I may have mentioned that a couple of months ago I attended the Gadget Show Live in Birmingham, and this was kind of combined with the Midlands Puzzle Party No.2 (MPP2) as a load of us puzzlers were all going to be in the same place anyway. After the GSL we all met up at a nearby(ish) pub to sit down with a few puzzles over some drinks and have a chat, which is always a welcome thing since we have a common interest that most of us could talk about for hours at a time.
I know...I'm rambling aren't I? I haven't posted in a while so I'm making up for it in my word count.
Anyway; One of the guys that was there (going by the name of Allard) brought along a really nicely made puzzle that he recently acquired from master puzzle creator Tom Lensch, designed by the infamous Stewart Coffin.
And here it is:
It goes by the name of Four Fit, and it is number 217 in Stewart Coffin's numbering system. And at first glance you may think that it is a simple four-piece packing puzzle, and you'd be half right.....it definitely has four pieces.
I recently wrote a post about another of Stewart's designs called Cruiser (or Quattro Formaggi in that particular case), and that was also a four-piece packing puzzle. I made the mistake of underestimating that one, and I have to say that I did the same with Four Fit. I sat at that table in the pub garden messing around with this puzzle for probably around 30-45 minutes with no great success, and sadly the time for me to depart came around quicker than I could solve the puzzle.
Four Fit had temporarily bested me, and I didn't like that, so I asked Allard a little while later if he reckoned I could get hold of a copy for myself. He suggested that I get in touch with Tom as he may still have some available. I gave that a go and as luck would have it he did indeed have some in the process of being built, so I put my name down for one.
When Four Fit arrived I sat down with it and managed to solve it in about 10 minutes or so, but coupled with the time I had already spent on it that makes it a pretty hard puzzle in my book. Although I would say that it's not so difficult that it makes you lose hope (like many puzzles have done to me in the past), so it's good to give to anyone to try out.
If you're interested in getting a copy you could try what I did and ask Tom if he has any more available, because his craftsmanship is superb. But failing that keep an eye out on all of those puzzle auctions, because I know that one just sold recently, so they are around.