2010 Puzzle Design Competition
Entries

The full 2010 Design Competition Guide (photos, instructions, and relevant notes) is available in three parts: DC Guide, Part 1 (2.4Mb), DC Guide, Part 2 (2.0Mb), and DC Guide, Part 3 (2.7Mb).

The following is a summary of the 62 entries in the 2010 competition (click on images for larger photos). 

All designs are copyrighted and are the intellectual property of the designer. All rights are reserved.

#2 Pencil Case

Designer: Kagen Schaefer
Goal: Open the secret compartment.

Materials: Walnut, maple, wenge hardwoods
Classification: Take apart

Purchase: To be produced Fall 2010. Price is $200. Contact the designer by .

1 Pinko Ringo

Designer: Stephen Chin
Goal: Disassemble and reassemble the apple.

Materials: Exotic woods
Classification: Slocum 3.1 - Interlocking solid

History: Inspired by Wayne Daniel's 10-piece Icosahedrons.

Purchase: Limited number made $300. Contact the designer by .

1443

Designer: Donghoon Pee
Goal: Create a variety of shapes by arranging the 24 pieces, each of which consists of combinations of three to ten unit cubes resembling the 24 Hangul (Korean alphabet) characters. 13x4x3 and 13x12x1 blocks are possible.

Materials: EVA (ethylene vinyl acetate copolymer)
Classification: Put-together

2 Loops

Designer: Tom Lee
Goal: To separate the golden ring and the string from the main frame, without cutting any parts, and not using force.

Materials: Stainless steel 3.5mm wire, gold-plated ring, rope
Classification: Disentanglement

Purchase: Price $8 (handmade). Contact the designer by .

2/3 Bump Cube

Designer: Hidetoshi Takeji
Goal: Restore the rectangular shape, with no bumps.

Materials: ABS plastics, polyurethane resin
Classification: Rotational puzzle

History: This idea comes from Rubik's Domino and the Bump Cube (Takeji), using height differences instead of pips and black/white colors.

3 Piece Burr Yamaosa

Designer: Osanori Yamamoto
Goal: Assemble the 3-piece burr.

Materials: Wood
Classification: Interlocking

Purchase: Contact the designer by .

3 Pieces Octa-2

Designer: Hiroshi Kaneko
Goal: Disassemble and reassemble.

Materials: Birch, satinwood, walnut
Classification: Interlocking

Purchase: Contact the designer by .

4 Direction Drawer

Designer: Hiroshi Iwahara
Goal: Open the four drawers at the same time.

Materials: Oak, walnut, karin, camphor, rose wood
Classification: Take-apart

A Piece of the Pie

Designer: Allan Stein
Goal: Open the puzzle to reveal a coin.

Materials: Walnut, maple, bolt and nut
Classification: Secret compartment

Notes: This puzzle is like a piece on a pie chart. This shows that many of us want a "piece of the pie" in life. Solving the puzzle allows a coin to come out, which is a "piece of the pie" in life.

Purchase: See PuzzleMaster.ca or contact the designer by .

Ambidextrous Hexduos

Designer: Matthew Dawson
Goal: Open and close both puzzle boxes.

Materials: Wood, etc.
Classification: 2.1 Trick or secret opening box

Purchase: 18 made for sale in fancier woods, and 14 exchange versions available while supply lasts as: puzzleparadise.ca.

Anteater

Designer: Yoko Kakuda
Goal: Open the secret compartment.

Materials: Burs wood, karin
Classification: Take-apart

Assorted Snakes

Designer: Osanori Yamamoto
Goal: Assemble the four pieces into a 5󬊅 cube.

Materials: Wood
Classification: Interlocking

Purchase: Contact the designer by .

Bicone

Designer: Vinco Obsivac
Goal: Take apart and put together.

Materials: Plum-tree and maple
Classification: Interlocking puzzle with coordinate motion

Purchase: Price: 60€. See vinco.cz or contact the designer by .

