Wednesday, May 31, 2023
Puzz L - Strugg L
I always enjoy playing with puzzles designed by Junichi Yananose and I was especially attracted to Strugg L with it’s spikey pieces comprising a prickly packing puzzle. As a bonus, it also had a cool name.
The Strugg L pieces are made from Fijian Mahogany with bamboo pins and the frame is made from American Rock Maple. The pieces, as well as the frame, have grooves for the pins to traverse, thus restricting their movement.
Although the description on the Pluredro site indicated that the puzzle was sold disassembled, shortly after the release, messages started popping up on the Mechanical Puzzle Discord server saying that they were being received assembled. Sure enough, when I received mine, it was assembled as well. Too bad! I think that disassembled would have been the way to go for this one.
The objective, of course, is to make a 3x3x2 assembly with the 6 spikey pieces. Some of the pins will need to face inward to interact with the other pieces and some will need to face outward to interact with the box. Although you may think that rotations with the pins would be required to solve the puzzle, the description indicates that the goal is to use only rectilinear moves and that any rotations would only be short-cutting the solution. It warns that this occurs about 20 moves into removing the first piece and indeed, at that point it is obvious that pieces can be rotated out. However, it is definitely worthwhile to stick with the rectilinear movements to enjoy the full experience. If you’re not taking the rotational shortcuts, it also adds a little more effort to remove or insert the remaining pieces.
Although cool, the name isn’t really indicative of the difficulty level. Strugg L may look intimidating with all those spikes, but I found it to be very manageable in one sitting. However, I must admit to retaining some residual memory concerning the single hole in the frame, which may have (or may not have) contributed to my quick success.
Although I was hoping to strugg l a bit more on this puzzle, I thoroughly enjoyed it and look forward to similar (and slightly more difficult) puzzles of this type.