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Mr Puzzle - We've got puzzles!

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Puzzles by Designer > Stewart Coffin


stewart+brian.jpgStewart Coffin was presented with the very first "Nob Yoshigahara Award" for his "Lifetime Achievements in Design, Craftsmanship and Popularizing Mechanical Puzzles" in August 2006 in Boston.

Stewart began designing puzzles in 1968 and his first design was "Hectix" which was made by the 3M company.  Since then Stewart has designed more than 300 new and original puzzles and published a number of books about puzzles.  He is considered one of the most collectible and collected puzzle designers ever.  Check out this blog page which gives a quick overview of one person's collection of SC Puzzles http://puzzling-parts.thejuggler.net/

Stewart has his own puzzle design philosophy that is headed by this point: "Objective: bring pleasure and satisfaction to the puzzle solver".  He has certainly achieved that over and over again with his amazing designs.

Left: Brian Young see here visiting with Stewart in 2006

 




Spare Parts - Stewart Coffin design #242 Spare Parts - Stewart Coffin design #242


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Edward Hordern IPP Puzzle Exchange - Narita, Japan  August 2013
Presented by Rosemary Howbrigg.  Designed and made by Stewart Coffin.

We have a very small quantity of these puzzles which Stewart made for the IPP Exchange only.  Spare Parts is #242 in Stewarts numbering system and Stewart has written in pencil "242 STC 2013" on each puzzle.

The puzzle come assembled in a six bar solution. In itself this puzzle is not trivial to assemble.  The stated goal is to add the 3 spare pieces to this puzzle to form a new symmetric assembly. The new assembly has 4 fold symmetry and 5 axes of symmetry. 

In layman's terms - use all the pieces and fill all the holes with all the dowels and end up with a symmetric shape.

 
The Cuckoo Nest Puzzle #21 The Cuckoo Nest Puzzle #21


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6 hexagonal sticks & 6 dowels.
Five stick-dowel pairs joined to form 5 different elbows. 7 pieces in total.

 
SOLD OUT Make Room wood packing puzzle - Standard SOLD OUT Make Room wood packing puzzle - Standard N/A





 DIFFICULTY RATING 8

Status: 30th March 2013. Only 6 left. Once sold we won't make this puzzle again.

The puzzle is to re-pack all 9 pieces in the box so that all pieces are under the closed lid.  You will need to make room for the key (dowel) to fit.

Mr Puzzle resdesigned Make Room so that this version  has a unique solution.

The puzzle is made with the kind permission of Stewart Coffin.   At IPP21 in Tokyo in 2001 a larger version of the puzzle #127-A  was given by Jerry Slocum as his exchange gift. That version had 14 separate solutions to fit all nine pieces in the box.  Click here to view this original design by Stewart Coffin. 

 
SOLD OUT The Nine Bars Puzzle #62 SOLD OUT The Nine Bars Puzzle #62 N/A





9 hexagonal sticks & 9 dowels. Some different lengths.
Four stick-dowel pairs joined to form elbows. Four stick-dowel pairs joined to form cross pieces. 3 different elbows. 2 different cross pieces. 10 pieces in total.

 
SOLD OUT Octet in F tray packing puzzle SOLD OUT Octet in F tray packing puzzle N/A





Edward Hordern IPP Puzzle Exchange - Washington DC, August 2012
Presented by Rosemary Howbrigg. Designed and made by Steward Coffin.

The goal is to pack the eight pieces into the rhomboid shaped tray provided.
An original design (#258) by Stewart Coffin. A good chance to own an original Stewart Coffin.

For those who've never tried a Stewart Coffin tray puzzle before you'll be in for a great puzzling experience. None are trivial to solve. Brian's still working on this puzzles predecessor which has just 5 pieces to fit into the tray and now there's this one with 8.

We have a very small quantity of these puzzles which were only made for the IPP Exchange.

The puzzle is presented in raw wood; not sealed or painted.
On the back of the tray Stewart has written the puzzle design number, his initials, the year and the number of the puzzle.

 
SOLD OUT Make Room - Craftsman packing puzzle SOLD OUT Make Room - Craftsman packing puzzle N/A





DIFFICULTY RATING 8

This puzzle presents four different challenges:
Challenge 1 - Pack all 8 blocks under the closed lid. 30 possible solutions.
Challenge 2 - Make room for all 8 blocks and the gold rod under the closed lid (not in it’s packing position). 4 solutions.
Challenge 3 - Make Room for all 8 blocks and the key (dowel) under the closed lid. Unique solution.
Challenge 4 - Can you remember how the puzzle came packaged with the key in the lid? 3 solutions.

In 1997 Stewart Coffin originally designed  Make Room and allocated it #127 in his numbering system although only one of  these puzzles was made.  At IPP21 in Tokyo in 2001 a larger version of the puzzle #127-A  was given by Jerry Slocum as his exchange gift. That version had 14 separate solutions to fit just nine pieces in the box.

Brian had never made a packing puzzle before....   That all changed after IPP21 when he found himself playing with Jerry's exchange puzzle for many, many hours.  He then got interested in redesigning the puzzle to include a challenge with a unique solution.The puzzle is made with the kind permission of Stewart Coffin.

