Tuesday, 1 August 2017

Pulsar Burr

Hi folks, here's a short post which should have been published last weekend but I got caught up with life and work. Thought I would post it today before I head over to IPP37 in Europe this coming Thursday. 

The puzzle I was playing with last week was Lambert Brights's IPP35 Exchange Puzzle called "Pulsar Burr" designed by Junichi Yananose and manufactured by Brian Young of Mr Puzzle, Australia.

The Pulsar consist of 5 pieces, four board pieces made of 10mm acrylic and a single wooden notched burr made of Australian Jarrah. Quality and build is up to the usual high standards coming from Brian and all the pieces fit and move smoothly. Although my copy was a tad too snug probably due to the high humidity of Singapore causing the wooden piece to expand. The acrylic pieces are precise laser cut with no slant edges whatsoever as sometimes appearing on thicker cut acrylic pieces. Size is 60mm x 40mm x 80mm when assembled.

Nothing too unusual about the Pulsar as far as an interlocking burr goes except that you will notice that one of the board pieces has a curved channel cut into it. Rather unique and -certainly the first time I have come across a burr piece with a curved cut-out like that. Straight off, this tells me that Burr Tools probably can't work for this puzzle Ha Ha!

The puzzle (unfortunately) came unassembled, hence my struggle with it last week. I can understand why it was like that, since an assembled puzzle would not have been too difficult considering it requires only several moves to extract the first piece. But unassembled, that is a whole different thing altogether, especially something designed by Junichi. Putting together something like that from scratch would have required a great deal of experimentation and analysis, not to mention trial and error, something which (with hindsight after looking at the accompanying solution) would have rather been beyond me. My early concerted attempts to solve were quite off-tangent to begin with. Brian says that "this is a very doable puzzle for someone who’s had a little experience assembling burrs....",  hmm...I am not so sure about that!

Assembled, the puzzle looks pretty nice with a combo of wood and acrylic. I tried the disassembly and this proved to be very manageable without the solution. This puzzle is definitely for diehard fans of interlocking burrs. And for a very reasonable price too of A$32.73 on Brian's website, although the wooden piece there has both ends tapered.

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