2008 Puzzle Design Competition

The full 2008 IDC Guide (photos, instructions, and relevant notes) is available here.

The following is a summary and buying guide for the 57 entries in the 2008 competition (click on images for larger photos). 

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

10 Cubes

Designer: Ichiro Kohno
Goal: Construct a pyramid with a triangular or a hexagonal base, and then return the parts back into the box.

Materials: Padauk, ebony and plywood
Classification: Put-together

Purchase: ¥2,000 yen a piece, contact designer by Email.


Designer: Stuart Gee
Goal: Make a 2x2x2 dice cube in a checkered pattern that holds its shape by only using two twists and one fold. The number of pips on each face must be 14.

Materials: Hard foam and elastic
Classification: Sequential movement

Purchase: Only a few puzzles made $40au each + postage; contact designer by Email.


Designer: Fernando Darder Garau
Manufacturer: 2MQ
Goal: Move the 8BOT from the starting position (yellow) to the final position (green). The 8BOT must "stand" on one or two legs, and can "roll" in any direction as long as it is again supported on its legs in the new position. The 8BOT cannot roll off the edge of the board nor onto any marble barriers. Multiple challenges are provided.

Materials: Wood, methacrylate and crystal balls
Classification: Sequential movement

Purchase: 20 available and can be purchased for 120 € plus shipping at Pipo or contacting Pilar Gomez by Email.

A Maze in Torbus

Designer: Ray Fischer
Goal: Take apart by moving the inner twisted ring (Möbius ring) through a hidden maze cut into the Anti-Möbius ring.

Materials: Rosewood
Classification: Take apart

Purchase: Visit Torbus Puzzles. The varations presented are not all inclusive.

Arnold Dozenegger 82%

Designer: Bill Gosper
Manufacturer: Precision Laser Cutting, Inc.
Goal: Pack all 12 disks flat into the ovoid tray.

Materials: Acrylics and felt
Classification: H/D ASS 2D

Purchase: Visit web site; cost: $300, made to order.


Designer: Akio Yamamoto
Goal: Disentangle the three pieces, and then reassemble the original form.

Materials: Polyurethane plastic
Classification: Disentanglement /TNG

Notes: The motivation of this puzzle came from the statue of Asura, an ancient Indian deity having three heads and six arms. I was puzzled at recognizing which hands are attributed to each head.

Purchase: Vortex, a smaller, metal version is now made by Hanayama.

Bank Heist

Designer: Peter Wiltshire
Goal: Release the coin.

Materials: Bubinga, stainless steel, aluminum
Classification: Take-apart

Purchase: One of the only two copies made is available for trade for another Take-Apart puzzle. Contact me by email with a photo of your puzzle for trade.


Designer: Vladimir Krasnoukhov
Goal: Pack all pieces into the box.

Materials: Wood
Classification: 3-D packing

Notes: This puzzle has the same structure as the Conway/Slothouber-Graatsma Puzzle, but scaled by 1.5x and 2x in two dimensions. This distortion can lead to more false solution making it more perplexing than the original.

Purchase: Made to order; contact designer by email.


Designer: Tom Jolly
Manufacturer: Eric Fuller
Goal: Remove the 6 pieces from the "noose" (the square rings around them), and then reassemble.

Materials: Walnut noose, with remaining pieces from wenge, paduak, bloodwood, rosewood, pau ferro and bocote
Classification: 3. 2 Interlocking solid - geometric object


Designer: Andreas Röver
Manufacturer: Peter Knoppers + Andreas Röver
Goal: Assemble and disassemble using coordinate motion.

Materials: Walnut
Classification: INT-POLY

Purchase: Visit designer's web site.

Colour Cube

Designer: Steve Kemp
1. Place the 24 magnetic tiles on the base cube so that all the edge colors match.
2. Place the 24 magnetic tiles on the base cube so that the edge colors do not match (ignoring diagonals).

