Sunday 2 April 2017

Stand By Cubes 1,2 & 3

Gregory Benedetti is a lovely French chap that I’ve had the jolly good fortune of bumping into a couple of times – he is also a somewhat prolific puzzle designer who manages to catch puzzlers out quite regularly – think Blind Burr and the whole NOS series of burrs… 

Around a month ago I spotted that he’d put a couple of puzzles up for sale on Puzzle Paradise – part of the description said that the puzzles had been produced in his new 9 square metre workshop and he hoped it would be the first set of many to be produced there… as I’m keen to support the arts, as it were, I piled in and ordered one of each… not because I’m addicted to collecting puzzles, to support the arts, you know… 

And yes, there are three different puzzles – there’s a clue in the digit in the name! (You know who you are…) 

They duly arrived in short order and in fact happened to arrive on a day when I’d be puppy-sitting while Gill was out… now at the time the pup was a lot littler than she is now and needed a watchful eye most of the time, although in fairness she spent most of that evening asleep on the chaise with her big sister – leaving me to puzzle! :-)

Right, a little background about these puzzles: they started out life as “Greg’s Cube 765432” and they came in three flavours – each flavour had pieces increasing in size from 2 up to 7 cubies (handily summing to 27) to make up a 3*3*3 cube… and each of the three sets has 2 solutions. Now let me start by suggesting that those made a pretty decent puzzle on their own, but Greg had even better things in mind… so he glued the biggest piece to a tray with a partial lip around it and produced a whole new set of challenges: Stand By Cubes 1, 2 & 3. 

...So now you have to introduce the 5 loose pieces into the tray / frame to build a cube…

Cubes 1 & 2 share a common set of pieces, bar the longest piece that’s glued to the tray, while number 3 uses different pieces (albeit the three smallest pieces are the same across all sets). 

Those three puzzles provided a wonderful hour or so’s diversion while idly keeping an eye on the hounds – the rims around the bases are just high enough to discourage you from trying anything you shouldn’t and Greg’s tolerances are good enough that you aren’t going to be tempted into any adventurous rotations… and those rims remove one of the solutions ensuring that each puzzle now has a unique solution… isn’t that nice of him!

Greg’s descriptions refer to the bases as being “a little bit rustic” but I think he’s being a bit unkind to his work – they’re nicely finished in pine and do their job perfectly! 

…Oh, and since I bought my set, Greg’s relisted them at a lower price on Puzzle Paradise, and there are still plenty of copies left… go on and spoil yourself – for the arts!


  1. His designs are brilliant. Greg makes the solver think about every step along the way. People need to have his puzzles... but only after you and I have had first crack at his new offerings.