Saturday, 15 December 2012

Jugo Flower

A year and a half ago, I ordered one of Wil Strijbos creations, the Jugo Flower. While waiting for it to arrive, Allard Walker happened to write about this puzzle on his blog and I was given some idea as to how the puzzle was supposed to work. Quite a fair bit of mathematical theory I might add (which is way out of my league) but if you are interested, check out Allard's review on his blog.

For some reason after the puzzle arrived, I left it on the back burner and busied myself with other puzzles that I had acquired around the same time, only to have forgotten about it until very recently. I was spring cleaning my puzzle cupboard when I found the Jugo Flower inside the original round box it came in, with the petals having lost some of their shine.

The Jugo Flower (a.k.a Game Jugo) is about 13 cm across in diameter and shaped like a flower with 15 "petals". The petals are made of brass and connected to a rotatable aluminium hub. 12 of the petals each have one of the 12 Chinese Zodiac animal symbols etched on them, while the remaining 3 petals have the Chinese characters representing Fortune, Wealth and Longevity.

4 petals aligned with the 4 arrows turning over together at the same time
Quality and construction of the puzzle is very precise and first rate. But despite this, the puzzle feels rather fragile, especially at the connecting points between the petals and the hub. Atop the hub are four small arrows and when the arrows are aligned with the petals, the corresponding petals can all be flipped over simultaneously. The Jugo Flower came in the solved state. The object of the puzzle is to "scramble" the petals by flipping them over (by rotating the hub) and get all the petals flipped back to the solved position.

I randomly flipped most of the petals over and tried to get them back in the original order but I could see that this was no easy task. At any one time, all four petals would flip together. Very easy to scramble but difficult to unscramble. I got most of the petals right side up but always, four would invariably remain upside down. The way the Jugo Flower functions reminded me of my Puck Puzzle, which has a somewhat similar style mechanism. I must admit I lost patience after a while and eventually gave up. I guess twisty type puzzles just don't appeal much to me.

Overall a very nice (and very rare) collector's puzzle and I don't regret paying the (very expensive) price to own one...unfortunately, from a puzzling aspect, not really my cup of tea.

I think the Jugo Flower may still be available from Wil Strijbos although I can't be sure. So if anyone is interested, please email me via my profile me for his contact.


  1. Come on Jerry!
    Join me on the twisty side! You need to start with the basics and work your way up. It's great fun I promise you! Just follow the instructions in my twisties for beginners post.


  2. I Think this is a really beautiful puzzle. I had it in my office for a while, but when the secretaries decided to give it a go, she came home. It's just time consuming! You'll get there.

  3. Good thing she went home, too many hands and you may find one of her petals broken off

  4. Hi Jerry, Has Wil Strijbos got a website? also please can you give us some idea of the cost of this flower puzzle? Thanks Dave.

  5. Dave, Wil does not have a website but he has a periodic newsletter which shows his puzzles available for sale. You can contact him via his email. Please email me via my profile for Wil's email address.

  6. Thanks for your email with Wil's contact details Jerry.
    I have sent him an email and told him you sent me ;o)

    By the way I finally solved the T-DOF puzzle after many years of it sitting in my cupboard in pieces and not knowing what it was :o)