Notes from Puzzle Palace

Saturday, December 29, 2012

On the 5th day of Christmas

On the fifth day of Christmas my true love sent to me,
5 Richard Hess'
4 Mr. Fok's
3 Da Yan's
2 Brian Young's
And Stickman in a pine tree.

I had the pleasure of meeting Dick in Japan 3 years back and have spent many a pleasant moment in conversation with him.  He has a great way with kids as well.  Katherine loved playing math games with him over a beer in Berlin.  He had her (and me) stumped on more than one occasion.

Dick is a long time puzzle collector.  But more importantly for this series of posts, he's also a long time designer of puzzles.  Reading back in time he's designed many different kinds of puzzles but I would have to guess that he's best known for his wire puzzles.  I've no idea how many puzzles Dick has designed, but I'm sure it is many many.  I seem to run into his name at many different puzzle shops.  For starters, Dick has a number of them on Puzzlemaster.  The prices range from $10 to $12.

Dick wrote a "Compendium of Wire Puzzles" and I've heard tell it has over 10,000 different wire puzzles in it.  That in itself is a feat.  I can only imagine the amount of research that went into writing that book.  Mind, a lot of the puzzles in it are his own designs.  I can't wait to see what he has in store for us in the future.  I'm sure there will be many more to come.  Kevin wrote up about a few of them over on his blog.  Go take a look and enjoy!


  1. I actually bought the compendium from him (10,500 wire puzzle designs). A recent patient of mine is a retired metallurgist who specialised in wire. After he escaped from hospital he rummaged in his garage and found me some nice big lengths of witre to make my own! Now trying to decide which of the 10,500 to make!


  2. Hi Rox,

    You have an email I can PM you? You can reply using blog admin email, thanks


  3. I have The Compendium too, it is impressive! There are a ton (literally) of Finnish Trapezes! Dick Hess has invented many types of puzzles, although wire puzzles are his specialty.