Thursday 10 September 2015

Co-Mo Cross & Little Box

These two puzzles came to me courtesy of Pelikan, from the Czech Republic. These are from their most recent batch of offerings and are available on their site. The Co-Mo Cross and Little Box were both designed by William Hu

The Co-Mo Cross as the name suggests is a co-ordinate motion puzzle. The puzzle is made entirely from American Walnut. Extremely well constructed as per Pelikan standards with fine attention to detail. Its so well put together that I had a very hard time finding the joint lines of the pieces which are completely hidden amongst the grain of the pieces. I only discovered them after I had played with the puzzle for a while. Incredible how Pelikan achieved this. Very snug fit yet when you co-ordinately slide the pieces, they move very smoothly against each other. Not a large puzzle by any means but comfortable to hold. It measures 6.4 cm x 6.4 cm x 6.4 cm.

As I said, it took me a while to detect which and how the pieces had to move; but once I got this, the four pieces slid apart quite easily. Re-assembly also took a bit of effort as the tight tolerance of the pieces requires one to get all the four pieces at their correct positions just right for them to slide back into position. Not easy this step and I had to fiddle for a while to get everything into the solved state.

William Hu states: "Co Mo cross was an attempt at making a very small and concise co-ordinate motion puzzle with very few slanted cuts - of which there are only two in this design. The shape of a 2x2x2 cross is made of two pairs of identical pieces (which are mirror pairs). The separating motion is a little unusual but pleasant."

The next puzzle is the Little Box. This one measures 6 cm x 6 cm x 6 cm and is made of eight exotic hardwoods consisting of Maple, Wenge, Cherry, American Walnut, Acacia, Mahagony, Padouk and Amaranth. Again everything is nicely constructed and this one has all beveled edges for each of the pieces.

Why is it called by such a name when it doesn't even look anything like a box? William had this to say: 

"Little Box is a very simple assembly puzzle intended for beginners, with a small hollow inside. Serially interlocking with a single, relatively easy to find solution, this puzzle is a nice introduction to non-cubic assemblies. The shape of the pieces is inspired by the rebated joint in woodworking.."

Right in the centre of the puzzle is the hollow which contains a surprise; cute little cube, which indeed surprised me when it dropped out after I removed the first piece. While it may be easy to take apart within six steps, reassembly is not as simple. I got some of the pieces mixed up a bit and had to backtrack a couple of times before finding their correct orientations with each other.

Both are wonderful puzzles from a great designer and comes with great craftsmanship. Not difficult puzzles for experienced puzzlers (and non-burrists) but definitely worthy to be in any collection. And did I mention they are superb value for money too?


  1. Jerry, great review. I agree, these are so much fun and beautifully made. The little box is ideal for beginners, since I am a beginner and it took me awhile! Not too hard but not obvious or simple by any means. The Co-mo cross is just so cool, too.

  2. These are just fantastic puzzles and of the very highest quality! I can't wait for more to be released!