Black Box

Designer: Iwahiro (Hirokazu Iwasawa)
Goal: Make a "black box" by putting the nine triangular polarizing plates into the box. More precisely, make the box appear totally black when viewed to appear as a hexagon (when viewing axis is along diagonally opposite vertices).

Materials: Polarizing plates
Classification: 1.2 3-D Assembly

Black or White

Designer: Tomas Lind閚, Vesa Timonen
Goal: Arrange the six pieces (without any support) to make a white (or black) square.

Materials: Birch and heat treated birch.
Classification: 3D assembly

Purchase: See sloyd.fi.

Bump Domino

Designer: Jared McComb
Goal: Make a rectangular shape, with alternating white and black pieces.

Materials: ABS plastics, polyurethane resin
Classification: Rotational puzzle

History: Based on Rubik's Domino and the Bump Cube (Takeji).

Butterfly Cage

Designer: George Miller
Goal: Build a cage. The resulting cage should have a non-mutant butterfly on each of the 12 edges (i.e. no two-headed butterflies).

Materials: Polychromatic acrylic and EVA
Classification: 1.3 Miscellaneous put-together

Cannibal Monsters

Designer: Raf Peeters
Goal: Make the monsters eat each other by stacking them until one big monster remains:

  • The bottom of the hungry monster must fit exactly over the monster it wants to eat.
  • You can only move the monsters horizontally and vertically to land on top of the first available monster in line. This means the monsters can't move diagonally and they can抰 they jump over other monsters.
  • Once a monster has been eaten, it is part of the new, bigger monster. You must not split up a tall monster stack into smaller stacks. This is a multi-level puzzle. A booklet with 48 different start positions and unique solutions is included with the game; one example is shown here.

Materials: ABS plastic
Classification: Sequential movement puzzle

Purchase: This is a mass produced puzzle that is sold worldwide under the brand SmartGames.

Cast Rattle

Designer: Bram Cohen
Goal: Disassemble and reassemble.

Materials: Metal
Classification: 3.4

Purchase: This is a mass produced puzzle made by Hanayama.

Chronos

Designer: Pantazis Houlis
Goal: The puzzle is a 3D representation of the 4D pentachoron (made from five tetrahedrons). The primary goal of the puzzle is to change the color of the internal rod to any of the ten possible colors.

Materials: Metal rods, plastic tubes, rubber tubes
Classification: Sequential movement

Curvy Copter

Designer: Tom van der Zanden
Goal: Rotate the edges of the puzzles in increments of 180° to scramble the colors. To goal is then to restore each face to a solid color by doing more rotations. It is also possible to do 70.53° (cos-1(1/3)) turns, increasing difficulty as these so-called jumbling moves allow more positions to be reached.

Materials: Nylon (selective laser sintering), self-adhesive vinyl
Classification: Sequential movement

History: Inspired by the Bevel Cube (Okamoto) and Helicopter Cube (Cowan). By angling the cuts of the Bevel/Helicopter Cube, the otherwise hidden edge pieces were made visible. The visibility of these parts makes the puzzle much more difficult to solve. The angled cuts create a face pattern with beautiful curves, from which the puzzle gets its name.

Purchase: Finished puzzles available from the designer at www.tomvanderzanden.nl or for 160€+shipping. DIY kits available from the designer's Shapeways shop for 140€ (shipping included, add 19% VAT for EU customers).

Enveloop

Designer: Kohfuh Satoh
Goal: Remove the stick with string from the envelope, without breaking any part.

Materials: Wooden stick, waxed string, paper envelope
Classification: Disentanglement Puzzles / Tanglement puzzles (TNG)

Everlasting Gobstopper

Designer: Lee Krasnow
Goal: Disassemble and reassemble. Various other shapes are possible.

Materials: assorted exotic hardwoods, steel dowel pins
Classification: 3D interlocking solid

History: Based on Stewart Coffin's "Pennydoodle" puzzle, this set of 12 pieces (four of which are duplicates) was chosen based on BurrTools analysis.

