Wednesday, August 5, 2020

A Non-Conventional Puzzle - Geneva

Geneva by William HuThis puzzle is different!  …  It includes some very unique rotations and coordinate motions!  …  I went back to bashing my head against the desk!

With comments like these (from puzzlers who shall remain blameless), who could resist taking this puzzle for a spin.  William Hu has been producing several new interesting designs lately and his puzzle Geneva is no exception.  In addition to the comments above, the Cubicdissection site also entices you with the warning that the level of difficulty is 9.3.4 and that rotations and coordinate motion are involved.

Geneva was released by Cubicdissection in May 2020.  It is made from Curly Ash and consists of 4 pieces that interlock to form a 4x4x4 cube.  This puzzle is larger than you would expect from recent Cubicdissection releases.  I’m guessing that this was done since there is no fancy joinery and the butt joints would benefit from the additional surface area. 

Geneva PiecesWith only 4 pieces, it’s easy to determine how the pieces would be positioned within a 4x4x4 cube.  Getting them together - therein lies the difficulty.  Interestingly enough, getting 2 of the pieces together, took me a few of minutes.  At first it doesn’t seem possible, and then it was.  Getting all 4 pieces together entails a very well designed rotational sequence.  It is this movement that everyone is thinking about when they comment on Geneva.  It reminded me of something that you would encounter in a Gregory Benedetti puzzle.

You may have noticed that the solved cube has some visible bits missing.  That’s the price you pay for getting that nice rotational sequence.  Some designers add pieces to fill those holes and some don’t.  Jeff Namkung is a good example of a designer who developed some 4x4x4 cubes with voids like this to achieve a higher degree of complexity.

Expect to see more great things from William Hu.  I have a feeling that he is just getting started.


  1. Hi all
    according to the pics of the pieces I made one for my collection, could solve it in the beginning and after 2-3 weeks I was not able anymore to dissasamble it again; I stopped always on the same point , was on the Right way but didn`t want to break it during that incredible coordinate motion+turns; It Needs me to get some additional help by Allard( thanks for it) to find again the correct disassembling without breaking it;
    it is an asolute must for a spezialized Interlocking Cubes collector, but have in mind , it is real heavy

    1. I knew that you would like this one Bernhard. Sorry to hear that you had a problem with yours. Yours is probably tighter than the Cubicdissection version. The Cubicdissection version has some play in it that allows the pieces to moved easily and avoid binding. The pieces will even move when simply holding one end of the puzzle and tilting it.

  2. I made a copy of this puzzle using puzzleCAD and my 3D printer. Curiously, I found out there are two versions which differ by a single voxel. Both are essentially the same as far as the assembly goes, I believe, but the other version has one more cubie filled in the solution.

    With my 3D printed version I had the option of putting the puzzle together in the solved configuration. I took advantage of this, and was able to solve for the disassembly before the assembly.

    1. Thank you for for the update George. I hadn't heard that there were two versions.

  3. The top left piece in your photo can have one voxel added. It ends up filling the missing corner of the cube. I don't think this affects the solution but perhaps more rounding might be required of the pieces.