Materials: Polystyrene, tinplate, plastic film, card and magnetic rubber sheet
Classification: 1.3 Miscellaneous put-together/PAT.EDGE

Cross View

Designer: Kohfuh Satoh
1. Put together the pieces into a lattice. (3 pieces will intersect the other 3 pieces at right angles.)
2. Put together the pieces into a lattice so that a tree and a house will appear in each frame (two in each direction).

Materials: Acrylic plastic
Classification: Interlocking solid (3.4)


Designer: Goh Pit Khiam
Manufacturer: Walt Hoppe
Goal: Place the five pieces flat onto the base of the tray.

Materials: Cherry wood
Classification: Put-together

Purchase: Puzzle can be purchased from Walter Hoppe for US$30 each.

Cube Puzzle

Designer: George W. Hart
Goal: Assemble the two pieces into a cube.

Materials: Nylon, selective laser sintering
Classification: Geometric assembly, put-together


Designer: Pantazis Constantine Houlis
Goal: Arrange the five pyramids inside the sphere so that the colored edges match.

Materials: Polyurethane pyramids with paper stickers, inside an acrylic sphere
Classification: Sequential movement

Purchase: There are plans to create more Cubedrons later 2008; price not set. Contact designer at Email or visit web site.


Designer: Vaclav Obsivac
Goal: Make a cube, and other optional shapes.

Materials: Plum and maple
Classification: interlocking

Purchase: Contact designer by Email.

Dango Box

Designer: Hirokazu Iwasawa
Goal: Place all of the nine pieces into the box and close the lid properly.

Materials: Dogwood pieces; kiri box
Classification: 1.2 3-D Assembly

Purchase: Available at Torito (or product web page).

Distorted Cogs

Designer: Koshi Arai
Manufacturer: Laser Craft Inc.
Goal: Put the 16 distorted cogs into either side of the frame.

Materials: Rosewood, MDF
Classification: Put-together

Easy Eight / Hard Eight

Designer: R. Aubrey Hearn
Manufacturer: Walt and Chris Hoppe
Goal: Fit the letters E I G H T into the square (easy), and then into the oval (hard).

Materials: Walnut and cherry
Classification: Put-together

Purchase: Contact designer via Email. If there is sufficient interest I will have some produced for sale.

Elemental: Neon

Designer: David Litwin
Goal: Using the three plungers, shuffle the pieces and then restore the original pattern.

Materials: 1/8" acrylic sheet
Classification: Sequential movement

Purchase: Puzzle may be purchased from web site. Orders can be placed by Email. Price is $100-$150+ depending on custom options.

Flag It

Designer: Louis Toorenburg
Manufacturer: Peter R Jones - Furniture Works
1. Connect the two ends (shown with large dots and hole) with the longest path possible (>120 units).
2. Connect the two ends with the shortest line possible (<30 units).
The path must go through all nine squares. The flag can be inserted in one of the starting positions, or the end can be used to trace your way through the puzzle.

Materials: NZ Kauri
Classification: Route finding

Purchase: Available from designer direct by Email. More will eventually be put on website. 150 made as Exchange puzzles; limited edition (3 of 20) made special for Design Competition.

Gold Coast Parking Meter

Designer: Brian Young
Goal: Insert the 10c coin inside the fully constructed parking meter. No external tools are necessary, although you will have to find tools within, and determine how to use them.

Materials: Yellow leichhardt, and Mackay cedar
Classification: 2.1 Take-apart puzzle

Purchase: The puzzle may be purchased from Mr Puzzle Australia and shipped worldwide.

Gravity Cube

Designer: Michail Toulouzas
Goal: Disassemble the pieces of the cube. Nine moves are needed to remove the first piece, but none of the pieces are moving!

Materials: Olive, zebrawood, bubinga, and modenia
Classification: Take apart

Purchase: Puzzles will be available at designer's web site and by Email.

Great Balls of Fire!

