52 pieces of wood in a ring. Impossible object.

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AUD $81.36USD $

What sort of puzzle is this?   First, you need to work out what it does, or what it can be been used for.  Then, can you work out how the item is put together?  Something to puzzle over not take apart and put together.

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A Wotsit is another type of puzzle (What is it? an obscure item not easily recognisable for what they do or are).  First, you need to work out what it does, or what it might be used for.

As well as a Wotsit this one’s also an Impossible Object. Can you work out how the item is put together? No glue at all was used in the construction. And yes, in this case, it does mean the item will not come apart without breaking it.

While making the puzzle Brian came up with a neat idea to see if he could make a Mobius loop out of the pieces. He did this by adding a few extra pieces to allow the twist. Not sure if this has been done before. 

With more fiddling and imagination he realised that if you work certain pieces at a time in a clockwise motion you can roll the puzzle around over itself and use it as a fidget toy. This has to be done very carefully so you don’t break the small pieces of wood.
One piece is branded with Mr Puzzle’s logo and that makes the rolling action more obvious. Brian noticed this because he kept trying to put the brand in the same spot but it kept moving on him; he eventually understood what was happening.

Brian has always been interested in Wotsits and first saw this one in 2003 in the collection of Saul Bobroff; a man known for designing and collecting impossible objects. He came back and decided to make some of these; started (actually he only got to cutting the pieces of wood to length!) but never got around to completing the project. A couple of years after that at IPP25 there was a Wotsit competition that Brian won and the prize was one of these; hence his original project was shelved. He found the buckets of blocks in a big shed clean out recently and thought he should use them so others could have a copy of this very interesting object. 

To our best knowledge, the puzzle was whittled with a pen knife (this version is individually saw cut and routed, not laser cut) and sold as tramp art in the USA during The Great Depression but it was made in Europe much earlier.
With google it’s not really that hard to figure out what the item is but it’s still quite the conversation piece and a pretty interesting addition to add to a barenalia collection.

Size: Outside diameter 150mm. Height 50mm.
The puzzle is hand machined here at Mr Puzzle, not whittled or laser cut. It is not painted. It is made of raw pine. The original would have been made this way.

Additional information

Weight 0.090 kg
Dimensions 16 × 16 × 6 cm


Difficulty Level

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