Thursday, 28 May 2015

A Voyage To Terra Australis

Here's a 2D packing puzzle that I have been toiling over on and off the last several weeks...but got nowhere.

It's Brian Young's IPP34 Exchange Puzzle, designed by Junichi Yananose with an Australia theme. Its a "double-sided" packing puzzle because the twelve pentominoe pieces are printed on both sides with the Australian coastline. The description states...

The puzzle is to help Matthew Flinders fix his map of the Australian Coastline so that the entire coastline joins up and makes a correct map of Australia....Matthew Flinders and his crew had a few extra tots of rum as they were sailing past Bundaberg; in fact they must have used up the whole quota for the trip because they were way off course. They thought they had found the great inland sea but it was really Uluru sticking up out of the desert! You need to help them redraw the map of the Coastline so it joins up correctly and they can get on their way back to England to report to King George III.

The object is to rearrange the pieces to fit the tray and get the coastline of Australia correct but some of the pieces have to be flipped over to complete the puzzle correctly. 

According to Brian, "there are 2,339 different ways to pack the twelve pentominoe pieces into the 6 x 10 unit rectangular frame. And that number does not include the permutations of flipping pieces". However the way the puzzle has been designed, it has only one solution! The puzzle is made of laser cut hoop pinewood and lacquered.

If you are not sure what the outline of Australia looks like, or want to get more information about this beautiful country which I had the opportunity to visit twice in the past (Perth and Melbourne), click here.

The puzzle came with a scrambled (wrong) coastline and despite my many attempts at trying to get it right, each time I came up short. This is a very difficult puzzle (even tho' it appears to look easy) from what Sue (Brian's wife) tells me, after I threw in the towel and emailed her for the solution. Looking at the solution, well it looked rather do-able...and I got the "how come I didn't try putting that piece there?" questions running through my mind. I had missed some things that with more careful observation, I would have spotted. Sigh!

A Voyage To Terra Australis (and other exclusive past IPP exchange puzzles) is available at Brian's site Mr Puzzle for AU$27.50. 

1 comment:

  1. I wasn't getting anywhere solving this, and was about to resort to BurrTools. The pieces are double sided, and the path is not the same on each side. Because of this, even solving with BurrTools would be tricky, I would think.

    I changed tactics, and instead of just trying to make a loop, I looked for recognizable pieces of the Australian coastline. This proved to be a good idea, and eventually I solved it. When I was taking photos of the solution, I noticed something interesting about the solution which, had I known about it, would have made finding it much easier. Nuff said!