A Stewart Coffin Puzzle Exhibition Opening January 30th 2015 running through May 2015 Linda Hall Library of Science, Engineering & Technology 5109 Cherry St Kansas…
First Cross – Wil Strijbos original puzzle
We know Wil for his amazing Lotus, First Box, and other very difficult puzzles. But let’s not forget where it all started. The First Cross. Wil recently wrote for me the story of how he came to invent this puzzle. Read below.
Now. After xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx long months Wil has finally made some more of these puzzles. Even though it’s hard to choose this is still one of Brian’s very favourite Wil Strijbos designs. Just the fact that you can show the puzzle after it’s been solved and puzzlers are still wondering how is it done? what is the solution? is amazing in itself!
The story of the First Cross by Wil Strijbos.
This is the start……………. 40 years ago now…….
Long time ago (it was in 1979) I visited London for the first time. I discovered many new puzzles there. Many of the nice wooden puzzles I saw there, were produced by a puzzle company called Pentangle. I wrote a letter to Pentangle and I received an invitation from Mr. James Dalgety. He was not only one of the directors but also an enthusiastic puzzle collector. James invited me to come over to see his collection, and nearly one year later, in 1980, we met each other at his house in Over Wallop.
For this occasion I was inspired to create a puzzle. I came up with the idea for this “Cross Puzzle”. It was the first puzzle I ever invented, and it was a start for me to create many more puzzles later on.
About the Cross Puzzle: At that time I have never seen any kind of these puzzles before. It is my own original idea, the only inspiration was my visit to James. The solution has nothing to do with rotational parts and there are no magnets inside. There is no force required, just use the spring power inside the Aluminium Cross Puzzle. Size Aluminium Cross Puzzle: 6cmx6cmx3.5cm
32 years later, I decided to make this Cross Puzzle again. At that time, in 1980, I just made a few samples of the Cross Puzzle for the six best puzzle friends and collectors in the world.
For me the greatest part of this puzzle was, that I created this Cross in the middle of the night. I woke up my wife Gonnie several times and told her about my thoughts. I did this 3 or 4 times in the night, woke up – slept again, woke up slept again and so on. Without any drawing I started to produce this puzzle later on the next days in the company I was employed. It was possible to use the machines in the evening.