Friday, 30 August 2013

IPP33 - Saturday ... my first exchange.

After breakfast I find myself heading back upstairs in the lift with Brian and Sue ... and Brian is singing (!) - about Christmas Day - so I assume that he's just had way too much caffeine and ask Sue if that's what's caused it, but Brian explains that today is the very best day in the year as far as he's concerned - he's going to get stacks of new puzzles - he is the excited kid on Christmas morning.

That sums up the Edward Hordern Puzzle Exchange rather neatly for me: no matter how long you've been doing this, or whether or not it's how you earn your living, the prospect of exchanging 60-odd puzzles with your puzzling mates form around the world really is the best thing since sliced bread! And worth singing about...

I drag a suitcase full of suitcases downstairs and set up shop at my table toward the back of the room and hook up with Marc, my volunteer sherpa (his description!) for the day - Marc ends up doing duty superbly as not only sherpa, but exchange wrangler and chief photographer as well. He starts by asking whether I want to hang around at the table and wait for others to wander past or walk around and shortly after the official "Off!" we find ourselves wandering rather than waiting...

After the first few exchanges they settle into a predictable rhythm and the patter / schpiel settles down to a common story - probably advisable...

Marc does an awesome job of running around taking photos and being the fall-guy for my warnings about the puzzles being a test of wit and not of strength, he's always there to take away exchange puzzles I've been given and pass me a copy of mine to hand out in return. We get through most of the 60-odd exchanges with Marc  guiding me to the folks we haven't swapped with yet (he's in charge of the checklist) and with about a dozen or so to go we take a break for lunch and relax for a few minutes.

One boxed lunch later (including some rather good sandwiches!) we hit the last dozen or so and we're all done by about 1 o'clock. I now have a large suitcase full of new puzzles and I've gotten rid of about 70 of my puzzles...RESULT!

I head up to the room for the obligatory swag shot before heading back down for the Impossible Motion / Object Design lecture and the Origami workshop that I've signed up for. The former is really interesting (I particularly enjoyed the bit about how the desired illusion can be derived mathematically from the actual object, and vice versa) and we each get a set of templates to make up our own copies of the main impossible motion objects in the lecture.

The second session taught me just how challenging serious origami can be ... in spite of the number of times the leaders kept saying they were showing us the really simple things... I managed the first two constructions before failing miserably at the next one ... so I took some homework away. Nick Baxter and Oskar have clearly either done this before or have far better spatial awareness than I have - both succeeding well beyond my limits!

After a quick shower we all headed back to the Banquet for some (more) excellent food, magic and some rather unusual juggling ... before wandering next door for some more work on the Design Competition entries... I loved Hexagonrings and then spent a good deal of time proving to Marcel just how rubbish I am at solving puzzles when he suggested I have a go at Bucolic Cubes - he gave up watching me fail after a while and just after that I finally managed to solve it - and that's the story I'm going to stick to! (It is a delightfully deceptively difficult little puzzle.) usual we puzzled on until the midnight curfew when we were all thrown out of the room... and I headed off for some sleep before the serious business of the puzzle party the next morning...

Some random pics from the Exchange... all of them taken by Marc Pawliger - Thanks Marc!



  1. looks like fun!
    always is, even if one is only helping the exchange!