Ex 3

Designer: Hiroshi Yamamoto
Goal: Arrange the three pieces to make a symmetric shape.

Materials: Acrylic board
Classification: Silhouette puzzle

Purchase: Contact the designer by .

Globular Embrace 4 Rings

Designer: Namick Salakhov
Goal: Disassemble and reassemble four interlocked rings.

Materials: Plexiglas
Classification: Slocum 3.2 Interlocking geometric object

Purchase: Contact the designer by .

Harmony

Designer: Dmitry Pevnitskiy, Kirill Grebnev
Goal: Remove the note from the treble clef.

Materials: brass
Classification: 4.1. Disentanglement cast puzzle

Purchase: See puzzle.palyn.ru or contact the designer by .

Hinomaru (The Flag of Japan)

Designer: Albert G黚eli
Goal: Take apart the three pieces.

Materials: PVC 4 mm
Classification: INT-SHAP

Purchase: Price: $60, from designer by or at shapeways.com.

Homage Puzzle

Designer: Simon Nightingale
Goal: Separate the two identical pieces.

Materials: Brazilian purple wood, birch
Classification: Take-apart

History: This design pays homage to Nob Yoshigahara's Dualock Puzzle, but any similarity is only visual.

Japanese Sweets Box

Designer: Kyoko Hoshino
Goal: Open the hidden drawer.

Materials: walnut, shiuri cherry, wenge, cloth
Classification: Take-apart

Kepler Cube

Designer: Katsuhiko Okamoto
Goal: Scramble first, restore all faces, like Rubik's Cube.

Materials: ABS resin, POM
Classification: Sequential movement

History: Outside puzzle (OP) is the Void Cube. Inside puzzle (IP) is the apex turning octahedron. OP and IP are connected only by three places (marked by the stars). OP and IP synchronized rotate when the star mark is included in the rotation face. When the star mark is not included, OP and IP can respectively be rotated alone.

Latch Cube

Designer: Katsuhiko Okamoto
Goal: Scramble first, restore all faces, like Rubik's Cube.

Materials: ABS resin
Classification: Sequential movement

Notes: Edge parts rotate only in the direction of the arrow. White arrows are clockwise and black arrows are counterclockwise. You cannot turn a face with both a white and black arrow.

Lighthouse Puzzlebox

Designer: Robert Yarger
Goal: Discover the two hidden chambers.

Materials: Maple, purpleheart, leopardwood, walnut and padauk
Classification: Sequential discovery/movement

Magnesphere

Designer: Mustafa K黵sat AY
Goal: Rotate the magnetic pieces so that the three identical images are arranged as shown. For a memory challenge, use all eight pieces and memorize the starting configuration before solving.

Materials: Magnets and ABS plastic
Classification: 3D sequential movement

Notes: The mechanism is an improvement of the original Nichols' Cube.

Purchase: Price: 20€. Contact the designer by .

Minotaur's Burr

Designer: Frank Potts
Goal: Take the burr apart and then re-assemble.

Materials: Western Australian jarrah, aluminum, polycarbonate
Classification: 3D interlocking burr

MMMDXLVI

Designer: Kim Klobucher
Goal: By moving certain sections of the puzzle in the proper sequence, a piece can then be removed to reveal the hidden chamber inside.

Materials: Various hardwoods and brass inlay
Classification: Sequential movement puzzle box

Notes: Six produced so far; $450. See kcubedesigns.com or contact the designer by .

Purchase: Six produced so far; $450. See kcubedesigns.com or contact the designer by .

New Secret Box II-2

Designer: Akio Kamei
Goal: Remove one panel to find secret compartment.

Materials: Karin, magnolia, keyaki (zelkova)
Classification: Take-apart

Nicolas et Fridolin

Designer: Gregory Benedetti
Goal: Disassemble the burr out of the frame. Assemble the burr into the frame so that all the little white cubes are hidden.

Materials: Maple for the frame; dark oak and maple for the pieces
Classification: Interlocking, caged burr

Purchase: There was only a small batch of 25 pieces produced. See puzzlewood.de or contact B. Schweitzer by .

