Wednesday, July 1, 2020

A Fantastic Puzzle, Believe It or Not - RIPley

RIPley by Andrew CrowellAndrew Crowell has been generating many hard-to-believe puzzle designs requiring elaborate rotations.  He started out with Turning Interlocking Cubes (TICs) and then migrated his rotational magic to Rotating Interlocking Boards (RIBs) and Rotating Interlocking Plates (RIPs).  RIPley is one of the first in the RIP series.

This particular copy of RIPley was made by Brian Menold at Wood Wonders and looks beautiful in Redheart with the double Maple splines.  Absolutely stunning and a great display piece!  Nothing is going to break those pieces apart.  I also didn’t realize until after I had the puzzle together that some of the pieces were pegged as well as splined.  Amazing!

For a board/plate burr, RIPley is not that difficult.  Please keep in mind that this is in reference to board/plate burrs.  If you haven’t done one before, it’s plenty difficult.  Having just worked on some others recently, I was able to put the unassembled pieces together in a single sitting.  In fact, I used this as a break from working on another one of Andrew’s RIPs.

RIPley PiecesRIPley consists of 6 plates that are comprised of 3 pairs of pieces.  Each pair is a different size, which greatly reduces the complexity.  In addition, one of the pairs has identical pieces, further reducing the complexity.  Two of the pairs have pieces that are parallel to each other but separated by a space, and the final pair has the pieces adjacent to each other.  It is trivial to determine the spacing between each pair from the pieces that they fit into.

The solution process was accompanied by the standard, well let’s try this - no that’s not right, recursive procedure.  It’s pretty easy to get 5 pieces together, whereupon you realize that getting the last piece in will take longer than getting the first 5 together - and that last piece you’re holding is almost certainly not the last piece that needs to go in (which it wasn’t).

Although BurrTools will not be able to solve this particular puzzle, there are not a lot of rotations required to solve it.  However, the required rotations come with a brilliant AHA moment sure to make you smile.  To get the full effect of the AHA moment, I recommend getting RIPley unassembled.

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