Designer: Stephen Chin
Goal: Open each of the balls, and the figures found inside. The real reason why God gave you two hands and five fingers each...

Materials: Various woods
Classification: 2.1

Purchase: Contact designer by Email.

Handcuffs Puzzle

Designer: Teddy Sakamoto
Goal: Disentangle the two pieces.

Materials: Steel wire
Classification: Disentanglement puzzle

Purchase: Contact designer by Email.

Heavy Headed Burr

Designer: Junichi Yananose
Manufacturer: Hiroshi Iwahara
Goal: Disassemble and reassemble the 12-piece burr.

Materials: Oak, rosewood and zelkova
Classification: Interlocking

Purchase: Please contact to Hiroshi Iwahara at the Karakuri Creation Group.


Goal: Open the lid of the bucket.

Materials: 360 Brass
Classification: OPN-BOX

Purchase: ICE-BUCKET can be purchased at designer's web site or by Email. Price is $200.00 US. Only 10 produced as of Aug 2008.

Icosian Alchemy

Designer: Paul Lambert
1. Take apart and re-assemble with the maple on the outside (easier).
2. Re-assemble with the dark side out and make sure that there are five different alchemic symbols at each pentagon.

Materials: Carpathian elm burr and maple
Classification: INT-POLY - Interlocking polyhedral

Purchase: Limited number of wooden models are available from the designer via Email. 5-color versions of puzzle are also available for sale or trade.

identica-L episode 0

Designer: Tadao Kitazawa, ISHINO K16, Mineyuki Uyematsu
Manufacturer: DYLAN-Kobo, Tsuchiya Mokkousho
Goal: Arrange the four L-shaped pieces so that two identical 9-ominoes appear at the same time (one is red and the other is white). Shapes may be rotated and/or reflected.

Materials: Wood
Classification: 1.1 2-Dimensional assembly

Iris Diamond

Designer: Pantazis Constantine Houlis
Goal: The puzzle consists of two pieces, each made of two triangular tiles. Each tile is divided into nine small triangles. Assemble the two pieces to form either a tetrahedron or a half-octahedron such that no triangle shares a corner or an edge with a triangle of the same color.

Materials: Acrylic and paper tiles, fishing line
Classification: Put-together

Irmo box

Designer: Eric Fuller
Goal: Remove the lid from the box.

Materials: Padauk, quilted maple, aluminum, brass, steel, acrylic
Classification: 2.1 Trick or secret opening box

L Puzzle

Designer: Fred Peyerl
Goal: Assemble a 4x4x4 cube, or any of the following shapes: 2x2x1, 2x2x2, 2x2x3, 2x2x4, 2x2x5, 2x2x6, 2x3x3, 2x3x4, 3x3x4, using any or all of the enclosed pieces.

Materials: Padauk, steel pin
Classification: Put-together

Purchase: Email the Designer and choose wood type. The purchase price is $99.00, price of shipping and the cost of the wood if greater than $5.00, payable by Personal Check or Paypal to Fred Peyerl, 10710 San Bernardino NE, Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA, 87122-3400.

la cerradura doble

Designer: Robrecht Louage
Goal: Remove the two keys.

Materials: Trispan stainless steel polycarbonate
Classification: Sequential movement

Purchase: Series of 50 numbered puzzles. For sale contact designer via Email. Price 100€ + shipping.

Magic Smile

Designer: Pantazis Constantine Houlis
Goal: Each of the eight states of the puzzle shows one emotion (while the other side is scrambled): happy (solved state), sad, shy, tired, silly, sick, evil, and angry. The goal of this puzzle is to make Mr. Magic smile. Other challenges include to change Mr. Magic from happy to sad (and vice versa) using only three moves.

Materials: Acrylic and paper tiles, fishing line
Classification: Sequential movement

Notes: Although the mechanism has been done before, it is the first time such an efficient theme is used. Special creative artwork was designed to ensure a unique emotion for each position of the puzzle.

