Thursday 27 July 2017

Stella’s Good Cents

I’ve been a big fan of Scott Peterson’s work for a long time, and whenever I spot one of his puzzles that I don’t already have available for sale somewhere, I generally try and acquire it…

Thus ‘twas that I recently managed to stumble across someone prepared to part with a copy of Stella’s Good Cents – one of Scott’s own designs.

Scott described it as a modification of a puzzle designed by Stewart Coffin and went on to comment that it remained unrealised for quite a while because he’d considered it too simple – and yet when he produced it, puzzlers seemed to like it…

A casual glance at it will have you convinced you’ve seen it before – albeit, this is a rather beautifully produced version where the pieces of what is rather obviously a simple diagonal burr have been made of laminated sections of wood – oddly some of the laminations don’t seem to line up with where you might be expecting them to go… and that’s a big clue. 

The edges are still wonderfully sharp as though they’ve just come straight off Scott’s saw and the obvious gentle tugging to release the diagonal burr bits does absolutely nothing… this ain’t no diagonal burr… not even a purdy one!

Puzzle a little more and there’s a wonderful secret to be discovered – guaranteed to put a smile on a puzzlist’s face and leave non-puzzlers wondering what the fuss is all about…

It’s a wonderful little example of one-puzzle-pretending-to-be-another, while-in-fact-being-something-else-you-know-quite-well-too! 

Great little bit of subterfuge, superbly implemented – and definitely not too simple to be interesting!!

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