Monday, 1 January 2018

Christmas Challenge 2017 Answers and Results

…similarly it wouldn’t be New Year’s Day if I wasn’t trawling through the entries to my silly little challenge. :-)

As usual I found out some details of my puzzles that I hadn’t been aware of: thanks to Brendan now know that James Pearsall designed the Liberty Thrift Puzzle Bank, and that a few of them actually don’t have known designers…

Two people also spotted that in spite of saying that there were 52 puzzles in the mix, I’d only actually included 51! (Mental note: must get a new fact-checker.)

So, onto the entries: John Haché scored a decent 23 hits on the puzzles that he named, unfortunately he didn’t give me a single designer, so I couldn’t double his score for him!

Augustin, a French puzzler who recently introduced himself via email and was delighted when I managed to put him in touch with a relatively local puzzler in the shape of Lionel, scored a highly creditable 62 … quite exceptional for someone who’s only been puzzling for a year and considers himself “quite a new collector”!

Once again Steve Canfield kept me entertained with his guesses on the ones he didn’t know – and even came jolly close with some of his guesses! I couldn’t convince myself to give him partial credit for “Wood and metal entanglement thingy best kept in the bedroom – Kinky Friedman” – he got 74 points. 

Goetz pipped him by 5 points on 79, managing to improve his entry after a visit to a puzzler who happened to have some of the mysterious puzzles that had elluded him thus far. Coincidentally the namesake of that friend then ended up just outscoring him: Klaus ended up on 89 out of a possible 102.

Interestingly, from there on, the rest of my contestants are each separated by two points… from Brendan Perez, to Nick Baxter and finally my winner, again(!), Big Steve on a total of 95. I'll be passing on something puzzling to you when I see you next weekend.

…aside from getting the highest score outright, Steve’s was also the first submission I received – before lunchtime on Christmas Day! Nick B on the other hand still favours piling the pressure on himself by submitting his entry just before the deadline… wonder what would happen if he gave himself more time, eh?

Thanks again to all who played along – hope you had some fun trying to spot what those snippets where… your normal programming will resume shortly.

Happy New Year from Puzzling Times HQ!

Thanks Steve for the helpful version with numbers on it!

1 The Bell - Jurgen Reiche / Siebenstein Spiele
2 Wasserhahn - Roger D
3 Rose - Hideaki Kawashima
4 First Box - Wil Strijbos
5 Packed in Tokyo - Nob Yoshigahara
6 Sonneveld Four-Piece Cube - Dic Sonneveld
7 Eat Me – Neil Hutchison
8 Laurie's Three-Piece Block Puzzle - Shane Hales / Stewart Coffin
9 Merry-go-round - Goh Pit Khiam and Jack Krijnen
10 Illegal Burr - Dic Sonneveld
11 Cast Dot Cast Puzzle - Akio Yamamoto
12 Twisted Burr - Kagen Sound
13 The (Gillen) Knight - Marcel Gillen
14 Stickman No. 31 Puzzlebox (Late For Tea) - Robert Yarger
15 Six Ways In - No Way Out – Designer not known
16 Ninomiya Yosegi Secret Box - Hiroshi Iwahara
17 Walls and Warriors - Raef Peters
18 Kopa - Takeyuki Endo
19 Impossible Chain - Saul Bobroff
20 Smartegg - András Zagyvai
21 Revenge Lock aka The Wanderer - Wil Strijbos
22 Bubble Car Puzzle - Serhiy Grabarchik
23 Zen Puzzle - Charles O Perry
24 Neat Lock – based on a 19th century lock design
25 Blackjack Pastry Puzzle Box - Perry McDaniel
26 ze Koala - Lee Krasnow (mechanism) / Stephen Chin (design)
27 Triacontahedron Box - Jane Kostick
28 Lotus Box - Kagen Sound
29 Pack Your Passport - Rex Perez
30 The Stickman No. 25 Puzzlebook (Milestone Book) - Robert Yarger
31 The Loop Box - Kagen Sound
32 Open Lock (aka Transparent Lock) - Gary Foshee
33 The Louvre - Brian Young
34 Imp Possible Nail - Frank Potts
35 Carousel - Kelly Snache
36 Pegasus - Tadao Muroi
37 Down the Rabbit-Hole - Peter Wiltshire
38 Secret Stripes - Yoh Kakuda
39 Slide Packing - Hajime Katsumoto
40 Box of Swords - Oskar van Deventer
41 Snakes in a Plane – Oskar van Deventer
42 Chain Store - Goh Pit Khiam
43 Liberty Thrift Puzzle Bank – James Pearsall
44 Football Downunder - Stephen Chin
45 Lotus Puzzle - Wil Strijbos
46 Psycho Match-Box Puzzle – Designer no known (Hoffmann puzzle)
47 Rubik’s Tangle - Erno Rubik (? –similar patents from others pre-date)
48 BreadBox - Dave Litwin / Bram Cohen
49 Magic Domino - Wil Strijbos
50 Diamond Case - Junichi Yananose
51 Slant Cube - William Hu


  1. Thanks Allard, as ever it was great fun playing along! It doesn't get any easier - there were some really tricky ones in this year. See you next weekend! Happy New Year! Steve

  2. Thank you Allard, it was a lot of fun to search, and sometimes only to find, the names of all these great puzzles.
    It seems I missed a lot of classic ones: Erno Rubik's, Hoffman's, Dic Sonneveld's and Nob Yoshigara's puzzle were some of them... oops!
    I thought the shape of the images was a hint for a 52th puzzle I didn't find! (I was searching for a japanese puzzle box with very special yosegi :p )

    Have an happy and puzzling new year!!! :)

  3. You're both very welcome guys - thanks for playing along! :-)