Designer: Dr. Volker Latussek

This puzzle measures: 70 mm x 90 mm x 50 mm

Material: Walnut / Am. Walnut

Dr. Volker Latussek wrote about it:

“When Dick Fosbury died in March this year, I had no idea that I would find a small series of packaging puzzles and name them FLOP after the high-jump technique named after him. A sports journalist ran the headline “Fosbury Flops Over Bar” after his 1968 Olympic win, comparing the jumping style to a fish flipping onto its back and curling its body after being caught.

DICK-FLOP with its six tetracubes follows FRITZ-FLOP with only five pieces. The boxes are each completely filled and the opening is restricted so that some of the pieces have to flop out of the box. The solution should be unique. The other 27 combinations of six tetracubes don’t fulfil these requirements of a FLOP.

While the opening for FRITZ-FLOP was still clear, there are initially two possible openings for DICK-FLOP, one on the short side and one on the long side. For the long side, however, there is no combination, but a filling which, like the TETRA-FLOP, is flopped with a small additional opening. I would like to bring it out under the name LITTLE TETRA-FLOP.

DICK-FLOP is delivered by Pelikan in such a way that you should enjoy the beauty of gravity when you remove the pieces. I like to see mechanical puzzles as a haptic experience. This can include picking up the box and moving the American walnut pieces together with the European walnut box. Only then does your puzzle really become a FLOP.”


Kevin Sadler wrote about it:

“Here we have another masterpiece from the warped brilliant mind of Dr Volker Latussek! This is the fourth in his Flop series in which he takes a subset of the standard Soma cube pieces and insists that we stuff them into one of the standard shape challenges that come with the Soma cube. Except…. he makes it much more fun by making us do it into a box through a limited entrance hole. And then, not completely happy with that restriction, he ensures that the entry hole is not a whole number of voxels wide which forces some very interesting and difficult to find rotational moves on the non-planar pieces. It looks like the entrance is 2mm too small to allow two voxels through. The assembly configuration (Volker always stipulates the assembly shape) is a “near miss” and when you take the pieces out of the box, you get a small hint at the deviousness of that man! Some of the moves just to get the pieces ready for play need them to be perfectly placed before it can happen. The incredible precision of the manufacture by Pelikan is simply stunning – when some of the pieces move and you can almost feel the suction holding them in place as the tolerances are perfect to a tiny fraction of a milimeter. A quick play with Burrtools told me that there are 78 possible ways to assemble a 2x3x4 cuboid from the pieces provided and I was definitely going to struggle to try them all from memory. I then scrolled through them to find only the ones that have a planar piece arranged vertically along the end (i.e. it can be dropped in last) and after about 15 I stopped counting and decided to peek with squinted eyes at the solution. I just managed to restrict my view to 2 piece positions in the end shape and from here restricted the number of assemblies to be tried down to just 3. I was rather surprised at one of those piece positions that I had peeked at but it really helped me. Even having just 3 assemblies to choose from, actually getting them inside the box was still a massive challenge. It took me about 3 days! This puzzle is an essential buy for anyone enthused by packing puzzles or the Soma cube. It has been stunningly created by Jakub and team and will be a huge challenge to any puzzler. The Aha! moment is wonderful.”

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