Saturday 18 May 2024

Spinning Tumblers v2

Phil’s first Spinning Tumblers was a nice puzzle – not massively challenging – things largely did what you wanted them to do - you know – it was fun!

Then Eric stepped it up a notch with Psycho Disks, where some things didn’t quite do what you wanted them to… sometimes. It definitely added some confusion.

Now Phil’s taken things to a whole new level. You may think you know what to expect, but trust me you don’t!

Sure, the family resemblance is still there – the form factor is pretty much identical, most of the disks spin, most of the time, and sometimes you’ll even feel like you can controls things… but just when you think you’ve got it sussed, Phil throws you a curveball and you’ll find yourself having a “what the heck?!” moment.

I spent a while going backwards and forwards and struggling to make head or tail of things… I’d come up with a theory and then have it totally blown out of the water a few minutes later… there are elements that behave in ways we’ve seen before, and then there is just plain weirdness that makes almost no sense…

I’d spent absolute ages plugging away at it while learning very little so I took it across on my King’s Day jaunt hoping I’d get some quality puzzling time… and then Ali duly sat down and solved it in front of me in a matter of minutes – I was somewhat gobsmacked, but when I had a look at what was happening inside there, my admiration for both Ali’s solving prowess and Phil’s puzzle-design-chops grew ten-fold.

The family lineage may be clear, but the guts of this little beastie are next generation… after I’d snapped a pic of my serial number (04 for the record) Ali carefully put it back together and rather kindly left “things” quite near the solved position, which was nice of him… the friendly customs man at Schiphol on the way home managed to undo that kindness, so when I got home and tried to open it up again, I found myself having to start from pretty much from scratch – serves me right, I guess!

Armed with a little knowledge of what I’d seen inside there, I managed, with a fair amount of struggling(!) to finally get STv2 open once again… there is so much more to the second version - think of the first one as your genial nan, and the second one as the wolf in nan’s nightclothes salivating while waiting for Little Red Riding Hood.

Phil, you beat me – I suspect I’d still be wandering in the woods if Ali hadn’t helped me out a bit (OK, a lot!) on this one! 

An elegantly simple, excellent design, beautifully made as usual!!


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