Notes from Puzzle Palace

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Day 10 and 11. Leaving time.

Today was the hop on hop off bus tour.  I had enough.  I'll admit it, I was tired.  I wanted sleep.  I opted instead to stay in and nap, swim, and puzzle.

Sorry guys nothing to see here.

No, It was the last night and Rox wouldn't be Rox if she didn't puzzle on the last evening.  I met with Ken, Bob, George, Mark,  and Goetz.  We puzzled a bit and talked a lot more.

Early flights for some meant an early night.

The next morning it was a sorrowful goodbye to my friends and an afternoon of waiting around the lobby having a beer or two  and a bit of puzzling while waiting for the flight.  

For more on IPP please see Otis' posts over on Mf8. 

A big thanks to Ken Irvine for helping me get to my flight.  Those suitcases were heavy.  Next year I ship!

And thus ends another boys and toys.  

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Day 9 Puzzle Party

This is the puzzle sales event of the year.

We wake up Saturday morning.  Eat breakfast early and grab the cash.  Today is the puzzle party.  A big room full of people selling puzzles.  I know when I get in the room to make a bee-line for Marcel Gillen's table followed by heading over to Wil's table.  From there it is just walking around the room and finding what can be found.

Unlike in years past, I didn't leave with many purchases.  As it turns out, the longer you collect the less puzzles you need to find.  It's not that I have them all, but that I am more selective in my purchases.

Rather than babble on about this, I'll let the photos speak.

I know there were events in the afternoon, but as with yesterday, I wanted a nap before the awards dinner.  Later that night and rather than repost all of the winners I'll just send you over to the main page to read the results.  As usual, at the end of the dinner Rox got up and shouted for the puzzle forum groups to get their photos taken.  Yes, I did it without a microphone. Good lungs the girl has.  

Twisty Puzzlers


Facebook Puzzle Photography group

Puzzle exchange. Day 8

Christmas in August.  Enough puzzles to take a year and then some to solve.  The solution to all your purchasing woes....

Day 8 of my trip was the puzzle exchange.  This is a truly amazing event.  Not in just that I exchanged 100 puzzles and brought a suitcase full home, but in the people I get the chance to hug and talk to.  This is why I go to IPP.  The people, and today was no exception.

I was first invited to IPP in 2010 and Pantazis Houlis asked me to be his exchange assistant that year.  Since then, I have tried to ask a first time IPPer to be my assistant and this year was no exception.  My good friend Otis from Beijing, via Hong Kong was invited for his first IPP and when I found out, he had no choice but to assist me.

I took great pleasure in watching the look on his face each time I made an exchange.  I gave Otis my list of exchanges to tick off and advised him to tick off any puzzles he would be interested in purchasing the next day.  He did that.  It tickled me when he tried to explain my puzzle a few times in the beginning.  But then he got into the groove of the exchange and I even stopped introducing him because he took over doing that himself.  You've come a long way baby!  When I first met you, you were a shy kid.  Now!  You did good!

Each puzzler must walk around the room exchanging one puzzle for another. In other words, you have to give your little puzzle talk 100 times.  Wow!  That's a lot of talking.  It took all of 6 hours to do it too.  That's a lot of talking.  By the end, my throat was dry and I was exhausted.  I'll admit, I'm slowing down now.  Ok.  Maybe not slowing down.  Maybe I'm just getting smarter.  If I take a nap during the day I can party all night and wake up again early in the morning and restart.  It is a boys and toys after all!

I've been asked to give my little talk so here goes.  (Sorry Friend. it was there and besides, no one reads this anyway.)

Allard being subjected to Rox
"As you know, I'm a bit of a twisty girl and wanted a twisty puzzle for my next exchange (2014).  On the way home from Tokyo (IPP33) I invented a puzzle and brought it to my good friend at Mf8 to mass produce.  He said sure Rox no problem and I left it in his hands.  Well round about January I got a call and Mr. Fok said 'Hey hun, we are so busy making all these crazy cubes and I can't make yours.'

Now, I'm desperate. The puzzle review is coming up and I've no puzzle.  Well, desperate times call for desperate measures.  In desperation, I called Wil and we all know Wil loves desperate women and he came to my rescue.  He found me a puzzle made by Jean Claude Constantine.

The puzzle is still a bit twisty because that's what I like. All you have to do is move the three pieces around and find my hole.  Now you know you've found my hole when your ball(s) fall out."

Tell that to a room of around 95 men.  :)  Total enjoyment for me.  Slightly risqué but not overly so.  Sorry Nick.  I just had to!

Find my hole

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Day 6 Romping about and day 7 Twisty puzzle meet up

Day 6 saw us arriving late in London.  We had planned to get there in time to join John Haché and Otis Cheng for a trip into the city to do some puzzle hunting, but as it turned out, we got a late start and that lead to a rather late arrival.  I did the best thing I could think of and called Otis and told them to go on ahead without me.

All my life I wanted to go to the Camden Locke puzzle shop and here I missed it.  But by the time I finally write about my last puzzle day, you will see that the puzzle shop wasn't the only thing I missed.

Anyway, the day was uneventful.  Well mostly.  I checked in and Laurie gave me a job to do. I was the first to receive the greenhorn hat.  oh what a responsibility!  I loved it and didn't want to give it up.  Mean old Allard made me though.  I had dinner in the hotel restaurant later in the evening with John and his Dad, Oskar, José, and George and then went on to have drinks in the bar as is normal for Rox.  Hugs all around because, lets face it, this is the first real day of IPP.

Day 7 saw us heading over to the Harry Potter experience and Windsor Castle.  Now, I'm a huge Disney Fan and have never really grown up, but once you've seen one of these things, you've seen them all.  Nope. I did not enjoy it all that much.  The castle was interesting in that I managed to get through it with Bram and Scott, clueless as to their conversation and completely missing the castle :)

OK.  On to the real fun.  That evening was the founders reception.  I ended up on door duty from 7-8, and then spent an hour walking around saying hello to one and all.  More hugs and kisses had to be passed out.
But the real fun came later at the Twisty Puzzle meetup.  We had a big crowd of us as usual.  Gus and Jack met at the pub across the street from the venue before we got there.  Of course they had to get a hug when I came in.  
We had some of the usual suspects and puzzled away for a few hours.  Andreas, Hendrik, Bob, Geert, Oskar, Carl, and Jose were all there.  This year we were joined by Otis, John and his dad Marc.
Drinks were bought and we got down to some serious puzzling.  I guess we stayed until we were kicked out of the bar at around mid night.  The party continued for some of us at the hotel bar until the wee hours.  Another great meet up.  

 One of the highlights for me?  Taking Bobs belt off and playing with his buckle!  Well done sir!  I'm thrilled that you brought it along for me to see.