Notes from Puzzle Palace

Thursday, March 8, 2012

The first puzzle I didn't like

Well, I finally met a puzzle I didn't like.  Now I'm sure I'll offend the chap who had these for the exchange, but to be perfectly honest, I hate this thing. I'm not dumb, I've got an ok sense of solving, but this one....I'm doing good to get it down to only one piece to put back into the packaging.  There it is folks, my best attempt.  I brought this on a Sunday test session and wasted half the day on it.  By the 2:00 afternoon start I'd had enough and put it back into the plastic bag but this time with 2 pieces needing adding to the case.  Now by this time I'm feeling seriously like an idiot and decided to look through that green leaf that came with it.  the main problem it tells us is to put all 26V + P and one pentomino into the square 12x12.  ok.  that is add the bits and leave the IPP-31 uncovered.  I think to myself, if I can't pack the darned things in, how in heavens name can I do that????  Well then I turned that green bit over and read that "The solution of the main problem is unique (with a precision to rotations) and very difficult to be found without a computer, and the maximum number is not an even number!"  Whatever that means because I'm really not sure, but I did understand the bit about having to find the solution with a computer.  As I was feeling let down by this one and frustrated at the same time, I began to think about why I didn't like it.  True, I didn't attempt any but that first puzzle, but to read that the first one only had a solution that could be found with a computer-that just doesn't seem fair to me.  It isn't the kind of challenge I want in a puzzle.  I want to think a bit, but I don't want to know that I will never solve the thing.  It's bad enough that I have a death-bed book (Moby Dick for those that are really interested-"please God, I've really tried to get past the first chapter of this book and haven't made it, just let me live long enough to finish)  I don't want a death-bed puzzle.)  My fellow puzzle blogger Allard wrote up a nice little piece that I just found this morning on what makes a good puzzle (honest, I've been so busy I haven't even been reading Twisty Puzzles until yesterday)  Do go take a look, it is worth the read.

So now why is this little thing here?  Well the frustration of the above caused me to want something simple and mechanical to boost my ego once again.  This puzzle is from Nestle company, the back side has some cereal on it.  I picked it up on my favorite wholesale street for something like US$0.10.  Can't go wrong with a ten cent puzzle now can you?  And after that last one, I needed something like this!


  1. I doubt anyone has solved this puzzle by hand. I didn't even try, I just solved it on BurrTools. I'm afraid there is a tendency to make exchange puzzles overly difficult rather than fun to solve but easy(ish?).

    Thanks for your honesty, we want to know what you really think!

  2. I'm not sure if that last line is good or bad George. To be honest I hesitated to post this one, but in the end, I just had to. It took up quite a long time. Around 5 hours that morning of down time. I'll eventually go back to it and try some of the building puzzles, but the packing one-NO WAY!

  3. I'm of the belief that when it comes to packing puzzles the less pieces the better. I prefer for a puzzle to look easy and then turn out be hard, whereas this one already looks too difficult right from the off.