Monday, 18 January 2016

Sweta Cross

It feels like ages since I’ve sat down and jotted off a quick blog post… hopefully with the imminent completion (of my part at least) of my recent mammoth project, I’ll find a bit more time to write these things again…

OK, so what do we have for you today?

Wil Strijbos’ latest creation – the Sweta Cross.

This puzzle resulted from a Swiss company’s desire for a puzzling gift to give away to their customers. Wil spotted the possibilities in making a variant of his original aluminium Cross puzzle and giving it a nice red stand – et voila instant Swiss flag! The company wanted their give-aways to be “accessible” to non-puzzlers, so Wil set about coming up with a reasonably straight-forward design… and ended up finalising the design while he was visiting his sweetheart, so he named it after her with a nod to the Swiss company who’d commissioned it…

…and all would have been good if he’d stopped there…

…but that’s not Wil’s style – knowing that he’d end up selling some of them to puzzlers as well, he also produced the puzzlers’ version… and while it looks similar to the Swiss giveaway, this one is for hardened puzzlers only…

At first glance it might look a bit like his old aluminium Cross puzzle – similar size, also made of aluminium… then you spot the little windows on the ends of the arms… behind which appear to be some brass bits and a few ball bearings… at which point you may think you recognise this trick, set it down on a horizontal surface and give it a spin expecting the pieces to magically separate once Mr Centrifugal does his thing… but it doesn’t.

If anything, the pieces seem even more solidly locked together…

OK, so we need a different strategy – we look carefully at one of the ends – we notice there’s a hole in the centre of the brass bit behind that window, and occasionally one or two of the balls disappear down the hole, except for some reason they seem very unwilling to head into that hole – which is weird, right?

…and I’ll leave it there for now… you should enjoy this on your own...

The easier version has far fewer bits to wrangle and they’re far more cooperative… but you’ll never get to see one of those unless you happen to be a customer of that particular Swiss company, so you may as well make peace with wrangling multiple little thingies all with an apparent mind of their own…

This is a brilliant Strijbos design – everything is on show, all the time – and yet it’s also perfectly disguised at the same time. 

There’s a great “A-Ha!” moment when you work out what you’re trying to achieve … and then another when you work out how the heck to actually do that!

If you’ve ever liked any of Wil’s other designs, you’ll love this one!


  1. Hallo Mr. Walker,

    thanks for Your blog!

    My Cousins friend is a switzerland. Do You know where I can buy a sweta cross for a present for him or for which company this is build?

    Thanks and best regards

    1. Hi Thomas - your best bet is to drop Wil Strijbos an email and ask if he has any copies left for sale... his email address is puzzle{DOT}strijbos{AT}wxs{DOT}nl. - allard

  2. Is this able to be put back together and solved again?