I saw the Supersymmetry during one of Nick Baxter's puzzle auctions and there were around seven copies available for sale. It looked really cool (and had such a cool name too!) being made of walnut, with its own plastic container and "appeared" quite do-able for me. After all, there are only 6 pieces and they didn't look like complicated burr pieces with multiple notches and grooves, so how tough could it be right? wrong, I should have know better that a Coffin puzzle would not be easy. So I went for it and made sure I won a copy.
|Looks symmetrical, but is not and can't fit into the container
Well, when it arrived a couple of weeks later, I had problems from day one. While only 6 pieces consisting of equal length rods, the notches were cut diagonally. The object was to form a symmetrical shape and there were 8 solutions for this. I would have been happy to just find one solution, never mind it didn't fit into the plastic container. But unfortunately, I could not even get the rods to interlock together to form any sort of shape at all!
Burr Tools of course was no help for puzzles like these. But I happen to know that fellow puzzler and collector, Oli Sovary-Soos had a copy of the same puzzle (and Oli is quite a super-solver). So I promptly shot him a message for help. He very kindly responded with photos of the solved Supersymmetry from different angles. After quite a good number of days of on-and-off trying, I still got nowhere and asked if he had a step by step solution. The orientation of the rods and how they interlocked I just couldn't figure out from the photos. He sent a second round of photos, this time one photo showed a partial dis-assembly. With this I managed to get an interlocking puzzle, but still not a symmetrical one. Finally after several more tries, I got the right solution; which slipped nicely into the container.
Very difficult, even looking at photos. Trying to get the pieces just to come together properly (without force) is very hard in itself (and even Oli says he doesn't dare to fully take apart his copy). I doubt I will be removing and disentangling the pieces anytime soon, just happy to leave it in its container.