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Mr Puzzle - We've got puzzles!

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Puzzles by Maker > Mr Puzzle Limited Edition wooden puzzles > 2004 Limited Edition 3 Sets of 30 - Sold Out





Three different puzzles. Only 30 of each puzzle ever to be made.

This series is SOLD OUT.  These pages are for historical record only.

SOLD OUT Three Way Slider interlocking burr SOLD OUT Three Way Slider interlocking burr N/A

NOTE: Original selling price in USD was 271.00. In June 2008 one of these puzzles sold at Baxterweb Puzzle Auctions, Featuring the Ron Zezima Collection for USD 315.00.

People often ask where do you get the idea for a puzzle from?
The concept for this puzzle goes back many years. The first time I met Bill Cutler he said to me that "I figure that anything that can be done to the 6 piece burr has just about been done". I stored that away in the back of my brain; then years later at IPP23 in Chicago I saw some pieces from Bill's collection. His version of the Snowflake from W.M.Wyatt's 'Wonders in Wood' made me think, 'well, maybe everything has not been done to the 6 piece burr yet'.

It seemed like a bit of a challenge; maybe the 6 piece burr is not dead yet.

I chose three known high level burrs and married two of each together on opposite sides of this puzzle. Some of the pieces in these burrs have been mirror reversed to add to the already high degree of difficulty of this puzzle. I created a completely new six piece burr which I designed specifically to join each set of twins together. The burr has to slide in three directions to allow the multiple moves necessary for each of the end burrs to work. To disassemble, all the burrs must be used simultaneously.

I did not use a computer to design the puzzle but after having a working prototype I did use a computer to test for the number of possible solutions. I ended up testing each set of twins independently because the program I used to test the whole puzzle said at first that it would take some thousands of days to solve. So, I thought maybe it was confused and it would settle if I let it run for a while..... next morning the time went up and now it's saying 252588 days.... maybe I need a new computer!

I spent about 5 or 6 days just working on the design to get to prototype stage but I'm sure if someone out there wanted to spend more time (and with the help of a computer....) there's a lot more that could even be done with this concept.

Woods used:
The six centre pieces are made from Victorian Ash. A member of the Eucalyptus family (not the Ash family) this timber is also known as Mountain Ash and is Australia's tallest tree, generally growing to between 55-75m but often up to 100m (over 300 feet) at altitudes over 900m in Victoria.

The 24 smaller pieces are made from Queensland Blackbean (also commonly know as Moreton Bay Chestnut) which can be seen growing in rainforests throughout Queensland and northern NSW. Click here if you're interested to read more about this tree and see some photos.

Size: 180mm x 180mm x 180mm (each piece being 20mm x 20mm)

Solutions are not generally provided with Limited Edition puzzles because of the small numbers produced but we'll do everything we can to assist if you get stuck.


SOLD OUT Helix the Burr interlocking burr puzzle SOLD OUT Helix the Burr interlocking burr puzzle N/A

NOTE: Original selling price in USD was 240.00. In June 2008 one of these puzzles sold at Baxterweb Puzzle Auctions, Featuring the Ron Zezima Collection for USD 1650.00.

The name of this burr comes from the spiral structure that is created by the 8 pieces surrounding the central 5 piece core.

This burr features what Bill Cutler considers to be the most interesting disassembly sequence he has ever created. From the time I’ve spent ‘playing’ with the puzzle during manufacture I have to agree. It’s very different and quite an enjoyable challenge.

A true collector's item. There were originally just 20 puzzles made by Jerry McFarland and sold from 1990-1992. Bill himself had earlier made and sold a smaller number of puzzles and to this day regrets that he even sold his last production model in 1994. So you can see this puzzle is very rare, and after this 30 we will never make it again either.

Because of the way this puzzle works it has been necessary to work to extremely fine tolerances when machining the pieces. Like all the puzzles we make, this puzzle has been lacquered inside and out to help maintain this precision. Each individual piece of our Limited Edition puzzles is buffed and waxed as well.

This puzzle made under license to Bill Cutler.

General Information from Bill Cutler's official publication of 1983
This information reproduced with the kind permission of Bill Cutler.

The name comes from the spiral nature of the main pieces.
The basic design was thought up in the summer of 1982 and was originally intended to become the Wausau '82 puzzle, however, the design quickly became too complex. The puzzle was formally introduced at the Sixth Annual International Puzzle Party at Jerry Slocum's house on April 2, 1983.
The first solution was received from Edward Hordern.
The puzzle has many notches which are 1/3 and 1/4 the width of the rods, so that problems of tolerance and humidity changes are magnified. In addition, the very nature of the way the puzzle was intended to disassemble makes these problems worse still, and the likelihood of having incorrect methods of disassembly increases.
To top this off Stan Isaacs discovered a way to disassemble the original puzzle which was clearly a 'bug' (error). The bug was corrected by minor changes to two pieces.

Wood used:
Tasmanian Oak. Not a member of the oak family at all but rather a eucalypt. The name Tasmanian Oak was originally used by early European timber workers who believed the eucalypts showed the same strength as English Oak.

Size: 150mm x 150mm x 150mm (13 pieces, each 30mm x 30mm)

SOLD OUT The Hidden Secrets of Hep SOLD OUT The Hidden Secrets of Hep N/A

NOTE: Original selling price in USD was 342.00. On 26th September 2008 one of these puzzles was sold at Baxterweb Puzzle Auctions, Featuring the Ron Zezima Collection for USD 1617.00.

This puzzle started with the concept of wanting to hide the solution for one puzzle inside another puzzle. If you’re looking to cheat (let’s just call a spade, a spade here…) we wanted to make you work for it. So, to get the solution you’re looking for you have to solve another puzzle.

The puzzle we’re providing the solution for is Hep. This puzzle was designed more than 5 years ago by John Kirkman. John is a retired school teacher who lives not more than one hour drive from me in Brisbane, Australia who I’ve have known for some years as a fellow puzzle collector. I knew I was looking for a special Checkerboard Puzzle to use with my hidden solution concept so I went to Les Barton for advice. Amazingly it was a conversation with him, in Mongolia, that lead me to the designer who lived in my own area.

Hep is a double sided unique solution Checkerboard Board with 10 different shaped pieces. It also makes a unique solution checker pattern cube as well as having 5 other cube solutions without the checker pattern.

To find the solution for all of these puzzles you will have to open the puzzle box provided as a base for the Checkerboard. Even though the opening mechanism is completely new and reasonably complex the solution is an elegant one, meaning it will only work by using the correct procedure. There are only definite movements involved and it is extremely unlikely that the puzzle box will open accidentally. You do not need to hit the puzzle against or with any other object, nor do you need to use anything not supplied with the puzzle (this includes sharp objects, kitchen cutlery, tools from the shed….) nothing else is needed to open it.

Maybe it will be easier to find all the solutions to Hep than opening the puzzle box….

This puzzle made with the kind permission of John Kirkman.

Wood used:
The puzzle box is made from Papua New Guinean Rosewood. Found in tropical areas of New Guinea, less than 100klms off Australia’s northern tip.
The inlay border and the dark cubes are made from Cooktown Ironwood. This timber is grown only on Cape York Peninsula and is not commonly milled. Because it’s so dense and difficult to work with, I asked my timber supplier what else people used this timber for and his reply was “Shade!”.
The light cubes are made from Queensland Silver Ash. This rainforest timber is grown throughout my state of Queensland and is one of my favourites because of it’s creamy white colouring and it’s open straight grain.

Puzzle box – 210mm x 210mm x 60mm






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