I was very pleasantly surprised when I met Yvon at IPP35 in Canada this past August, barely recognizing him from his Facebook photo (not everyone has a mohawk!). He gave me as a present one of my designs that he had made. This puzzle is my Novice's Burr.
I was surprised that Yvon bothered to make a copy of the design since there are so many other more interesting, nicer and highly complicated burrs out there on PWBP. And he didn't just fashion it out using one type of wood (which would have made the puzzle looking rather plain) but in fact selected four types of wood including Oak, Louro Faia, Ebony and Wenge. And painstakingly gluing cube units together to create a puzzle that is aesthetically pleasing with contrasting colour tones and texture. From the top, the puzzle even looks like it has a checker board pattern.
|Yvon Pelletier with some of his beautiful creations|
The Novice's Burr is a Level 18.104.22.168.4 (hence the name!) which requires a total of 18 moves to totally disassemble. I tried to make it as simple as possible from a design standpoint using just two plates with four congruent (and simple) burr pieces. While it has a Level 5 solution, but as I played with it, I discovered that I could actually rotate the plates with all the pieces still intact and one or two of the pieces can also rotate accordingly. Perhaps after drying, the looseness contributed to this. It would appear then the rotations can possibly increase the number of steps to remove the first piece and make the puzzle harder. Anyway I didn't bother to experiment further. A design flaw of mine and certainly unintended of course! Oh well....
Really happy to have a working copy of my Novice's Burr in my collection. My sincere thanks to Yvon for a beautifully crafted present!