Back in 2018 Rod Bogart’s Wavelinks puzzle was a popular entry in the annual Nob Yoshigahara Puzzle Design Competition – it was one of the 10 most popular puzzles among the assembled puzzlers. There was much discussion about the potential for the design to be cast in metal by a particular manufacturer, it seemed that was everyone’s first thought on playing with it… but sadly that would not happen as they felt some of the overhangs in the design wouldn’t suit their manufacturing process.
For a few years, the only way to get a copy was to grab a 3D-printed copy off Shapeways, and don’t get me wrong, they’re fabulous to play with in sintered nylon… but they could have been so much better.
Flash forward a couple of years and the good people of Craighill decided to collaborate with the Buck Bros of Art of Play to run a Kickstarter campaign to produce them in steel… and a lot of us joined the queue to order a copy.
My copy arrived toward the end of last year and it is fabulous – I opted for the ever-so-slightly psychedelic version over the black and silver copy so it looks a little trippy. The packaging is second to none so it presents almost as beautifully in an unassembled state as it does fully assembled.
The accuracy on the pieces is stellar, and they slide together wonderfully – but if things aren’t lined up, they will refuse point-blank to move.
Colour aside, you would normally have four identical pieces – given my colour choice, mine literally are identical! Any pair will slide together to form a torus (mathematicians’ doughnuts!) but what you’re really after is to assemble a pair of interlinked torii… something simpler said than done.
I find this design really messes with my head whenever I pick up a copy… and I’ve had a copy for years and solved it many times, but I still struggled when I picked up this copy for the first time. There’s a lovely heft to these pieces that invites fiddling and playing – so fiddle and play!
Finding the right combination, the right starting point and the right combination of movements produces a pair of interlinked torii – it does seem more than a little magical when they slide together.
A brilliant design that’s been perfectly rendered in solid steel…