Saturday, 8 October 2011

12 Points To Insanity

I got this 6 piece interlocking wooden burr puzzle from Yallingup Maze, in Yallinggup, Western Australia while I was on vacation the last couple of weeks. Apart from the main attraction which is a large outdoor maze to amuse children and adults alike, it also has an indoor cafe cum puzzle shop selling a variety of wooden, metal and plastic puzzles (and games) including those from Hanayama, Philos, ThinkFun and of course from Mr Puzzle Australia.

What is really nice about the place is that you can sit and sip a cappuccino for a couple of hours and play with demo puzzles and games that are left around all over the cafe before deciding if you want to purchase any. Anyway, due to the limited time I had and in between watching over my 15 month old son, I played with around 5 or 6 puzzles before settling on buying this 12 Points To Insanity, as well as a Hanayama Cast Cage, an IPP27 exchange puzzle The Cube, a wood, string and ring puzzle called Tricky Dick and a 6 block burr called Just Six; all which I shall review hopefully at a later stage. Now back to the Insanity....

The Insanity measures about 3in x 3in x 3in and from what I think, is made of Australian cedar stained radiata wood which gives the puzzle a sort of orange brown look. Although the Insanity is made by Mr Puzzle Australia, the site doesn't appear to list this puzzle for sale. Construction and cut of the puzzle is very good and the pieces interlock nicely. This is a standard "diagonal burr" (thanks to George Bell for this info). I had a chance to "demo" this puzzle and actually managed to solve it in the cafe with the help of an enlarged photo of the puzzle in the solved state.

The version I went home with was a brand new one shrink wrapped! The puzzle description states the difficulty at level 3. I would agree. Although not difficult to solve, the Insanity does however require a fair bit of dexterity with both hands to get the 6 pieces in order to lock the puzzle together. I took a while to get to grips with the 6 pieces with two hands, three in each and kept dropping some of the pieces onto the table before finally assembling the entire thing back to its locked state. Pressing the pieces against my chest as a support helped a lot too!

While I am no expert or authority on interlocking burrs, overall, I would say the Insanity is a fun puzzle with sufficient challenge (at least for me). It can be solved pretty quickly and repeatedly once you have done it a couple of times and got the hang of it. Jeff has also commented on the Insanity on his blog.


  1. It is is a standard Diagonal Burr, a nice copy too from the looks of it!

  2. Hi George,

    Thanks. Yes, well made too without any unduly sharp edges.

  3. Hey George, You might be delighted to find out that this ancient puzzle has spawned many different descendants.
    Many puzzle designers produced some of them.