Thursday, 21 March 2013

The Core and Begonia

These two really unusual puzzles come from the devious mind of prolific Turkish puzzle designer Yavuz Demirhan. (You have to call him prolific – not many folks have had more than 170 designs listed on Ishino’s site in less than two years!) 

The Core and Begonia share a common basic premise (albeit a rather unusual one) of being a 3D packing puzzle where the object is to pack the pieces into a tray shaped like the three sides of the corner of a box. They differ slightly in their target shape in that The Core ends up with a cube emerging from the tray whereas Begonia targets a flat plate covering the three sides of the corner … and Begonia has a little cubie lodged in the back corner to “help” you. 

Begonia requires you to tile a 4*4*4 corner with 8 pieces – 4 of which have a twist in them so they must go in one of the bends of the three axes … which should cut down on the number of potential possibilities to try, rather a lot you might think! Which is both a good and a bad thing as it turns out – good because there are fewer wrong (almost-) assemblies and bad because there’s a unique solution… and it’s a long way from being a trivial puzzle, as some of my mates can testify to!
Eric’s made the tray out of walnut and the pieces are rosewood, as are the splines in the box / tray. 

The Core asks you to build a 3*3*3 cube (almost – there are two cubies missing) in a frame that covers three sides and leaves a 2*2*2 gap in one of the corners. While it only(!) has 5 pieces, and one of them is quite large, this puzzle is also rather tricky given the constraints of having to post each of the pieces through the 2*2*2 hole. 

You might decide to work your way through all the possible 3*3*3 assemblies and then try and establish which of those could be posted through the hole, but that might be quite time-consuming given that there are more than 500 assemblies and only a single solution!  You might be better off trying to work out how the last few pieces need to slot in place in order to give the impression of a complete cube… 

Embarrassing side note: Eric ships The Core partially assembled – with one piece separate… and it took me an embarrassingly long time to extract the piece from the frame – it seemed that no matter what I did, they were locked in good and proper … it took me a while to realise that I need to stop some of the hidden pieces from moving in order to stand a chance of getting anywhere – yip, I’m a bit slow on the uptake!

Fit and finish on both puzzles are the usual Fuller-standards-of-perfection. 


  1. I wish I had bought them now! Got the others but missed out on these!
    Damn!! :(


  2. Yeah me too....should have bought them!

  3. I got The Core and loved it, but now I wish I'd gotten the Begonia as well. Looks great in your pictures!!!