Purchase: 15 pieces available. Each puzzle costs 20€. Contact designer by Email or visit web site.


Designer: Robert Reid
Manufacturer: George Miller
Goal: Disassemble the four dodecahedrons and re-assemble into a truncated octahedron.

Materials: Acrylic and ABS
Classification: Slocum 1.2 3-Dimensional assembly puzzle

Purchase: For sale at Puzzle Palace for $375


Designer: Ichiro Kohno
Goal: Get the cord out of the loop so you can remove the lid.

Materials: Ash, plywood
Classification: Disentanglement

Purchase: ¥2,500 apiece (contact designer by Email for stock in hand).

Mozaniac Numbers

Designer: Daniel Young
Manufacturer: Paradoxy Products LLC
Goal: Make the numbers 1 to 4 from the same six pieces.

Materials: Laminated paper
Classification: Slocum 1.2

Purchase: Puzzles of this type will be available at Paradoxy Products for $US8 plus shipping.

ODD Puzzle

Designer: Hirokazu Iwasawa
Manufacturer: DYLAN-Kobo, Tsuchiya Mokkousho
Goal: Place all three pieces into the box so that none of them sticks out.

Materials: Pieces: rengas and movingui; box: oak and walnut
Classification: 1.2 3-Dimensional assembly

Purchase: The competition version with choice wood is available ONLY in Japan at PUZZLE of MINE * WEB-SHOP (managed by DYLAN-Kobo).
A lower-cost alternative of the puzzle is available from Torito (or product web page).


Designer: Vladimir Krasnoukhov
Goal: Is it possible to add one more element (the cross) into the tray with 20 elements already filled?

Materials: Plastic
Classification: 2-D Packing

Notes: The pieces of the puzzle constitute a complete set of flattened pentominoes: 21 pieces. The chosen compression ratio of 17/25 enables the ambiguous tray dimensions. Beside the cross element, any piece of the set can serve as the "extra" element to be added.


Designer: Fritz Hoddick
Goal: Assemble the twelve pieces into a spheroid of six symmetrically interlocking pentagons.

Materials: Combination of six different woods and 24 magnets
Classification: Put-together interlocking burr, and dexterity

Purchase: The puzzle is available at Cubic Dissection, and through designer via Email . The price is $850, and there is an optional turned wood base for $150 that will display it in either of two different axes.

Ramanujan's Box

Designer: Fredy Barrera Gonzalez, William Plazas and Bernardo Recaman
Goal: 1729 is the Hardy-Ramanujan number: the smallest integer that is the sum of two positive cubes in two different ways. Assemble the 38 colored cuboids in the following three ways: a 9^3 cube and a 10^3 cube; a 12^3 cube and a 1^3 cube; and finally, a single 19 x 13 x 7 cuboid. Each cuboid must be in a single color.

Materials: Painted wood
Classification: Take-apart

Purchase: Puzzle can be purchased by Email, for US $90 plus pp.


Designer: Mike Klotzki
Manufacturer: Gerd Justus
Goal: First, simply assemble a cube from the 38 pieces, and then assemble the cube so that each face has each of the digits 1-9.

Materials: Polystyrol
Classification: Put-together

Purchase: The "normal coloured" puzzles are available in shops, or interested people can send an Email or visit the Rekubus website. The price in the shops is approximately 12€.


Designer: Albert Gübeli
Goal: Manually reverse the three outer pieces of the path by 180 degrees to get the starting position, and then restore the original path using the rotation tool (rotating three adjacent pieces simultaneously).

Materials: Birch plywood, acrylic, metal screws, magnets
Classification: SEQ-RT2D

Purchase: Visit designer's web site. Craft made, 5 puzzles, 4 are avaible, price $ 220.-

Secret Base

Designer: Hiroshi Iwahara
Goal: Find the two secret compartments.

