedron, it looks familiarly like a super large "diamond" made of wood. This one measure about 8cm in diameter and 6cm thick. The object of Stephan's puzzle is to find the three ways to "open" up the icosahedron, which has been dissected into three interconnecting pieces. 

The puzzle is very well constructed, so well in fact that all the edges of the puzzle line up and join perfectly with each other. It took me a good several minutes of pressing and tugging before I found a slight movement of one of the edges. A bit more pulling and soon I extracted one of the three pieces. The puzzle is not serially interlocked, so removing a different piece can similarly open up the puzzle. I was able to open up the icosahedron with the removal of 2 of the 3 pieces but the third I found a bit too tight to disassemble and didn't bother going further. If you take apart the three pieces and scramble them up a bit, it takes a while to get the orientation right and re-assemble. 

Oh I forgot to mention Stephan says there's also a fourth way to open the puzzle....drop it!


  1. The most amazing thing about this puzzle is that Stephen made 100 of them! This is very difficult and time consuming, in my estimation. You have to get all the angles nearly perfect for the fit to be perfect.

    I've not heard the term "Platonic icosahedron", perhaps you refer to the icosahedron with 20 identical equilateral triangles.

  2. You forgot to spin it,,,,heh heh
    Stephen Chin