This is the seventh (and final!) part of my series of posts about the puzzles in the 2012 Design Competition that did not win an award. All of the photos are by Nick Baxter from the 2012 Puzzle Design Competition website.
Tritalon - Iwahiro (Hirokazu Iwasawa)
I noticed something about this one pretty much immediately that led me to the solution. I think it took me about 2-3 minutes, though a good portion of this was spent actually executing the solution. It does have a bit of a tendency to jam up, which is unfortunately unavoidable due to the design. Still, it is an excellent design and a fun easier one for friends to try. You need to be a bit careful when disassembling it completely to reassemble it properly, but complete disassemble isn't necessary to solve it.
TriTangle - David Pitcher
Twisted Symmetry - Steve Winter
As a puzzle, this one is a bit more complicated than Bare Bones, his other design. I did like the fact that you could actually completely remove the ball from this one, using his interesting lever-release mechanism. Also, when you first introduce the ball to the puzzle, it pops in nicely by pushing a piece aside, but then won't come out until you get to the exit. A nice touch!
Varibyrinth - Rohit Kumar Singh
Rohit has also implemented a really neat mechanism that prevents the ball from starting its journey until the pieces are in the correct position. This prevents you from cheating and moving the ball around with the pieces. Once the pieces are in the correct position, a switch on the bottom can be flipped, which moves a gate out of the way and allows the ball to move. I'm not quite sure how it works, but there are little metal balls on the pieces that clearly have something to do with it. Perhaps magnetism? Let me know if you know!
[Update: I heard from Rohit that it actually works like a lock: below each sliding piece is a spring-loaded pin. Only when each piece is the correct position, do the pins properly line up to allow the piece on the bottom to slide. Quite clever!]
As a puzzle, it was a tough challenge trying to figure out the route, but similar to Peanut Gallery, it is much easier to solve on paper and then try to reproduce the solution with the sliding blocks. If you just start sliding blocks around, you'll spend a lot of time trying to get the pieces in a position that may or may not end up being correct.
W8-Variation - Donghoon Pee
Washington Skyline - William Waite
I found this to be a pretty tough assembly puzzle, since there are a bunch of pieces and they all fit together. The only way to tell whether you've got it right is whether the skyline makes sense: the buildings should all end up upright. Pretty neat!
With Luck or Effort - Ichiro Kohno
W-Toast - Osanori Yamamoto
The craftsmanship is quite nice, I liked the use of contrasting wood on the corners of the frame as well as on the blocks connecting the two L-shaped parts of each piece.
XXXII - Sándor Bozóki
Well that brings us to the end of my series of posts on the 2012 Puzzle Design Competition puzzles! I hope you've enjoyed reading them! I'll be on vacation for the next week, but when I return I'll be writing about the awesome weekend I just at at the Rochester Puzzle Picnic.
Challenged by Cubes from Johan and Brian
4 days ago