Here's a really cool packing puzzle designed by Hirokazu Iwasawa (Iwahiro) that I picked up from Sloyd in Finland:
This is the Mmmm Puzzle, designed in 2004 by the brilliant puzzle designer called Hirokazu Iwasawa (or better known as Iwahiro). This puzzle is one of the more modest looking ones in my collection, it is made from plain but strong wood that is cut very precisely. Plus it has a really nice brand on the lid with Iwahiro's name, it kind of reminds me of many of Makishi's designs that are finished in the same way.
I was really wanting to try this puzzle out after I had a go at another of Iwahiro's puzzles called the 'ODD Puzzle' at the Midlands Puzzle Party (MPP) in February. I really enjoyed that one so I thought it couldn't hurt to try another. A slippery slope I know....
This puzzle consists of couple parts; you have the four perfectly identical wooden'M' shaped pieces, and you also have a wooden box with a lid. One of the first things I noticed was that the lid is a bit odd, there is a small wooden block fixed to the inside of the lid which I didn't really understand at first, but all became clear pretty quickly.
The idea behind this puzzle is to pack all four of the 'M' shaped pieces into the wooden box provided, but the lid must also fully close with the pieces in the box. This is where that little wooden block on the lid comes into play. You will find quite a few different ways to place the four pieces into the box, but there is only one solution with which you will also be able to close the lid on top of it.
The way I went about solving this was to try fitting two pieces into the box, then three and eventually four. With this kind of progression I was able to deduce that there really was only one way that it was ever going to work, but making it happen takes lots of thought and also a bit of dexterity as well. It probably took me about 5-6 minuted to solve, and I was really surprised by just how much empty space there is in the box even once it is completed!
This is a very clever packing puzzle, and probably one of my favourite designs. Considering that I got it for less than 20 Euros I'm extremely happy with it.
I bought my copy of this puzzle from the ever helpful people over at Oy Sloyd Ab. If you take a look you should also be able to find a couple of other designs by Iwahiro, and I'd recommend getting any that you can find.
Also check out Brian's dealings with the Mmmm Packing Puzzle here: LINK