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Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Need An SD Fix? CD With The - ResQ

ResQ by Frederic Boucher and Eric Fuller
I’ve been enjoying the Sequential Discovery (SD) puzzles that have recently been released by layerbylayerpuzzles and when Cubicdissection (CD) announced that they would be releasing an SD puzzle, it caught my interest.  This puzzle, of course, is ResQ.  It is based on Visitor Q by Frederic Boucher and extended by Eric Fuller at CD with additional challenges to extend the storyline.

The puzzle arrives in a very recognizable orange box.  In this case, the box had a black bag attached to it.  This bag contained a black towel, a description of the ResQ backstory and goals, and a Reset Guide.

The towel was a nice touch.  Many SD puzzles are susceptible to having small pieces fall out and roll out of sight.  Most puzzle gatherings aren’t complete without someone swearing at pieces rolling across the floor and groups of people on their hands and knees looking under the furniture.  Oh, how I miss the look of horror on their faces.  CD decided to preempt that experience and provide an official towel to work over.

Inside the orange box is another box nicely made from Hawaiian Koa.  It has various square, rectangle, and rounded slots cut out of it.  Inside the box are pieces made from Canxan, Catalox, Bloodwood, and Chakte Viga.  So far, nothing unusual.  It looks like a typical packing problem with the pieces already packed in the box.

The first odd thing of note is the face of an alien with a strange sparkling hair bun on the top of the puzzle.  Apparently, this is a visitor from another dimension and the goal is to rescue the visitor as well as the components of his spaceship from the void (aka the inside of the box).  There is obviously some time/space warping occurring inside the 3x3x3 box since you need to extract a spaceship (made from Paduak and Walnut), two antenna assemblies, a silver fuel disk, a gold reactor orb, and a six-orb navigation AI module.  I was tracking it all until the end.  How could you possible get a six-orb navigation AI module in there?  Well, I was quite surprised when it unexpectedly showed up – on the towel – as if by magic – out of the void – Uh Oh!

ResQ Bottom
I tried to acquire the ResQ version with all the vortex pieces made from Ebony, but failed.  Somebody was looking out for me.  After solving the puzzle, I’m glad that I had the mixed wood version.  Having all the pieces made from the same wood would make it more difficult and not in a good way.  Of course, that’s just my opinion and if I had acquired an Ebony copy, I’m sure that I would be crowing about that version.  I’ll be interested in hearing about the solve experience from the Ebony owners.

It looks like there was at least one design change after the box was made.  There is a feature that did not appear to be used and caused me to hunt around for something that I may have missed or lost.  I guess that you could just call it a space fish on a long wavelength.

The SD aspects of ResQ are very well done and obviously required a fair amount of experimentation to ensure that everything worked as expected.  However, the real challenge is manipulating the vortex to get things where you need them.  Once you have that figured out, everything is much easier.

I can’t stress enough, that everything is so well made that it looks innocent when in reality, it packs a lot of puzzling in a small amount of space.  The Mechanical Puzzles discord had several messages from puzzlers with difficulty finding out how to unlock the vortex at the beginning since it was so well hidden.

I was initially reluctant to look at the reset instructions to put everything back together, especially since it has a ** SPOILER ** warning, but I’m glad that I took a peak and looked at it.  Although it does have some spoiler information that you wouldn’t want to see before salvaging everything from the vortex, it basically provides the initial configuration of the vortex.  Of course, you can store the vortex in another configuration, but I’d bet that the initial configuration is probably designed to require the maximum number of moves to solve.  Don’t be afraid to use the Reset Guide.  In fact, the final goal recommends using the diagram to reset ResQ.

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Happy Anniversary! - Another Year of ZenPuzzler

ZenPuzzler Year 2 Group Photo

ZenPuzzler has reached the end of its second year.  I was originally worried that there wouldn’t be anyone reading the blog, but I’ve since received confirmation that, indeed, there are people that have seen the blog.  However, I’m not the least bit discouraged by the requests from designers and craftsmen requesting that I don’t blog about their puzzles.

