Thursday, 13 October 2016

Murbiter's Devilish Burr

The past few days were spent on Rosemary Howbrigg's IPP36 Exchange Puzzle, Murbiter's Devilish Burr designed by Primitivo Familiar Ramos. 



"Murbiter" is the ancient Arabic name of a town in Valencia, Spain called Sagunto, where Primitivo was born. I think this is the second burr Primitivo has named Murbiter; In 2014, Primitivo's own Exchange Puzzle was called the Murbiter's Psuedo Burr, the latter incidentally which was a lot easier to solve.

The design was produced for the Exchange by Brian Young of Mr Australia. The puzzle measures about 8cm x 8cm x 8cm and the pieces are made from Queensland Silver Ash while the burr ends with their rather nice edges are a contrasty reddish brown Western Australian Jarrah. Overall build quality and construction is excellent and all the pieces are snug but move smoothly.

I was stuck like that for some time even with Burr Tools
What is noticeably different about the Murbiter are the burr ends that lend the "I" shape to each piece (and according to James Dalgety, this technically should not qualify the Murbiter as a "burr" in the traditional sense of the word). The ends are not there just to make the puzzle look different but are integral to the design and the way the puzzle interlocks. Without the ends, the Murbiter has only a maximum level 6 solution. And since we are talking about the number of moves, I might as well deal with the puzzling aspect. This is a mid-level 15 solution burr and requires a total of 21 moves to take the thing fully apart. I did manage to take it apart (after quite a lot of time and effort), but putting it back together was really beyond me. It's not only devilish, its hellish! Make no mistake...it's way harder than it's level 15 solution would suggest.


I must insist that this puzzle is such a dexterous handful it requires more than two hands to solve! Even with the aid of Burr Tools, its difficult! Thank goodness I had my supportive wife to help....she supported and held the first three pieces in place with her hands while I slowly piled on the rest with mine. Brian says that the Murbiter "is a real challenge but not impossible"...which IMHO is somewhat of an understatement! Which is why Brian has also made an interesting video of himself solving the Murbiter unsupported, so go watch it. Don't worry, I doubt it will be a spoiler for anyone, given the way the solving goes.

For interlocking puzzle addicts, this is an interesting looking (and real challenging) one to add to your collection. Available from Mr Puzzle for A$59.09.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the blog Jerry. I was really pleased at how this puzzle turned out. Special thanks to Rosemary of course for wanting to give it as an exchange puzzle.
    Yes, this one does work in BurrTools. But BurrTools has no gravity! So the printed the solution that comes with the puzzle when I sell it now (it will also be in the IPP book) will be more helpful. It's the same solution but a slightly different order of assembly so easier to handle.
    After I sent Rosemary the first sample she was sure I must have used a jig to assemble them all... hence, the video proof. But I admit I could only do the video after assembling 100+ ... don't ask me to repeat it that fast now!

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