Sunday 6 April 2014

ODD Puzzle

ODD Puzzle

Hirokazu Iwasawa. For more of Iwasawa's designs, click here.

Torito of Japan. Retailed by Satomi Beattie of CU-Japan who's based in the United Kingdom. 

Type & Classification

3D Packing

8.9cm (Length) x 8.9cm (Width) x 5.0cm (Height). 

Materials & Construction
MDF Board for the box. A light coloured type of wood (looks like rubber wood) for the pieces Construction, fit and finish is overall good. This is the mass market version. There is also a high end version made of exotic hardwoods which was available for a time.

The ODD Puzzle won the Puzzle Of The Year award at IPP28 held in Prague, Czech Republic in 2008.

This one has a strange name. It's called the ODD. And it's called that because of the shape of the 3 pieces. They resemble the alphabets O.D.D (look carefully...see it now?).

The object of the ODD is to place all 3 pieces into the box without any of the pieces sticking out. For a 3-piece packing puzzle, one might wonder how difficult this can be, but believe me, it took me a good portion of an evening to figure this one out. The top of the box has a rectangular cut-out to insert the pieces, and this restriction makes the puzzle tough!

Each of the pieces can be inserted into the box, but usually when one is inside, neither of the other two can be inserted, or if both can be inserted, one is usually sticking a bit out. I had an idea what needed to be done and in fact my method was correct. However it was the way of execution that was wrong (in the opposite) that got me stuck for a while, until I tried what I thought was impossible but actually not.

Without giving any clues or spoilers, suffice to say you have to insert the pieces in such a manner that will eventually see all 3 flush inside the box. I might like to add that the ODD has a pretty elegant solution....and no force is required. I have not added a photo of the solved state here as this gives too much of a hint. But if you are struggling with the ODD, feel free to contact me for help.

Difficulty Level
Not your typical packing puzzle. Very challenging and you need to think about the end result of how the 3 pieces will sit correctly in the box and plan your way towards that. But once you solve it, it is easily re-solvable.


What's neat about the ODD is that physically, it looks deceptively really simple with just 3 pieces and a box... but a real challenge to boot. A really great packing puzzle and well deserving of it's IPP28 award. If you can't afford the high end version (if any is still available), then this one here will do just fine for a nice challenge.


  1. Oddly, I still don't have a copy of this! I am really wanting to get the craftsman version if I can find one.


  2. The craftsman version was sold a while back by MINE (Mineyuki), but what I understand is that there are no more available.

  3. I bought the Craftsman version when I was in Japan a few years ago but sold it recently in the Cubic Dissections auction. Very cool puzzle!

  4. Is it possible to find build plans for this puzzle?