Ninja's Tool Box

Designer: Kohno Ichiro
Goal: Open the box.

Materials: Lauan, magnet, acrylic
Classification: Take-apart

Purchase: Contact the designer by .

Not So Easy

Designer: Teddy Sakamoto
Goal: Put 8 pieces into a 42 rectangle.

Materials: ABS
Classification: Put-together

Purchase: This puzzle will be sold by Hanayama as "GariGari Ice Bar Puzzle".

One Four All & All Four One

Designer: Pantazis Houlis, Arcady Dyskin, Alexei Kanel-Belov, Elena Pasternak, Juri Estrin
Goal: To place all four cubes inside the rhombus frame in such a way that the entire structure (frame and cubes) are interlocked (i.e. there are no loose parts).

Materials: Different color types of timber wood
Classification: Interlocking

Pinwheel

Designer: Bram Cohen
Goal: Disassemble and reassemble.

Materials: Wood
Classification: 3.4 Interlocking solid

History: Inspired by concepts from Andreas Rover's CM13 puzzle and the 4-Piece Jigsaw puzzle.

Purchase: See jerrymcfarland.com.

Quadrus

Designer: Jeremy Goode
Goal: Navigate the ball from the gold frame into the opposite silver frame and back again. Remember which side you start from!

Materials: Acrylic box, GPPS internals, steel ball
Classification: 6.3 RTF/DEX

Purchase: Price: £20. See xmatrix.co.uk.

Qubami

Designer: Kelvin Stott
Goal: Arrange the puzzle to get three different colors and three different symbols on every row and column of blocks (ignoring the diagonals), on every face of the puzzle.

Materials: Injection-molded transparent ABS blocks, polyurethane domed metallic-effect labels.
Classification: Sequential movement

Notes: Each individual puzzle is unique, with its own solution.

Remove the Yolk

Designer: Robrecht Louage
Goal: Remove the coin.

Materials: Trespa
Classification: Trick or secret opening box

Purchase: Contact the designer by .

Rollo

Designer: Tim Snyder
Goal: Start with the nine octahedral pieces purple face down against the dome, leaving the center triangle open. Using only rolling moves (rotation about an edge) reorient all the octrahedra so that the yellow face is down against the dome.

Materials: Padauk, red oak, purple heart, yellow heart, steel balls and neodymium magnets
Classification: Sequential movement

History: Inspired by John Harris' Rolling Cube Puzzle.

Purchase: Only two made; contact the designer by .

Rose

Designer: Hideaki Kawashima
Goal: Open the secret compartment.

Materials: Shuri cherry, maple, walnut, magnolia
Classification: Take-apart

Screwy Duals

Designer: George Bell
Goal: Assemble the four blue pieces into an interlocking octahedron. Assemble the four red pieces into an interlocking cube.

Materials: Nylon (selective laser sintering 3D printing)
Classification: INT-POLY (Interlocking, polyhedral and non-Cartesian)

Notes: Both puzzles consist of three helical pieces plus one odd piece. Two of the helical pieces are identical and the third is their mirror image.

Purchase: Smaller copies of the Octahedron are available at shapeways.com.

Sharpen your Wits

Designer: Perry McDaniel
Goal: Open the hidden compartment.

Materials: Curly koa, mahogany, ebony, poplar, walnut, bloodwood, cherry, pink ivory, maple
Classification: 2.1 Trick or secret opening

Purchase: Limited Edition of 100 to be produced. Contact the designer by .

Sliding Pucks

Designer: Tony Fisher
Goal: The goal is to return the puzzle to a state where on one side the numbers 1-12 are arranged in a clockwise fashion and on the opposite side they are arranged in an anti-clockwise fashion. Also , the 12 unnumbered parts are to be arranged in the middle layer so that the puzzle has vertical bands of matching colors.

Movements possible include 3 layers (disks) of rotation plus a single vertical 'slide' in one direction only.

