Sunday, 15 October 2017

Thanks Frank!

At a recent MPP Frank and I were engaged in some idle banter – is there any other type? – and the topic of some of his early exchange puzzles came up… we’d been playing with an unusual three board burr (I think it was Big-Steve’s Czechoslovakian monster) and he mentioned that one of his exchange puzzles had worked along similar lines… 

When he saw me at the next MPP, he duly presented me with a copy of that exchange puzzle, and the one from the previous year as well, for good measure – Thanks Frank!

Frank’s Unfinished Burr was his IPP26 Exchange Puzzle – exchanged with much theatrical apology for his awful woodworking skills, pathetic finishing off of the pieces, dubious fit and an obvious error in that one of the slots was clearly missing from the standard three-board burr design… aside from that, he was glad to be getting rid of them and happy to receive the other participants' exchange puzzles in return… cheeky so-and-so!

Well that was the story, and what may have appeared to the trained eye to be a rough, unfinished set of pieces, is actually a rather neat puzzlers’ puzzle…

Try the usual things and you’ll find a lot of slop, and a missing slot, making the usual solution somewhat impossible…

…which it turns out was the name of his previous exchange puzzle: Imp Possible Nail

Apparently the schpiel here was that Frank’s workshop is besieged (no less!) by imps who play nasty tricks on him on a regular basis… 

…one time they even hammered some nails through a bunch of rings he’d left out on the bench – only being imps, they hammered them out of the rings rather than in to the rings…

…leaving a puzzler to ponder on how they got there, or for the brave, remove the nail and replace it! 

Cheers Frank – that was very generous of you, sir!


  1. Glad you enjoyed them :)

    I do have more of the nail puzzles in case anyone asks

  2. Is the nail puzzle an actual puzzle with the goal of removing and putting back the nail in the ring?? If it is, may I please buy one from you Frank?

    1. PSSSSSTTTT! You may want to give Frank or I a clue as to your identity, madam...

    2. Hello Frank, what is your email, so I can contact you about purchasing the nail Puzzle? Thanks