Yet again Chinese new year holiday has come and gone. From an outsider looking in, the holiday is similar to Christmas in the States. Displaced/relocated families that need to travel sometimes great distances to visit family. too many kids, in-laws you would rather do with out...too much food. I guess the one major difference is this thought that only men drink alcohol and then, that it is only the 'mature' men. My holiday scene includes tv's blaring because one cannot hear it over the mahjong tiles rattling, which leads to shouting because you can't hear the person next to yup because of all the other noise in the small 300' living room filled with a family of 30 or so.
So what's a girl to do then? Why pull out a puzzle, pop in the earbuds, crank up the tunes and puzzle the night away (until the good brother-in-law realizes that you have yet to ave a drink 3 hours into the night). And before you go getting bad ideas about me, no I'm not an alcoholic, I really don't drink at home, but alcohol sure helps when you really don't speak the local lingo.
My puzzles of choice this year? Meffert's new soduko ball cube and a Da Yan gem.
The Soduko ball is quite the challenge and I'm embarrassed to say I still have not solved it. The object like any soduko is to have 9 different colors on each of the six faces with no two colors being the same. This was made with a bit of help from Geert Hellings. There is a nice little write up over on Twisty Puzzles by Geert about it. I know a lot of people don't like this one for its appearance, and while granted it doesn't look cube like, it is a nice design. You see, not all puzzles are puzzles for puzzlers. (say that three times fast I dare you!) Uwe is very excited about this as a toy/game/puzzle for seniors and very young children. He is keen on making a puzzle that will keep the cerebral neurons firing and stay off the affects of aging. Here's hoping he's right and playing with toys will make that happen. I plan on spending at least a few years after I retire playing with these things.
My other puzzle of play this holiday was the toss off I got from Da Yan in January. The Gem 4 to be exact (I had to just ask Otis to get the number on this one) Now this one is still a doddle to solve. If you can solve a helicopter, then you can solve this. Or if you can solve a dino cube, then you can solve this. Me? Yeah. It's been solved and played with again and again. This puzzle is the one that turns on the faces like a megaminx AND along the middles. I've just been told it is a 'deep cut' puzzle. Ok, I'll believe that.
And now I had best get back to my company. I've a friend from Beijing here going through boxes and boxes of puzzles. I'm not at all sure what he's found, but he seems to be having fun.