Notes from Puzzle Palace

Friday, June 8, 2012

Drive Ya Nuts

Today's puzzle is an oldie but a goodie! I bring it to you because I was thinking of an old friend a few days back and this was one of the puzzles we played. His mom very nicely gave it to us to solve and left us alone because she just knew that we were such good kids puzzling was what we did. (Oh, did I forget to mention that my friend was a he and that he was my boyfriend all through my youth?) Seriously, we puzzled.

"Drive ya nuts" did just that. I do know eventually we solved it but I'm sure it took us quite a while. Drive ya nuts was first made by Milton Bradly in 1970. I was reading various places on the net and saw 1987 as the date, but because of the old boyfriend and the dates we dated I had to do an extensive search to ensure I wasn't nuts! It consists of 7 different hex shaped pieces with the number 1-6 on each side. The object is to match up the numbers on the touching sides, all the way around so they match. This is a fun puzzle to agonize over on a rainy afternoon. Closely related to this is the puzzle "circus 7" or "circus puzzler". This one has 7 'tents' with the sides being a different color. I've shown both puzzles below in a scrambled state.

Notice the two different versions of the circus puzzle. Actually, I have 3 but didn't want to unseal the last one. From what I can tell from Jaap's page there are a number of different versions for this. I'm not so sure about the "drive ya nuts' I've had 3 different versions over the years; an orange base, a green base, and the one shown here. The other two I have given away so I can't check. If anyone I've passed these two puzzles on to would check and reply, I would be grateful!

Fast forward from my teen years and the start of this post to the present day. My friend is now married with kids of his own (as am I-and not to each other). We have managed to reacquaint ourselves after a 20+ year 'separation' and a while back we were chatting about the 'Drive ya nuts' and our kids. It seems that he, like myself, has passed this one on to his sons. I can't remember the details, but I do know it has been solved by them, not so by the bug yet but she'll get there one day.  I'm also very pleased to know that the trusting mom is still doing well after all these years.

For those of you that want solution photos.....scroll down.


  1. I have to say that I've never really gotten on with this kind of puzzle purely because of the very high number of variables. For me it's more a guessing operation rather than logical deduction. Hopefully one day I'll work out how to solve them properly. Oh, you forgot to give this post a title!

    1. Thanks Oli. I didn't realize I'd not titled it. Yep. They are a hit and miss type of crap shoot for me as well. Time wasting mind numbing fun :)

      This is a part of my 'old favorites' not for the puzzling, but for the company and the memories. The joy of starting puzzling at such a young age is the mental attachments I have to so many of them.