As well as our Craftsman Range this puzzle is also available in our Standard Range (Click here).

Click here to see the legend of the different timbers used in this puzzle.
Click here to see a photo of the pieces inside the box.
Click here to view this original design by Stewart Coffin. 

 
SOLD OUT X-Rated #239 (modified) SOLD OUT X-Rated #239 (modified) N/A





12 hexagonal sticks & 12 dowels.
Three stick-dowel pairs joined to form 3 elbows. Another six joined to form 6 cross pieces. 3 single hex sticks and single dowel pieces. 15 pieces in total.
Assemble the pieces to form a symmetrical spherical shape.

 
SOLD OUT The Locked Nest Puzzle #22 SOLD OUT The Locked Nest Puzzle #22 N/A





12 hexagonal sticks & 12 dowels.
Six stick-dowel pairs joined to form six elbows. 18 pieces in total.
Aka “The Monster”.  The more elbows the harder the puzzle.

 
SOLD OUT The Four Legged Puzzle  #81-B-1 SOLD OUT The Four Legged Puzzle #81-B-1 N/A





4 hexagonal sticks & 4 dowels.
One stick-dowel pair joined to form an elbow. Another joined to form a cross piece. 6 pieces in total.
Commenting on the change from the original design that had all separate pieces Stewart’s words are “this makes the puzzle rather more interesting”.

 
SOLD OUT Siamese Locked Nests - Stewart Coffin design SOLD OUT Siamese Locked Nests - Stewart Coffin design N/A





LIMITED EDITION of 30 puzzles released December 2008

All puzzle sold.

Stewart Coffin wrote in "Geometric Puzzle Design" that assembling a cluster of separate hexagonal sticks and dowels can be a puzzle but a more difficult and therefore more interesting puzzle will be made when some of the hexagonal sticks and dowels are joined to make elbow-shaped pieces.  The more elbows the harder the puzzle.   Stewart theorised that the maximum number of elbows that can be joined before assembly becomes impossible is half the number of each type of piece, so that's what Brian has done. 
 

 
SOLD OUT Pin Hole Grand Cross puzzle from Queensland Blackbean SOLD OUT Pin Hole Grand Cross puzzle from Queensland Blackbean N/A





LIMITED EDITION DECEMBER 2007

Status:  14th October 2011.  All of these puzzles are now sold.

It seems these days the only way to be able to afford to collect an important Stewart Coffin design is for Brian to make it himself.  Hence this one, the grandest in the pin-hole series from 1976.  Stewart Coffin developed this series which culminated in this 'pre-packaged kit' consisting of 7 pins, 1 bar, 12 crosses, 17 elbows, and 6 links; 43 pieces in all.

The pieces will be shipped assembled as the Pin-Hole Grand Cross, but you can also make many other puzzles.  With the puzzle we will give you a sheet with 10 additional problems (click here to see copy of sheet) for you to make with a specific selection of pieces.  If you're worried about taking the Grand Cross apart Stewart offers the advice that "by persisting with the simpler figures you can gradually become familiar with the more difficult tasks".

 
SOLD OUT Alchemy variation of Alterkruse puzzle SOLD OUT Alchemy variation of Alterkruse puzzle N/A





Some years ago Brian noticed a drawing of puzzle concept in Stewart Coffin's book The Puzzling World of Polyhedral Dissections.alchemyapart.jpg

It would appear that there were a number of concepts created based on variations of the Alterkruse puzzle using pins and holes in each piece. Stewart also noted that by using many different design pieces, not just the standard left-hand and right-hand half/half combination of pieces, the puzzle would become even more interesting.

So, Mr Puzzle has done it. Brian actually invented one of these puzzles, making every piece different. A serious challenge.

There are 14 pieces to the puzzle, all different. The pieces have a total of 21 holes drilled in them in various formats and a matching 21 gold rods glued into the 14 pieces.

The puzzle is crafted from Mackay Cedar. This tree only grows in the coastal rainforests between Mackay and the Endeavour River in North Queensland. Dark red/brown in colour with some yellow streaks causing a striated pattern, this wood has a coarse, large pored and occasionally curly grain. Supply of this timber is also very limited as the main areas of growth are in World Heritage listed areas.

The pins are made from 9.6mm brass rod which we've had gold plated. Apart from looking fabulous, gold plating makes a good protective coating to stop corrosion of the brass. Brass rod was used because we could achieve a greater level of accuracy than if we used wooden dowel.

A fine pencil arris has been used on the pieces of this puzzle so we don't take away from it's box shape. The puzzle has been lacquered inside and out and each individual piece has been buffed and waxed.

Size: 90mm x 90mm x 90mm

 
SOLD OUT Cheops N/A





This unusual puzzle is made from hardwood from Northern New South Wales and mounted on a jarrah base.
For only three pieces this puzzle is surprisingly difficult. Two of the pieces consists of three 50mm cubes and the other of four 50mm cubes.
The inventor of this puzzle is STEWART COFFIN. The puzzles is #38 in Stewart's numbering system and was originally called "Three Piece Block" puzzle. Stewart made the puzzle for a company who wanted to use it as a promotional item. From 1980-1983 he made 350 only of these puzzles.
 

 


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