Thursday 23 March 2023


Girish Sharma entered a couple of puzzles in last year’s Nob Yoshigahara Puzzle Design Competition and was duly awarded an Honourable Mention for one of them – I rather enjoyed playing with that one and promptly modelled it and printed off a copy for myself… and then enticed a couple of others to play with it and they seemed to enjoy it too… so when I spotted another of his designs appearing in a recent Pelikan release, I promptly added it to the basket.

Cerberus is a neat little 4*4*4 (partial) cube that consists of a wenge ring-shaped piece and three interlocking pieces that are well and truly trapped inside that ring. It’s not challenging finding a couple of pieces that will move, but unless you’re really lucky, you’re going to find yourself trapped up against a dead end… once or twice… I wasn’t lucky – many times!

Find your way past said dead ends and you’ll get into a most wonderful dance of those three little trapped pieces – I know we often use that term to describe the relative movements of pieces in puzzles, but this one really is a rather intricate dance with pieces going round and back and forth until at the 25th move, the first piece is released… and even from there things aren’t trivial to release the last two pieces.

I got to watch a few folks fiddling with it at the last MPP and that confirmed that even when you’ve disassembled it, putting it back together is anything but trivial – amusingly most people seemed to struggle with putting the first piece into the frame! (Think about that!)

An excellent design that packs a whole lot of puzzling into an innocent-looking little cube. Definitely worth having a play with this one if you enjoy interlocking cubes!