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Wednesday, 16 March 2011


Here is a really brilliant little puzzle loaned to me by Ali (a fellow puzzler), and oh how simple it looks:

This puzzle goes by several different names, but I believe the original name for it when it was designed was 'Blockhead', and that's what I'm going to go with. Blockhead was designed by Bill Cutler, and it really does look like a really easy puzzle.

I really like the contrast in wood colours, it really makes the pieces stand out nicely without making the puzzle look either too bland or tacky.

As you can see from the above photos, you have to fit all four of the wooden (almost) cubes into their square wooden packing tray. I say 'almost' cube because as you can see in the photo on the right the blocks aren't perfect cubes, and as you can imagine this makes the puzzle somewhat more difficult.

The puzzle itself isn't particularly difficult, but it seems that certain people tend to work it out quicker than others. Ali managed to put them all back into their tray straight away, but it took me a good 10 minutes or so.

I think this is a really brilliant puzzle, it is such a good puzzle to give to people to try out. As it looks so easy it really winds you up if you're not able to do it immediately. You have to have at least one packing puzzle in any puzzle collection, and I definitely recommend that you consider this one.

Like I mentioned; I borrowed this puzzle from a fellow puzzler, but I know that he picked it up from Village Games in Camden at a pretty inexpensive price. I'm sure that if you did a quick search you would also be able to find one for sale elsewhere, even if it were to be under a different name (Stark Raving Cubes, Sneaky Squares etc.). For example I believe that 'Square Fit' by ThinkFun is the same puzzle going by a different name and manufactured in plastic, but do correct me if I'm wrong.


I liked this puzzle so much that not only did I buy my own copy, but I also bought a copy of the plastic version by the name of 'Sneaky Squares' made by Ishi Press. It is a great copy of the wooden original, and it's even better for handing around because there is no way for the plastic pieces to be forced into any unintended solutions.


  1. Any suggestions on this puzzle, Oli? I'm doing the ThinkFun version (Block-Out, or Square Fit), and I simply can't do it!

    David (unicycle.newpaltz)

  2. I'm happy to give a hint or two David. Drop me an email to the address on my contact page and I'll try and point you in the right direction.


No puzzle spoilers please!

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