Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Too many puzzles, too little time....

I hate that I have a job and have to work for a living. I jest. I love what I do, it just doesn't leave me with much time to play with my toys. I wish I had more. Time that is....well no, toys. Oh heck. Both!

Today I had a great day. It was one of those days off when I did nothing but lay around in bed doing more of nothing. That lasted for all of about 10 minutes. I simply can't stand to lay around and do nothing. So I got up, cruised around Rob's page for a bit. Checked out the blog updates-thank you Oli, Neil, and Allard. Slapped a few fingers over on TP, teased David Litwin for a bit, read for a while on renegade...and then grabbed a few puzzles and made some videos.

Boredom struck again around 2 so I found a book to read and attempted (but did not manage) to take a nap. So I went to pick up the bug...a nice run down the hill and a half hour wait for her bus.

And all the while I was thinking about having too many puzzles I want to play with and not enough time to play with them. So here we go. I'm going to give you a photo or two of what I mean.

Oh that is a nasty photo isn't it? What about this one? A bit better?
Yes, I know there are copies in there that aren't Hanayama, yes I know there are duplicates, yes I know I am missing one or two....

First, Hanayama. And nails. And wire. So which to choose.

Easy. Alcatraz! It's a dog puzzle. Have you ever played with this one? And what does she mean by a dog puzzle? Well here's an insane story for you-but true.

When I still lived in Texas (good lord that's almost 20 years ago now) I had a beautiful husky. Now this dog was a typical husky in that he hated to be left alone. Leave him outside? I don't think so. The neighbors wouldn't stop calling. I couldn't leave him at home because when I did I would come back to torn up furniture. Same goes for the truck (yes, I had the prerequisite jacked up truck when I lived there) I left him inside the truck one day when I went to grab a coffee and came back to having no back seat. So in the end, the beautiful but insane dog had to be given to a lovely family who had a farm and a lot of land for him to attack.

Oh my, the puzzle. Right. So it's an easy one. But in the beginning I couldn't solve the silly thing. It sat on my table for ages then one day THE DOG came loping in the house, knocked it off the table and solved the puzzle-since that time, any puzzle that has one of those head slapping (is this called face palming?) solutions is a dog puzzle. (I have quite a few)

And there it is, all solved by myself without the help of a dog...

I had the opportunity to visit the Hanayama factories a couple of years back and it was a thrill a minute for me. George Miller was with us, but sadly Oskar got sick in Tokyo and couldn't make the trip. (Can you all hear me saying next year...) Well that didn't stop us, and you can see photos of the trip here. When we were there, I picked up a copy of cast quartet. Literally. I picked it up out of a box of bits that was about to go in the tumbler. Now Kyoo was very nice and let me keep all 5 pieces of the puzzle. 5 you say? yep. And don't ask me why. He never did tell me why I needed 5, and since it has since been released, I'm pretty sure he was taking the piss. Nice guy though. Anyway, a while after we got back to HK, I went over to the office to pick up a few more that I didn't have, and he gave me another unfinished version of the cast loop puzzle. This one is 2 toned, but not polished up yet. Yet another nifty puzzle.
The quartet has two different solutions, and the loop has one that I know of. And why you ask are these puzzles being presented together? Why they are all 3 of them dog puzzles. I hear Homer Simpson shout DOH! every time I take them out. The quartet I took home that same summer and my brother managed to solve it within about 2 minutes, then my dad did it as well! Ok, DOG puzzle. I mean they never play with puzzles. The cast loop? I had it at a filming thing I did and the camera man, again, a non-puzzler solved it within seconds, as did a 9 year old kid. Puzzle master calls the quartet a 10 and the loop a 7 in their difficulty scale. I'm not so sure about that.

Which brings me to the next puzzle. Cast marble. I like this one. It is so tiny you just can't help but think it is going to be a doddle. Now this one is great because it naturally has a turn to it when you first lift it up. And yep, that's what everyone tries to do with it. Turn that bit. Gotcha! NOT! I love it. And yes, I was taken in by that little twist too. But when you see the solution...when it finally dawns on you....it's amazing. Really. It's a great puzzle and I'll say no more.

As for the wire puzzles? Well, there are just so many of them that I really don't know what I have anymore. I have soda cans (puzzle cans that is) filled to the brim with them. The batch seen here are all in a box with my Hanayamas. When I send puzzles home to the nephews, or on to a few young lads I've been chatting with for a couple of years now, there are always copies of these in there. Wire puzzles here I'm afraid are a dime a dozen...ok, not a dime, but around US$3 for 4 of those big ones. Cheap enough for me to pass around to the kids. They like them and hey, they have even started to ask for a few puzzles. My job is done!

So what did I do the rest of the day? Why ordered more puzzles. What else would I do?


  1. I love seeing puzzle pictures like this. So many things to look at :D

  2. I hope you don't mean that mess of a first photo. I literally dumped the box they sit in upside down.

  3. LOL, not exactly that one. The other two are more easy to spot single puzzles, although I wouldn't mind having a mess like that on my bed :D

  4. That first picture looks like the most insane disentanglement puzzle in the world!

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