Rattle Snake

Designer: Alexander Magyarics

This puzzle measures: 67 mm x 67 mm x 67 mm

Material: Wenge and Zebrano

Move: 18 (11.4.3)

Kevin Sadler wrote about it:

“No release from Pelikan these days is complete without another wonderful packing puzzle from Alexander Magyarics. This beauty is stunning with a Wenge box complete with fairly large but quite restricted opening and 3 pieces to be placed inside made from Zebrano. As usual, the question I always ask myself is: 'there are only 3 pieces…how hard can this be?' Well, either I am stupid (probable) or this one has a serious challenge to it (quite likely). Several times I tried to get 2 pieces inside the box only to have one rotate inside and then block all other movements. Nearly gave me a heart attack at one point when I couldn't take the pieces out that I had placed in the wrong positions! Not only is the opening fairly restrictive but the shape of the rattlesnake piece also ensures that the approach to insertion is very limited. In fact, there are only 4 orientations of that piece that will allow it to be inserted. What is more, the medium sized piece only has 7 possible insertion methods. I tried to be fairly methodical and realised quite quickly that I was unable to keep track of the possible combinations. Starting with that large piece, I ended up randomly looking at assemblies that sort of fit the 3×3 cube and discarded the ones that the second piece could not be inserted. This gave me quite a few possible assemblies which I made outside the box and then tried to simulate the disassembly. This took me several hours because I got fixated on one particular orientation of the snake which looked fantastic but would not assemble in place. Time to Think¬© again! Getting past my fixation proved a real challenge. I found another series of very nice assemblies but could not seem to get them to work until Aha! There was a wonderful moment when I noticed a possible move that is very very well disguised. I had worked it out. Getting the pieces into the box was then a bit of a dexterity puzzle as well. This is wonderful, right up there with the very best of Alexander's designs. It looks so simple but really takes some thought.”