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Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Sly Burr (Frank Potts)

Let's face it, there are loads of traditionally shaped 6-piece burrs out there, so for one to stand out from the mahoosive crowd it has to have something in its design to make it really special, and here's one that I think does just that.

Just another 6-piece burr.....or is it?
This is Sly Burr, a design from the mind of Frank Potts which has been brought to life by Brian Young (Mr Puzzle) in Vitex wood (or Papua New Guinean Teak if you prefer). Frank also used this as his exchange puzzle at IPP28 in Prague in 2008. Also, at 6cm across it is a nice size for a burr.

It looks just like a 6-piece burr right? But it really isn't. I could show you a picture of the pieces to prove it...but I won't.

The real joy in this puzzle is working out for yourself just what makes it so special. Since I've had it I have enjoyed giving it over for puzzlers to solve without any directions and watching them get confused almost immediately. They mostly get there shortly afterwards, but it always seems to catch puzzlers out and it gives them a little smile of amusement once it gets moving.

The burr itself is level 9,3 (9 moves to remove the first piece, 3 to remove the second), but the level isn't really the issue. Finding the moves to make in the first place is the real challenge.

As a 'clue' to the solution this is mentioned:

"The hint is in the name...think movies....although working out exactly what the hint tells you about the puzzle may prove just as difficult as doing the burr itself."

After solving the puzzle I just had to ask what the clue is trying to reference to hint at the solution. Frank described the reference as being pretty convoluted, and offered me a nudge in the right direction. After a think (and a bit of Googling) I managed to work out what it was referring to, and I concur in that solving the burr is far easier than trying to work out the clue! If you have this puzzle and fancy an additional challenge then do give it a go for yourself and let me know what you come up with.

I have to admit that normally I'm not really into burr puzzles in general, but this really is a great all-round puzzle. It has few enough pieces to not make it ridiculously difficult, and it has a trick to it that is likely to provide a great 'Ah Ha!' moment to amuse anyone solving it. It is easily one of my absolute favourite burr puzzles, and I'd seriously recommend getting hold of one before they sell out.

You can buy this puzzle directly from the manufacturer, Mr. Puzzle in Australia

1 comment:

  1. I also got one at the last MPP - I agree that it is probably the best 6 piece burr I have done! Unlike other puzzlers, I'm pretty dense - it took me several days to find the second move!!!



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