Saturday 26 March 2022

Turning Quarter Hole

Another excellent puzzle from the mind of Hajime Katsumoto and the fair hands of Mine-san.

It’s beautifully open and honest – the name even describes it all pretty accurately: put the pieces into the box through the one quarter hole in the rotating cover. The interior of the box is two cubies high and the corners of the square box are cut off at 45 degrees to remove the corner cubies – leaving an octagon-ish space to be filled.

You’re told that the aim is to insert the three pairs of pieces to form a cross-shape inside the box, and a little experimentation outside of the box soon shows you that there are plenty of ways to do that… so far so good…

However, when you seek to transfer that construction into the box you begin to realise just how restrictive that opening really is… it only lets pieces go in in one way. Helpfully there are plenty of little finger holes to help manoeuvre your bits around inside, but there’s only so much you can do with the little opening.

The good news is that experimentation is richly rewarded in this little packer, and there are a few unintuitive things that you’ll find might be quite useful…

Then of course it’s just down to finding the most suitable assembly and working out how the heck to get it all inside. There might well be an obvious last piece to go in, but you’ll find that the order of some of the preceding steps might need more than a little thought as well.

I really like the fact that you need to use your wits on this one, it’s not just about bashing through all the possible assemblies – it’s also about experimentation and learning.

Thank you Mine-san for bringing this great design to life!

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