Sunday 9 February 2014

T4-II (Tea For 2)

T4-II (Tea For 2)

Mineyuki Uyematsu who has done over 70 designs to-date.

Mineyuki Uyematsu. Mineyuki sells the T4-II and other puzzles on his website but is currently sold out. The site is in Japanese so Google translate would help.

Type & Classification

3D Packing

7.6cm (Length) x 7.6cm (Width) x 3cm (Height)

Materials & Construction
A combination of several exotic hardwoods; the box frame is made of what looks like Walnut. Cover is frosted acrylic. Very well made and the pieces have nice bevelled edges throughout.

T4-II is Mineyuki's entry for the 2013 Nob Yoshigahara Puzzle Design Competition at IPP33 in Tokyo, Japan this year. 

I first handled this rather nice looking puzzle at IPP33 during the two days judging process of the design entries but didn't get anywhere with it. When it came to the day of the Puzzle Party, Mineyuki had a number of copies for sale and I duly bought one.

T4-II is a 3D packing puzzle and the object is to fit the 4 pieces into the box. Simple it seems when you first look at the 4 identical T-shaped pieces and try to figure out the layout it would take within the box (not hard this latter part). Except that you have to get them through an odd-shaped looking cut-out on the acrylic cover that seals the box. Even this part seems manageable until you discover that always the last piece can't seem to go in.

The cover makes the puzzle tricky and a bit of thinking outside the box (no pun intended) is required here. Not the usual method of trial and error here; which I normally first adopt, but to no avail of course.

I studied the cut-out in greater detail and tried various movements and orientations with the pieces. Suddenly something clicked and I was on my way to packing all 4 pieces in nicely.

Difficulty Level
Challenging but not too difficult. There is one first important step that will lead the solving process and once you discover this step, the rest becomes obvious. Like I mentioned above, you need to depart from the typical approach here.


For those who like packing puzzles, this is a good one to acquire. Fun and with an unexpected (but rather rewarding) solution.

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