Notes from Puzzle Palace

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Puzzle rings

It's no secret that I like a good puzzle and when it is combined with jewellery I'm even happier.

Today I present you with a pile of rings that I have picked up over the past 4 or 5 years.
You'll notice a lot of color on there.  Shapeways is a great place to pick up little bits and pieces...And of course puzzle parties too.

Starting from the right, I've ordered the black rings or at least one of them off Shapeways.  This is a very simple design that takes about 2 seconds to solve.  It is quite fun though because if you hand it to a non-puzzler, it very easily falls apart and takes a minute or two for them  to reassemble.  The wider 2 band black ring I have no idea where  I got it from.  I thought I bought it off Shapeways, but I can't find the order.  So much for that idea.

Next up are the two Japanese flags. I purchased those at my first IPP (30).  I'm not sure who I purchased them from, but based on the first orange/white puzzle, I'd guess it is a Vesa puzzle.  The design is similar. Both Flag puzzles break into 2 pieces that twist around a center core.

The next 4 rings are from Vesa. The 3 nylon ones I purchased from his shapeways shop and the metal OCC was a gift from him when I attended FPP last year. I think this year I'm going to purchase the jigsaw ring he designed...if I can work out how to put it back together....

The next batch of 7 nylon rings are all Oskar designs.  Oh, I'm getting this wrong, Bram also helped with them. I'm really fuzzy on the relationship here so forgive me. They are real pains in the bum to put together. All of these bands have a clasp around them and I will kill the fool who opens it!

Next up are 2 rings I purchased from Jeff Bell at his webpage.  The first is sixth sense by Bram Cohen, and the next is called fire. I liked the pretty red color.

After that is a simple traditional 6 band ring that I picked up god knows where followed by a gold and sapphire ring I just bought in Cambodia.

Now I know you are going to ask if I wear the nylon ones, and the answer is yes. They come with me to puzzle parties and are on my fingers when I play.  Fun fiddle factor, and it just might get people to talk to this shy girl.....

 One last photo for you all. Sixth sense in all the versions I have.

And before anyone asks, no I haven't played with any of the Oskar/Bram puzzle rings. Those two are just plain evil!

Thursday, March 19, 2015

And then there were three

Berrocal Micro's that is.

Anyone who reads my blog and some of the random rubbish I post on Facebook will realize that I have been on a bit of a mission collecting the Berrocal Mini puzzles.  I managed to win Micro-David a few years back and have been looking for Micheline X, Micro-Maria, and Micromento ever since.

Well, I did it.  I found 2 of them!  Both were sold through auction houses recently, and I can now say I have only Micromento to look for.  (I know, I know.  That won't be the end of my collecting, but it will be the completion of the set.)

I was asked if the micro puzzles are the same as the mini puzzles and the answer is yes, but no.  They have a similar outward appearance, but the insides are just a bit different.

The first biggest difference between the micro's and the mini's is the ring. The rings inside each of the micros is a mesh band that can be folded around one of the internal pieces.  In the Mini puzzles, they are a solid banded ring.  The micro rings are a size 6 while the mini's have a 6.5 or 7 depending on the puzzle.

Starting with David, the Mini David has 22 pieces while the micro has only 17.  David was injection molded in 1968, while micro-David-off was made in 1971.

Michelle has 17 pieces while Micheline X has 23.  Michelle was produced in 1969 and Micheline X was made from 1975-1976.

Maria has 23 elements in both the mini and micro edition.  Maria was made in 1968-1969 while the micro version was made in 1973.

These are beautiful additions to any collection.  I highly recommend them to one and all!  I can be seen sporting these puzzles at puzzle parties worldwide, and love to have my friends share the pleasure of taking them apart. If you happen to see me with one, ask and I'll gladly hand it over for disassembly.

For more information on Berrocal, please see his website.  

Sunday, March 15, 2015

One last night with Otis

We decided to have one last dinner before Otis left for Beijing again.  This time we met at a Chinese/Western restaurant and had a nice meal and a good chat.

There is not much to tell because most of what we spoke of it top secret for now....but we did have a few good laughs-mostly at my expense. Solved a few puzzles and just had a very pleasant evening (no beer!  are you shocked?)

Otis returned my Stickman Pirates Wallet having not finished it. It seems that the humidity managed to finally get to a Stickman.  No matter, a few days in the dehumidifier box and all is right again.

I brought two Berrocals for him to fiddle with, and a burr in a bag that I have not been able to get open!  Do I feel the fool.  It was such a simple puzzle....

Sadly Otis and I parted company around 10 and I won't see him again until April. As always, it's so hard to say goodbye to the boys.....

Friday, March 13, 2015

A HK gathering

Chinese new year came and went and as usual, Otis was in town. What better excuse to get together for a puzzle dinner than a friend being home!

Before we went to dinner Otis and I met and headed to Victor's warehouse to get in a bit of puzzling and to purchase a few toys.  He very graciously gifted us a mathematical puzzle that could be solved in 5 different ways.  He said it was an old design, but I hadn't played with it before.  I had great fun with a 3D printed maze, and enjoyed a pingpong ball packing puzzle that he had made.

We met for a nice hotpot dinner in HK.  I can't remember the name of the place, but the food was good and the company was better.  Puzzles a plenty were played.  This year the boys cooked the dinner :)

This years dinner we were joined by Wai and his wife.  Along with Ricky, Victor, and Teacher Wong.  Of course Smaz and I were there too.  Wai brought along the cricket bat and the boys had lots of fun with that.

As usual, I brought along a Berrocal and let Otis give it a try. I think he's caught up with them all now.

I brought along Splinter's lock and we had a nice time trying to open it.  Ricky solved it, but then the problem of relocking began and that puzzle ended up being good value for money.

After digging into the puzzles, the food began to arrive, and as always we ate and puzzled at the same time.  Ricky is a bit of a charmer and soon had the beer girl attempting puzzles with us.  He even gave her one of his handmade puzzles to take home.  Gifts were exchanged as usual and wonderful company rounded out the evening.

We had a rather serious talk for a bit about a future puzzle party and carried on from there.  It wasn't a long evening, but it was a great one to share with friends.