Monday, 3 August 2015

Sheep In A Bottle

What a cute pun of a name...this was the first thought through my mind as Goh Pit Khiam handed me the puzzle he had designed 8 years ago to play with during the SPP#1. In case you still don't know what I am talking have probably seen or heard about "Ship In A Bottle"?

I only had a short time to play with this puzzle during the SPP#1; not enough time for a typical GPK puzzle which usually looks simple but very often way more difficult.

The Sheep puzzle is made of laser cut wood and produced by Walt Hoppe in 2007. Only several copies were ever produced as prototypes, none for commercial sale or exchange. Every time I meet with GPK, he always pulls something new out of the hat to surprise me.

Quality and finishing is very good. This one comes with an acrylic cover with cut-outs to assist in moving the pieces inside the "bottle" and to prevent "unauthorized" moves.

The object is to remove all the pieces through the slot on the right side of the tray. As you can tell from the start position, the head and fore legs of the sheep are obstructed.

This is a sliding block puzzle. While it has only 5 pieces, its not your run-of-the-mill sliding puzzle but a very tricky one indeed! It took me quite a while to figure out how to manoeuvre the pieces out, and even a longer time to get the pieces back in, as I had forgotten the steps. This is a sequential movement puzzle and require about 9 moves to get the first piece out. After the the first piece comes out, the rest are relatively easy. Just don't forget the sequence or you will be stuck for a pretty long time like I was! 

A challenging but fun puzzle with some unique moves thrown in. Once you figure out and memorize the moves, its pretty easily re-solvable. Its a great puzzle and I would definitely recommend GPK to produce more copies for sale.


  1. I love these seemingly simple but actually quite challenging sequential move puzzles. It's a shame that this wasn't mass produced!


    1. I believe it can be laser cut out of acrylic as well. I think if there is enough demand, I will ask him for permission to make some for sale.

  2. Replies
    1. Steven, this one is very good. Not easy but not too tough either. Just the "right level of difficulty" with a certain trick!