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Friday, January 29, 2010

National Puzzle Day

Help celebrate this National Holiday by teaching somebody about your favorite puzzle.

While we're at it: post a comment about your all-time favorite puzzle. Mine's Rubik's Cube.

Kuku puzzle

Mr. Andrew Reevess of the United Kingdom recently sent my office a copy of his Kuku puzzle. Kuku has 4 settings of difficulty. And Andrew sent it to us at the hardest level. Now I should say that I met Andrew at the New York Toy last year & played with Kuku at the easiest level. The hardest level - I thought - would be ridiculously impossible! However, I did it - to a hearty round of applause from the secretary pool.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

George Miller has retired

For the past 8 years George Miller has produced amazing puzzles in very limited quantities. He pioneered the use of 3D printers to create puzzles that could not be manufactured by conventional means. Most importantly, George teamed up with Oskar van Deventer and explored strange new puzzle concepts.

Last summer I visited George in his California home & admired (gawked is more appropriate) his collection.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Strimko for the iphone!!
The Grabarchuk Family: Serihy, Serihy Jr & Peter have consistently produced clever, fun puzzles. Their invention, Strimko, has taken the world by storm. Strimko is similar to Sudoku, but circles are linked together. Each set of links must contain different numbers while the entire grid forms a latin square.

$2 gets you 120 puzzles. That will keep you occupied for many hours - and less expensive than a movie.

Philiosophy: you can download a 'lite' or 'free' version. However, you don't get as many puzzles. Also, people should be rewarded for their efforts, right? Then they'll make more cool puzzles.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Fling! - Iphone puzzle

Fans of Lunar Lockout, an amazing series of puzzles by Nob Yoshigahara and ThinkFun, will love FLING! The concept is similar with 2 minor rule changes. The Free version has 6 levels of about 7 puzzles/level. The paid version contains 19 levels. I'm almost done with level 12. No need to ever say 'I'm bored.'

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

New York Puzzle Party

The annual New York Puzzle Party Symposium will be Saturday February 13 from 9:30 - 4:30. Please email me if you wish to attend.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Oskar's Maze Cube iphone app

Did you pay $5 - $10 for Oskar van Deventer's Cube Maze? It's been available in plastic and metal. Check for the real McCoy.

Alternatively, you could do what I did yesterday and buy a virtual puzzle for your iphone or ipod touch for 99 cents. Besides being cheaper, it provides thousands of variations ranging from easy to complex. We applaud the designers for this tour de force!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

LOST Theory

Fans of LOST know that the numbers 4, 8, 15, 16, 23 & 42 are significant. But where do these #s come from? One theory - from a middle school student! - is Julius Caesar.

Julius Caesar had 4 children, was killed at 8 a.m., on the 15th of March, owned 16 houses, stabbed 23 times. Although he was killed in 44 B.C. - he was sanctified as a deity in 42 B.C.

On line Phyics Puzzles

ROLY-POLY Canon 2 is a series of 30 puzzles. Object: shoot the canon ball, from a fixed canon, and kill the bad guys. Fans of billiards will enjoy the ricochet action. In the photo above, there are 2 steel beams that will not explode. One is moving horizontally, the other vertically. This adds a timing element to the shooting. Not a great puzzle series, but entertaining.

Monday, January 11, 2010


The YOT comes in 3 varieties. We were the first to buy versions II and III. Version III is plated with gold. We bought ours at $80. It now sells for $125.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Helicopter Cube

The Helicopter Cube - created by Adam Cowan - good guy. It will be available for sale at

I had the opportunity to scramble and jumble Helicopter. Very very cool. A must have.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Master Skewb

Once upon a time, there were maybe a dozen 'twisty' puzzles. Thanks to Tony Fisher and a new generation of custom twisty puzzle inventors/makers, the world is a better place.

Watch the video!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Best On-line Puzzle of the Year! (So far)
Ragtime Games consists of Elias Holmlid, Dmitri Kurteanu, Guy Lima Jr., and Stefan Mikaelsson. They reside in Gothenburg, Sweden and study at Chalmers University of Technology and Gothenburg University.

Let's talk money now. You can play all 32 levels for free! (Level 29 is so much fun!) And it will engage your mind for a good 2 hours, which is, coincidentally, about the length of a movie. So do consider making a donation on their behalf: first, as a token of appreciation; second, in the hopes that they will make more levels. (Imagine if all movies were free and you paid at the end whatever you wished!)

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year Puzzle

Arrange the digits 0, 1, ... , 9, using one of each (no repeats) into the expression a^b + c^d + e^f + g^h + i^j to obtain the current year.

Puzzle from Michael Reid