Materials: Shiuri cherry, oak, zebrawood, rengas, keyaki, and katura
Classification: Take-apart

Notes: The craftsman often watched TV robot animation. When a bad enemy destroys the town and the peace of the people, the shutter of a secret base that is hidden under the ground opens and a robot of the justice comes out to save the peace. It was an exciting scene. The shutter is the motif of this work.

Simple Zero

Designer: Hiroshi Yamamoto
Goal: Make the 2x3 pattern shown on the puzzle body. Note that the middle gaps in the long edges do not fold.

Materials: Plastic board
Classification: Folding

Slide in Slide

Designer: Hiroshi Yamamoto
Manufacturer: DYLAN-Kobo, Totani Mokkousho
Goal: Swap the positions of the green and red pieces.

Materials: MDF board and acrylic
Classification: Sliding piece

Spade & Heart

Designer: Mineyuki Uyematsu
Manufacturer: DYLAN-Kobo
Goal: Use all four pieces to make a spade; then make the triangle "disappear" by using all four pieces to make a heart.

Materials: Acrylite
Classification: 1.1 2-Dimensional assembly, and 8. vanishing

Straight Forward

Designer: Brian Young
Goal: Move ball the bearing in a straight line from START to FINISH.

Materials: Queensland blackbean
Classification: Hidden mechanism

Purchase: The puzzle may be purchased from Mr Puzzle Australia and shipped worldwide.

Sweet Deceiver

Designer: Ronald Kint-Bruynseels
Manufacturer: Scott Peterson
Goal: Disassemble and reassemble the unusual Diagonal Burr

Materials: Bocote, Peruvian walnut, and yellowheart
Classification: Slocum: 3.4 (Interlocking) burr

Purchase: A limited quantity (10-20 copies) will be available from Cubic Dissection some time after Aug. 2008. Check the website for price and availability.


Designer: Vesa Timonen
Manufacturer: George Miller
Goal: Take apart and put together.

Materials: ABS plastic
Classification: Take-apart

Purchase: Tangerine will be made to order by Puzzle Palace, and sold for $258.


Designer: Sam Cornwell
Goal: Disassemble and reassemble the five pieces to form a cube.

Materials: Mahogany and Oak
Classification: INT - CART

Three Pyramids of Geezer

Designer: Joe Becker
Goal: Assemble the three sets of 6 ball-pentomino pieces to make three 4-level square-based pyramids.

Materials: acrylic, polyethylene, and steel pins
Classification: Three-Dimensional Assembly


Designer: Panagiotis Verdes
Goal: 5x5x5 Rubik's Cube: rotate layers to randomize the faces, and then restore each face to a single color.

Materials: ABS plastic and stickers
Classification: Sequential movement

Notes: Designers claim a new structural design, much sturdier and smoother than Rubik's or Eastsheen's version of the puzzle.

Purchase: Visit V-Cube.


Designer: Panagiotis Verdes
Goal: 7x7x7 Rubik's Cube: rotate layers to randomize the faces, and then restore each face to a single color.

Materials: ABS plastic and stickers
Classification: Sequential movement

Purchase: Visit V-Cube.

Viking's Journey

Designer: Tim Snyder
Manufacturer: Ponoko.com
Goal: Move the red tetrahex piece from the tail to the head of the ship. Pieces can only move whole units in any of six hexagonal directions (no rotation).

Materials: Laser cut Italian poplar plywood and acrylic in four colors
Classification: 5.3 Sliding piece

Purchase:Contact designer by Email. Cost: $65; 4 produced.

Woo Tuck Fook! (The Vessel of Prosperity)

Designer: Stephen Chin
Goal: Open the vessel in three steps.

Materials: Australiana woods, electronics
Classification: Slocum 2.1

Purchase: Contact designer by Email.

Zoo Panic!!

Designer: Tsugumitsu Noji
Goal: Use the fences on the four transparent sheets to separate animals into pens containing only the same species (and not separating adjacent animals of the same species).

Materials: Wooden tray, with paper polyester sheets
Classification: Put-together


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