Wednesday, August 31, 2022
Jigsaw 16 is a 2D packing puzzle designed by Yuu Asaka, who has developed a series of jigsaw puzzles, each with their own twist. The puzzle is made from laser-cut acrylic. It comes with a white tray consisting of 16 recessed areas in the shape of jigsaw puzzle pieces and 16 blue jigsaw puzzle pieces that have to be placed within the recessed areas. Of course, you will quickly discover that the recessed areas are a bit too generous and support the placement of more than one piece. And no - the additional space added to the recessed areas wasn’t meant to aid your attempts at placing pieces - BwaHaHaHaHa!
Having lost its fidget toy status (sorry to whomever I hung up on), it now required some mental tracking of where the pieces could possibly be placed and then finding a placement where there is no overlap. This is basically an exact cover problem for the piece placements. Although it would probably be easier to create a matrix of piece and viable hole matches to select the exact cover, that would defeat the purpose of converting the math problem into a puzzle.
So, I continued to attack the puzzle as … a puzzle. The solve was broken into 3 main stages. Place the most finicky pieces first (the ones with 2 prongs on adjacent sides). Once those 6 pieces were in place, I tackled the other 5 finicky ones with 2 knobs on opposite sides, which required bumping some of the pieces of the original set. With all the finicky pieces out of the way, I expected the rest to fall in place without much of a fight. Although the next 6 1-tab pieces were easier to place, it did require bumping some of the finicky pieces. In case you haven’t noticed, there are various accepted labels for the male bits of puzzle pieces. The final, decidedly feminine, piece was then added.
For me, both challenges of Jigsaw 16 fell into the grind-it-out category. I didn’t find an elegant method to solve this puzzle but I was very impressed with the design. Especially since it had 2 difficult challenges.