To wrap up the year, I have created a list of the weekly posts and the puzzles that are mentioned in each.  The name of each post is linked to the entry so that you can easily jump to it by clicking on the name.  Puzzles not included in the photos were either borrowed, gifted, or just plain forgotten on the shelf behind me in plain sight.

28 APR 21 – Board With Puzzles - Trikado

  •     Trikado by Yavus Dimirhan, made by Wood Wonders

21 APR 21 – Like a Dead Skunk in Your Tire Well, Some Things Just Don’t Go Away - Completely Broken Soma, Part 2

  •     Completely Broken Soma by Ken Irvine, bungled by ZenPuzzler

7 APR 21 – And The After Dinner Mint – Peppermint Basket

  •     Peppermint Basket by Akaki Kuumeri, printed by ZenPuzzler
  •     Nachos Basket by William Hu, printed by ZenPuzzler

Wood Wonders Puzzles
Wood Wonders

31 MAR 21 – A Tisket A Tasket, Puzzles In – Akaki’s Picnic Baskets

  •     Akaki’s Picnic Baskets by Akaki Kuumeri, printed by ZenPuzzler

10 MAR 21 – Terrific Value in a Small Package - Mini TV

  •    Mini TV by St├ęphane Chomine, printed by ZenPuzzler

10 FEB 21 – Screwed! - Bolt Action

  •     Bolt Action by Alan Lunsford, made by layerbylayerpuzzles

20 JAN 21 – It's a Feature - Inaccurate Burr

  •     Inaccurate Burr by Junichi Yananose, made by Cubicdissection

13 JAN 21 – Per Aspera Ad Astra - StarTIC 1-4

  •     StarTIC 1-4 by Andrew Crowell, made by arcWoodPuzzles

6 JAN 21 – Mangling Wood With Style - In Brackets

  •     In Brackets by Sam Cornwell, mangled by ZenPuzzler

Picnic Basket Goodies
Picnic Basket Goodies

30 DEC 20 - Ending With a Beginning - CagedTIC 1

  •     CagedTIC 1 by Andrew Crowell, made by arcWoodPuzzles

23 DEC 19 - A Christmas Present For You 2! - Ultimate Penultimate Burr Box Set 7 Piece Burr Challenges

  •     Penultimate Burr Box Set by Jack Botermans, Peter Van Delft, Ken Irvine, and Eric Fuller, made by Cubicdissection

16 DEC 20 - Puzzle Purchasing Pandemonium – Cluster & Inelegant Box

  •     Cluster by Andrew Crowell, made by Wood Wonders
  •     Inelegant Box by Haym Hirsh, made by Wood Wonders

9 DEC 20 - They're Everywhere!  But This One Is Special! - ACorn

  •     ACorn by Andrew Crowell, made by arcWoodPuzzles

2 DEC 20 - Apparently More Puzzles - ManiAC Shuffle

  •     ManiAC Shuffle by Andrew Crowell, printed by Andrew Crowell

25 NOV 20 - The Gift That Keeps On Giving - The Ottawa Cube

  •     The Ottawa Cube by Ken Irvine, made by Wood Wonders

18 NOV 20 - Hiding Money in Puzzles - Unsafe Deposit

  •     Unsafe Deposit by Alan Lunsford, made by layerbylayerpuzzles

11 NOV 20 - Puzzle Candy - ThreeTIC, TriadTIC, TripleTIC, NeuroTIC, TriumviraTIC

  •     ThreeTIC by Andrew Crowell, made by arcWoodPuzzles
  •     TriadTIC by Andrew Crowell, made by arcWoodPuzzles
  •     TripleTIC by Andrew Crowell, made by arcWoodPuzzles
  •     NeuroTIC by Andrew Crowell, made by arcWoodPuzzles
  •     TriumviraTIC by Andrew Crowell, made by arcWoodPuzzles

