Designer: Dr. Volker Latussek

This puzzle measures: 70 mm x 70 mm x 65 mm

Material: Merbau / Acacia

Dr. Volker Latussek wrote about it:

“My new packing puzzle has a small Greek letter tau on the top and your task is to close the box. I have to thank Laszlo Molnar for the design of the box that he first used in his beautiful puzzle NO HOLES BARRED. My goal in designing my new packing puzzle was to use as few equal pairs of pieces as possible. TAU gets by with only four pieces to close the box. I think the solution contains the most beautiful movement of all my puzzles so far. I hope that the solution will surprise you as much as it surprised me when I discovered the movement.”

Kevin Sadler wrote about it:

“I have to start off by saying that this puzzle is the pick of the whole release this time. It is abso-bloody-lutely amazing! Dr Volker Latussek has a mind like no one else and he comes up with some absolutely stupendous challenges that will keep you incredibly busy and will have you sitting back open mouthed in wonder after you have solved them. The Tau puzzle is possibly one of his very best yet. I had been a bit mystified at the name – none of the pieces looked like the greek letter and I had not really looked terribly hard at the arrival position before taking the pieces out and even if I had, it actually requires a bit of squinting the eyes and some photo editing to realise it. It actually took an email from Volker himself with a photo to make me understand. In the arrival position, the gap in the top surface forms a letter Tau. I am not terribly bright and I actually struggled to put the pieces back into the box in the start position to take a proper look (yes this is another challenge for you). The aim here, like quite a few of the recent Pelikan challenges, is to pack the four interesting pieces into the box such that the top surface is completely covered (the inside will have quite a few gaps in it). Volker did tell me that the challenge had been influenced by the wonderful No holes barred puzzle designed by Laszlo Kmolnar. The single 45º cut single voxel in the entrance to the box was going to be a major issue with the solution here but that was only one part of the considerable challenge. First of all you have to find a shape that you can build that would fill the entrance and be stable sitting on a work surface. There are quite a few ways to make that shape but not many are self supporting and then you need to find one that is even vaguely possible to be placed into the restricted opening left by the half cube. I had imagined all sorts of nice diagonal sliding movements and whilst there is one of these sliding movements, it is not where I expected it to be and was a relatively minor part of the challenge. I found it a fun challenge to reduce my solution set to just one possibility. Having convinced myself that I knew the placement I had to work to put them inside. OMG! What a tremendous challenge! It has taken me a whole week to find the solution and on numerous occasions I had convinced myself that I needed to go back to the drawing board with my assembly to start finding new possibilities. It was with huge relief that I made the cat shoot off my lap with a shout of joy! This puzzle is BRILLIANT! Volker is a genius! Buy it!”

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