Building your own puzzle box sounds fun, doesn’t it? But wouldn’t you then already know the solution to open it? Well it turns out not…
The Hidden Secrets of Hep
Sold out 2004 Limited Edition Set of 30.
Original Price: AU$440.00
One of these puzzles sold on Baxterweb Puzzle Auctions in September 2008 for USD 1617.00 (original selling price was about USD342.00)
Hep is a double sided unique solution Checkerboard Board puzzle whose pieces provide the solution to opening the secret box.
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. Size: Puzzle box – 210mm x 210mm x 60mm