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
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!
You're a Galah if you can't get the Rope off! disentanglement
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.
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 http://puzzlemuseum.com/month/picm07/2007-08-lostsheep.htm
Giant Rush Hour; one person per car!
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
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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
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.
Andrea Gilbert's Colour Maze