Materials: 3 Standard IQ139 Puck Puzzles, polyurethane resin, clear acrylic
Classification: Sequential movement

Notes: When scrambled many of the numbers will no longer be directly viewable. In addition it will not be known if they actually have numbers or are blank.

Snake

Designer: Yuta Akira
Goal: Separate the pieces, and restore the original shape.

Materials: Chrome plated iron nail
Classification: Disentanglement

Spiral Stand

Designer: Tom Lee
Goal: To remove the golden ring.

Materials: Stainless steel 3.5mm wire, gold-plated ring, rope and wooden bead
Classification: Disentanglement

Purchase: Price $50 (handmade). Contact the designer by .

Sponge Cakes?

Designer: Yoshiyuki Ninomiya
Goal: Find the three secret compartments.

Materials: Chanchin, laquer tree, yosegi, etc.
Classification: Take-apart

Steel and Glass

Designer: Hendrik Haak
Goal: Separate the glass from the nut and bolt.

Materials: Original padlock, glass
Classification: Take apart

Purchase: There may be a small limited production; contact the designer by .

Swiss Cross

Designer: Albert G黚eli
Goal: Put the four pieces together to create a Swiss cross.

Materials: ABS, 3D print
Classification: INT-CART

Purchase: Price $40. Contact designer by , or at shapeways.com.

Ternary Burr

Designer: Goh Pit Khiam
Goal: Disassemble and reassemble the puzzle.

Materials: Papua New Guinean rosewood
Classification: Interlocking

History: Inspired by Bill Cutler's Binary Burr, and Marcus Götz's Crazy Elephant Dance.

Thaw

Designer: Hideaki Kawashima
Goal: Open the secret compartment.

Materials: Rose wood, shiuri cherry, maple
Classification: Take-apart

Three Color Dango

Designer: Hiroshi Iwahara
Goal: Open each of the three drawers.

Materials: Walnut, ichii, magnolia, dogwood, birch
Classification: Take-apart

Three Snakes

Designer: Diniar Namdarian
Goal: Place the three snakes in such a way that none of the three snakes can make a "snake movement" (definition see below). Please find at least three solutions.

A "snake movement" is a movement where at least one cube of the snake remains in the same position (without rotation) and the rest of the snake is lifted, rearranged and placed flat in the tray in a new position.

Materials: Wood
Classification: 1.1 2 Dimensional assembly

Purchase: Puzzle cost: $25. Contact the designer by .

Titanic

Designer: Raf Peeters
Goal: The object is to move the boats around the 6x6 grid to pick up all the passengers from the water. Boats may move forward, backward, or drift sideways. Whenever a boat moves so that someone in the water is next to an empty seat in the boat, then they must take that seat. Once a boat is full, it can not move again.

Materials: ABS plastic
Classification: Sequential movement

Purchase: This is a mass produced puzzle that is sold worldwide under the brand SmartGames.

UFO-3

Designer: Hiroshi Kaneko
Goal: Disassemble and assemble.

Materials: Maple
Classification: Interlocking

Purchase: Contact the designer by .

Utopia

Designer: Sjaak Griffioen
Goal: Place the 16 buildings so that their heights satisfy the constraints on the challenge card.

  • White clues are normal Skyscraper clues (the number of buildings that can be "seen" from the indicated direction, considering the heights of the buildings inbetween that might block your view).
  • Red clues give the number of same-height buildings that can be seen from the indicated direction.

Materials: Plastic
Classification: Put together

History: This design adds a new rule to the classic Skyscraper pencil puzzle.

Purchase: Price: $19.99. See popularplaythings.com.

WitzEnd

Designer: Louis Toorenburg
Goal: The object is to lay the nine cube in a 3x3 square and arrange the letters on each cube in such a way to make 16 three letter English words: six horizontally and vertically on both the top and bottom, as well as on the four exposed sides.

Materials: Pine with labels
Classification: Constrained edge-matching

Purchase: See nzanity.co.nz or contact the designer by .

 


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