4 NOV 20 - Not Your Elegant Hoffman Packing Puzzle - Inelegant Fake

  •     Inelegant Fake by Haym Hirsh, made by Wood Wonders

Cubicdissection Puzzles
Cubicdissection

28 OCT 20 - A Puzzling Tri-Pod - Uri Three Bars

  •     Uri Three Bars by Dario Uri, made by Cubicdissection

21 OCT 20 - Longer Than Expected - BonBon

  •     BonBon by Frederic Boucher, made by Cubicdissection

14 OCT 20 - 15 Steps to Success - Stairs Cube

  •     Stairs Cube by Osanori Yamamoto, made by Wood Wonders

7 OCT 20 - A Self-Fulfilling Prophecy - Fantastic

  •     Fantastic by Andrew Crowell, made by arcWoodPuzzles

30 SEP 20 - Digging Through Puzzles - Artefacts

  •     Artefacts - Frederic Boucher, made by Cubicdissection

23 SEP 20 - Energetic Puzzling - Reactor Nuclear Packing Puzzle

  •     Reactor Nuclear Packing Puzzle by CoreMods, made by CoreMods

16 SEP 20 - Happy 16th! - Sweet Sixteen

  •     Sweet Sixteen by Jack Krijnen, made by Cubicdissection

9 SEP 20 - Apparently Packing Puzzles - Corner Cube, Edge Cube, Angle Cube

  •     Corner Cube by Andrew Crowell, made by arcWoodPuzzles
  •     Edge Cube by Andrew Crowell, made by arcWoodPuzzles
  •     Angle Cube by Andrew Crowell, made by arcWoodPuzzles

2 SEP 20 - I Had This Feeling That I Was Going To Like This Puzzle - MystTIC

  •     MysTIC by Andrew Crowell, made by arcWoodPuzzles

arcWoodPuzzles
arcWoodPuzzles

26 AUG 20 - Don't Give Up - COP OUT 1, 2, 3

  •     COP OUT 1-3 by Alan Lunsford, made by Layerbylayerpuzzles

19 AUG 20 - A Whole New Level of Puzzle Abuse - Completely Broken Soma

  •     Completely Broken Soma by Ken Irvine, abused by ZenPuzzler

12 AUG 20 - Fantastic 20+ Move TIC with an 11 Move Non-TIC Alternate Solution - PatheTIC

  •     PatheTIC by Andrew Crowell, made by arcWoodPuzzles

5 AUG 20 - A Non-Conventional Puzzle - Geneva

  •     Geneva by William Hu, made by Cubicdissection

29 JUL 20 - Starting With The Seed Of An Idea - Begonia

  •     Begonia by Yavuz Demirhan, made by Cubicdissection

22 JUL 20 - The Bane of All Cubes - Cubane

  •     Cubane by Masumi Ohno, made by Cubicdissection

15 JUL 20 - A Pox On You - Pox Box

  •     Pox Box by Yavuz Demirhan, made by Cubicdissection

8 JUL 20 - Hanging In Suspense - PackTIC V

  •     PackTIC V by Andrew Crowell, made by arcWoodPuzzles

1 JUL 20 - A Fantastic Puzzle, Believe It or Not - RIPley

  •     RIPley by Andrew Crowell, made by Wood Wonders

Etsy Puzzles
Etsy

24 JUN 20 - Just Another 6-Piece Burr, Or Is It? - Welded Burr

  •     Welded Burr by William Hu, made by Cubicdissection

17 JUN 20 - A 10,000 Foot View Of - Cockpit

  •     Cockpit by Osinori Yamamoto, made by Wood Wonders

10 JUN 20 - A Meaty Challenge - Ribeye

  •     RIBeye by Andrew Crowell, made by arcWoodPuzzles

3 JUN 20 - Space, The Final Frontier - MagellanTIC

  •     MagellanTIC by Andrew Crowell, made by arcWoodPuzzles

27 MAY 20 - Instrumental Techniques in Puzzle Design - Accordian

  •     Accordian by William Hu, made by Cubicdissection

20 MAY 20 - Discretely Exchanging Puzzles - IPP Burr

  •     IPP Burr by Noah Prettyman, made by Cubicdissection

13 MAY 20 - Will This One Really Be Better Than The Others? - SkepTIC

  •     SkepTIC by Andrew Crowell, made by arcWoodPuzzles