Soma Squartata

Designer: Dr. Volker Latussek

This puzzle measures: 69 mm x 69 mm x 64 mm

Material: Wenge/Acacia

Kevin Sadler wrote about it:

“Dr Latussek is, quite probably, one of the most clever and interesting puzzle designers in the world just now. He creates challenges that are much more involved and require a lot more understanding than most other designers. A huge number of his designs are too difficult for me because I seem to have a mental block with certain pattern type challenges and block packing puzzles but I am aware that many other puzzlers absolutely adore his challenges. I just wish that my brain worked like his does. It was with considerable trepidation that I picked up the Soma Squartata from the pile sent by Jakub. I did not understand the name and once I had removed the pieces from the box (Volker always instructs a special delivery arrangement), I was extremely frightened by the complexity of the pieces – this does not look like a Soma cube! Luckily for me, Volker always sends me extra information when Jakub sends the puzzles for me to review. This time the extra information included an explanation of the name and the complex shape of the pieces – it IS based on the Soma cube piece shapes but for each of those pieces a quarter has been removed leaving a sort of spindly more complex shape. The aim of this incredible puzzle is, as with all soma cubes, to place the pieces into a cube formation and back into the box so that the opening is completely covered. Initially I was very frightened of this because I thought it might be one of those anti-slide type puzzles that Volker seems to love and my brain doesn’t understand. Thankfully, that is not the case. It is “just” an assembly puzzle with an extra constraint of requiring the top face to be complete. To me, this was a fabulous fun challenge – it is basically an interlocking challenge – I have been enjoying the TICs over the last few years and this is similar without the rotations. I did find a couple of assemblies that did not have the completed face and this will be useful for storage. The requirement of the completed face really adds to the challenge and allows you to home in on the one unique solution. It took me quite a few hours to find an assembly that would work but the fun was prolonged by the need to place the pieces in the correct order otherwise the assembly gets blocked. For once, a puzzle from Dr Latussek that I found challenging and still very possible – a huge amount of fun. Beautifully made from Wenge and Acacia by Jakub and Jaroslav.”