Friday, 27 January 2017

9 Blocks Box & 9 Blocks Cube

Update 23 October 2017 - Dear Reader, please check out my new puzzle blog and e-store at

I thought I would start my 401st post here with a brief mention of the above two puzzles, which lucky me, has been made into four different versions with four different sizes. First off, the 9 Blocks Box; this is a design I did in late 2015 which was produced several months later by Eric Fuller in a limited edition run of 50 copies for sale. 

From Left: 9 Blocks Box (made by Eric Fuller), 9 Blocks Box (made by Frederic Boucher),
9 Blocks Cube (made by Eric Fuller) and 9 Blocks Cube (made by Tom Lensch)

 The 9 Blocks Box comprised of a rectangular box and the object was to fit 9 irregular shaped pieces into it. It has a unique solution. I spent a fair amount of time trying to design all the blocks to be different from each other but in the end, I could only managed to do so with 7 of them while two of the pieces had to remain identical.

Eric's version of the 9 Blocks Box was small and constructed to fit a pocket. I think small is a bit of an understatement; it was Lilliputian. Each puzzle measured a diminutive 3.4 cm all round! Made of Holly, Zebrawood and Macassar Eboy, it was rather cute and certainly didn't go unnoticed, which saw all 50 copies sold out within a day after it was listed on his site. He also fashioned the box to have a cover that "locked" magnetically to keep the pieces in place (even in an unsolved state; quite clever I must say) and dimensionally the shape also became more of a cube as opposed to the original rectangular design.

A couple of months later, my puzzler friend Frederic Boucher made a limited run of just 5 copies (of which I received #1). He also upped the ante by machining the 9 pieces in gorgeous aluminium. Frederic's version was a real beauty and came with a wooden box with slanted corners and packaged in a plastic container to boot. He too, as I understand sold out all his copies after pictures of it were posted on Facebook. 

9 Blocks Cube made by Eric Fuller 

Sometime later, Primitivo Familar Ramos from Spain took my design and scaled up the original rectangular box to result in a cube. As a consequence, he was also able to resize the 9 blocks such that now, no two pieces were identical. We jointly entered this version, the 9 Blocks Cube for the IPP36 Nob Yoshigaha Design Competition in Japan last year. 

The first working copies of the 9 blocks Cube produced for the competition were crafted by Tom Lensch. Our competition puzzle was huge! Each cube measured 12.6cm x 12.6cm x 11.4cm. Heavy and rather difficult to lug around. The box was made of Maple while the pieces Mahogany. We didn't win any prizes at IPP36 but this modified design again attracted Mr Fuller, who subsequently went on to produce 150 copies which formed the first release of his "Limited Edition" series via his upgraded website. Eric's interpretation of the 9 Blocks Cube was made of Maple, Walnut and Purple Heart with a much more manageable size of 7.3cm cube. As of the date of this post, there are still copies available at a very affordable US$37.


  1. These are absolutely beautiful puzzles. And I thank you so much for my versions Jerry. Had me puzzled for weeks :-) I recommend to everyone. Shane

  2. Congratulations on 401 posts! Pretty amazing! You've overtaken me as my 400th post will be this weekend.

    The puzzles you've shown look fantastic and now I wish I'd gotten a copy. I'm rubbish at packing puzzles so passed on these but they are so beautiful and look so interesting that I quite fancy having a try and putting it on display!


    1. Kevin, Eric Fuller has the 9 Blocks Cube still available for sale...value for money price too

    2. Having just bought the NOS puzzles I had to stop. But if it is still available at the next update then I will splash out on it. You're right, great value for money!