In 1980 the Dutch designer Wil Strijbos created his first puzzle and this is it. The First Cross aluminium cross. And it’s design is still as unique and intriguing as when he first created it almost 40 years ago.
At first you might think this is the same as other cross puzzles you’ve seen before. It’s not! You might also think it does not look very difficult to take it apart. It is! And once you have it apart you might think it will not be very difficult to put it back together. It is! Possibly the most intriguing thing about this puzzle is that even if you see the elements of the puzzle when it’s apart the solution is not obvious. So much so that Wil often shows the puzzle apart and I’ve included a photo below with Wil’s permission.
Recently I asked Wil to tell me the full story of how this brilliant puzzle came into being. He wrote that the best part for him was that it was created in his mind in the middle of the night. Read the full story below…
Size: 60mm x 60mm x 35mm
Materials: A very high-quality product made from precision machined polished Aluminium. The puzzle is engraved with Wil’s signature so you know it’s an original.
Solution: Wil is a true puzzle solver and has the philosophical view that puzzles should not come with solution sheets. So, if you purchase one of these puzzles there will be no solution supplied.
The story of the First Cross by Wil Strijbos.
This is the start……………. more than 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.