Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Discoveries on a puzzling cruise



While we were cruising across to Copenhagen, Gill asked if there were any puzzle shops in Copenhagen, and once I'd got over the initial shock (only kidding dear!) I hit Google and discovered a place called Games that looked like it might have some interesting looking puzzles in it...


Once we'd found our way into the city centre and done some of the touristy sight-seeing stuff, we wandered down the main shopping drag and came across Jorck's Passage and duly found Games ... which it turns out has a pretty decent array of great puzzles. In one display there was a set of Sonic Warp (or whatever they call themselves at the moment!) puzzles including Isis, Ramisis and Coppernisis.  There were several displays of cast puzzles of varying descriptions, entanglement puzzles by the dozen and shelves full of Thinkfun puzzles and games.
 
Around the back of the shop I found a veritable treasure trove of wooden puzzles in large glass display cabinet ... I recognised tons of Vinco's along the top two shelves and saw quite a few puzzles that I didn't recognise... including an interesting cube dissection where the pieces also fit into a rectangular box that I  immediately decided I needed to add to the collection... it'll turn up in a blog post one of these days, promise!


I also picked up a travel-sized Katamino puzzle that has already provided more than its fair share of puzzling trying to fit various combinations of pentominoes into different sized rectangles in the playing area.


We didn't try and find any puzzle shops in Stockholm but while we were wandering around Gamla Stan we had a look in a little shop that was run by a group of craftsmen who took turns in manning the shop that sells their handiwork. One of the craftsmen is a woodworker called Carl Nelson who happened to produce one or two puzzles, so I picked up a copy of his 11-piece furniture puzzle - simple and cute!


Before getting into Helsinki I hit up Google for some puzzle shops and I found one interesting candidate called Heureka in the shopping mall at the Kamppi station. Thanks to Gill's superior map-reading skills we managed to find it and I was amazed to see not only a full display stand of Cast Puzzles but shelves full of JC Constantin puzzles ... including several that I didn't already have, so I helped myself to a copy of Blumen Orange and Surface along with an intricate-looking double sided ball bearing maze whose name escapes me...


On the wall next to the cashier there were rows and rows of puzzles that looked like Tomas Linden's work and indeed on examining the packaging they were all Tomas' work branded for Heureka - so I picked up a copy of his Comet disentanglement puzzle... Oh and a set of optical illusion cards that were going for a song...


A few days later in Tallinn's old town I discovered a cute little puzzle box along a well-known principle - not a difficult puzzle - not even particularly good-looking, but it'll remind me of my visit to Tallinn ...


Having left on a cruise with the intention of just having a holiday, somehow some new puzzles managed to hunt me down and sneak into the collection ... now that's a great holiday!

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