Mr Puzzle - We've got puzzles!


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Mr Puzzle - We've got puzzles!

IPP27 Giant Puzzle Day

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Indian Smugglers Chest
The 60 year old chest from Gujurat was found by accident when Brian & Sue were shopping for furniture and overheard a salesman trying to sell it to a non-puzzler. Brian quickly snapped it up, insisting the salesman did not show him how to the hidden compartments like he wanted to! A lot of damage needed to be repaired and while doing so Brian added the Indian puzzle locks and other hidden elements to make it a very large sequential discovery puzzle.Probably the most challenging puzzle of the day.

puzzle chest

 Brian's Big Burr
Inspired by the giant burr we saw in Romania in 2002 Brian and Tom set out to make the largest burr feasible. Of course a little friendly rivalry between Brian and Tomas Linden after the huge burr seen at IPP25 also helped to inspire the end result of a giant working burr.
Because it was to be a permanent feature in our backyard we wanted it to be have an element of decorative sculpture about it. They first took a very large gum tree that had died from a lightening strike, squared the lower part so that a large, but not too large, complex burr could be attached to it. This would be the part of the burr that was "playable".
From the precise proportions of the lower part the sculpting changes as you go up the burr to leave the tree in it's natural form by the time you get to the very large burr. And it is a working burr, all be it that each of the cross pieces is 2 meters long, 20 cm thick and weighing more than 70kg each. The overall height is 8.5 meters and we hired a 10 tonne capacity crane to lift in in place. The burr in anchored by steel beams in a 1.5m hole full of concrete dug earlier in the year by one of our overseas visitors Nikki from Finland, also roped in to help. When you're preparing for an IPP and building giant puzzles you use any help you can get!

brians big burr

You're a Galah if you can't get the Rope off! disentanglement puzzle
Building giant puzzles to a budget is all about using things you've got laying around; of course, not everyone has a stainless steel coil from and old vinegar vat laying around but luckily Brian did. The challenge then went out to the helpers - design a disentanglement puzzle to suit this shape. Combine Brian's artistic side with the welding skills of Robin Washbourne and you end up with this giant disentanglement puzzle.

big wire puzzle

Escape from Port Arthur to the Gold Coast maze
When you want a maze designed to order the answer is send a request to Oskar van Deventner. Told that we would like a maze like a map of Australia and given a photo and dimensions of the space we wanted it to fit into Oskar came back in record time with a brilliant concept for getting people around the country.
Stuart and Paul assisted by Brian and Paul's Dad, John spent many hours laying out the maze from a string grid, using just an old garden hose and some cut-up kitchen scourers held in place by long nails. Meanwhile Karen was set to work making specifically measured leg irons complete with ball and chain and convict outfits! Many visitors during IPP had the good fortune to see wallabies grazing at Ayer's Rock while sitting on our back veranda.
At the time of writing the maze is still in place although at some point when (or maybe if) we get rain and the grass grows we will have to remove it to mow the lawn!
The Lost Sheep dexterity puzzle
Modelled on the oldest Australian made puzzle in James Dalgety's collection this puzzle was originally part of the collection of Rev. Henry Stanley Mercer who lived in Australia in the 1880's and 90's. The label shows the date 15/8/89. Many thanks to James Dalgety for showing us a long tradition of puzzles in Australia!
This is James's puzzle of the month for August 2007 at

dexterity puzzle

 Giant Rush Hour; one person per car!

rush hour puzzle

Telephone Box
Brian had restored this original Telephone Box dating from 1950's some time ago and it seemed like just the right space to use for a giant packing puzzle so he designed pieces using each of the 12 letters of TELEPHONE BOX to fill the space. Cardboard boxes were again used so that the pieces would not be too heavy to lift.
This puzzle was one of the more difficult puzzles as evidenced by the people who just gave up and used the letters to spell "HELP" or "NO HOPE" in their photographs of the day.

telephone box puzzle

Driving Insanity
We thought everyone would know the standard Insant Insanity puzzle so Rik van Grol kindly designed a different version for us to use with our 1 meter cubes. A handful to play, a handful to make, and more than a handful to store!

instant insanity puzzle

Flip Phillip the Fruit Bat
Using Peter Hajek's IPP20 exchange puzzle as the basic design this puzzles becomes difficult to maneuver when enlarged by a factor of 143.

giant puzzle

Save the Frogs from the Toad dexterity puzzle
The idea for this dexterity puzzle came from the novelty glasses Frank Potts presented Martin Watson for his birthday on the St. Petersburg trip. But what large implement to extend? The American's call it a weed wacker, we call it a weed eater! Dress up in all the safety gear and see how easy it is to get the weighted frogs, made from round lead weights inside a plastic child's sweet container, into the holes before the toad get's into one.

giant puzzle

RGee's Witches Hats
Over the years RGee Watkins sent us many fun sequential move and number puzzles. These safety markers, generally know to us as Witches Hats, make great pieces for these puzzles.

number puzzle

Southern Cross Burr
Stuart had been experimenting over the last couple of years with folding card to make burr pieces. This burr proved it could be scaled up to a significant size.

diagonal burr puzzle

Gold Coast Indy dexterity puzzle
Robin Washbourne welded a truck steering wheel to a coile sprint and fly wheel. Now it's very difficult to control the dexterity puzzle in the middle!

IPP27 gian puzzle

Aussie Knights
Axels welded to wheel hubs make the knights. Rubber tiles make the board. Using knight moves swap the 2 silver pieces with the 2 black pieces on the board.
giant puzzle

Possum Escape

jack slocum

 Mr Puzzle Scales
Take a couple of hanging plant containers, some lengths of wood and fashion them into scales with a couple of screws, and some sawdust and ball bearings precisely weighted inside some small cotton bags and you've got a giant version of the counterfeit coin problem.
Post and Ring Fence
We needed a very sturdy base for this puzzle so decided to use the top rail of our fence around our house yard. The puzzle is modelled on the version of Chinese Ring puzzle coined 'Czech Rings' in CF 68. Brian and Robin made the 10 stainless steel rings by wrapping them around a post then cutting and welding them. The shuttle is 3 meters long and heavy to maneuver so it really takes teamwork to complete this puzzle.
chinese rings puzzle

Andrea Gilbert's Colour Maze

oscar maze


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