Designer: Dr. Volker Latussek

This puzzle measures: 70 mm x 70 mm x 70 mm

Material: Limba / Jatoba

Dr. Volker Latussek wrote about it:

“I’ve brought forward the release of SOMA-FLOP. Originally DICK-FLOP and TEFKA-FLOP were scheduled to follow after FRITZ-FLOP, but SOMA-FLOP is really special. Everything is there: the seven parts of the SOMA-CUBE and even a cube-shaped box. The only tricky thing is the size of the opening. Only? I learnt a lot from my experiences with SOMA PACK and SHRINKING SOMA, but I couldn’t achieve what I was hoping for from a FLOP puzzle at first. Obviously, the search was eventually worth it: SOMA-FLOP has a wonderfully confusing solution, which I suspect my mind wasn’t willing to see. I couldn’t see the solution for absolute ages because I didn’t know it existed. I guess that’s the difference between the designer and the solver: as the solver, you can trust that SOMA-FLOP has a solution! The opening is amazingly large – any larger in fact and the SOMA pieces could effectively be packed as into an unrestricted box. My thanks to Pelikan for making this idea a reality and to Oskar van Deventer for inspiring me to create SOMA-FLOP with his PENULTIMATE SOMA.”

Kevin Sadler wrote about it:

“Soma Flop has been made using Jatoba and Limbs woods – the voxel size is the same as the others in the series. Again there is a very specific position for the storage. This puzzle caused me “some difficulty” and a minor heart attack. I have waxed lyrical about Soma cubes before and certainly feel that everyone who collects puzzles should have at least a plain Soma cube and a variant or two in their collections. Combining a Soma cube with a packing puzzle and incorporating aspects of TIC puzzling too is a major triumph. This puzzle is very VERY difficult but don’t let that deter you. First thing to do is remove the pieces from the box. Easy peasy? Erm – yes as long as you don’t allow anything to move once there is a little space in the box. I was not careful enough and after removal of the easy two pieces, stuff slid around inside and I couldn’t take any more pieces out. OMG! It took me over an hour to free them up and get to the point of attempting to solve the puzzle. As Volker has stated, there is a nice large entry to the box but not quite two voxels wide. This restriction is the key to the rotational requirement. The non planar pieces need to be tilted to be inserted and there needs to be enough space for this to be allowed to happen. Does this help you narrow down the assemblies? I think it does if you are an assembly puzzle aficionado. I am an assembly idiot and as everyone knows – there are 240 possible cubic assemblies of the Soma pieces. I played for a while trying to randomly find cubic assemblies that would allow the non-planar pieces to be inserted early and the linear pieces last. I found a few but had no way to easily narrow them down. I do think that this is possible for all you great puzzlers who read my drivel but for me to manage it, I would require many days or weeks of attempts and a lot of swearing. I had a deadline to meet and therefore had to use a hint. I got the solution and squinted at it quickly so that I only viewed the two pieces that were to be entered last which would leave me to find the positions of the other pieces and then the rotation(s) required to solve it. After 3 days of working on the cube to be inserted I realised that I needed more help. Burrtools told me that there are 18 assemblies that allowed the last 2 pieces to be where I needed them and from there I could visually restrict the other solutions until I had a few possible solutions to work on. I worked on these possibilities for another couple of days and managed to decrease my solution set to just one by totally failing to get the pieces into the box. That last assembly also wouldn’t go in – even when you know what goes where, it is really really hard to make it happen. My Aha! moment came as a huge relief and pleasure. This is simply superb!”

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