Sunday, 1 November 2020

Juno's SDBB Master

Juno’s latest well-telegraphed release of an epic sequential discovery puzzle (the Sequential Discovery Burred Box – Master, to give it its Sunday name) resulted in a bit of a deluge at the appointed hour, sadly crushing his web-site under the weight of stacks of eager puzzlers wanting to shower him in PayPal for the chance to test their wits. Unfortunately it took his web server quite a while to recover and as result some transactions ended up taking many hours… so having a young dog that is still getting you up in the middle of the jolly night for a quick wander around the back yard turns out to be a good thing on this particular night… she times it right, and I manage to snag a copy of Juno’s latest masterpiece.

Fast forward a couple of weeks and I’m ripping open the well-packaged puzzle and thinking to myself that this is definitely one of my largest six-piece burrs… it is a big, handsome brute of a puzzle. From a distance you might think it’s “just a six-piece burr”. Pick it up and start playing with it and you’re left in no doubt whatsoever that this is a heck of a lot more puzzle than it might seem.

The first thing you notice when you explore which bits might be able to move, is that there are interesting things hidden on the insides that you can’t see when it’s in its starting position. If you start disassembling things, you’ll find some very interesting movements in there before you manage to get all six pieces separated – for, yes, dear reader, there are indeed six pieces to this burr… however, that is only really the beginning of this epic quest.

The fun really starts now!

From here on in, you’re in serious sequential discovery land… you’ll find tools galore and challenges aplenty, and sometimes you’ll be wondering which way to go next, but one thing I can tell you is that every single mechanism you encounter has a beautifully elegant solution to it… something I discovered the hard way because the first time I worked through the puzzle I found myself at “the end” and realising that I still had a locked compartment – which is weird… so I retraced my steps and realised that I’d unintentionally bodged one of the stages and applied a somewhat agricultural approach to opening a compartment – a little time Think(c)ing and I found a far more elegant solution, which then resulted in the perfect tool for the next step and my Yin and Yang were once again in perfect harmony.

Trust me - this isn't a spoiler!
Since that first time, I’ve gone back over the solution again and again and really marvelled at the clever design that’s gone into creating so many different locking mechanisms – each one unique, and each one requiring some serious lateral thinking.

In a wonderfully witty twist, Juno’s description of the puzzle tells you that he’s placed a little infinity symbol in the last compartment so that you’ll know that you’ve reached the end ;-) – and also in my case so that you’ll know if you’ve done things wrong and cooked the solution! There’s a lovely progression through the different compartments with some very interesting tools along the way – sometimes they’re quite obvious, and sometimes you really do need you apply the little grey cells to imagine what might be required.

I’m very chuffed to have managed to snag one of these – I’ve even forgiven Barkley for all those trips around the garden in the rain in the middle of the night! This puzzle made that all worthwhile – it really is another classic from Juno – another one to be mighty proud of, Juno!

And if you didn’t manage to get one of your own, make sure you make friends with someone who did and play with their copy! Or better still, come along to an MPP if we ever hold one in the real world ever again and play with one of our copies!

SPOILER ALERT: Kevin’s a big fan too!

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