It has been a long-standing fear, for me as well as a great many of you out there, that this kind of puzzle seems to emanate an aura of difficulty that holds us back from ever attempting to solve it, an aura that has probably been exaggerated because of its many parts, and its complicated-looking construction .
However, even though the outside geometry is similar-looking to some of its other counterparts out there in PuzzleLand -- ie, all the Woodchuck family, the Death Star, the Japanese Crystal, the Pagoda, etc -- the solution is slightly different, as well as all of the others mentioned .
It is unfortunate that the directions that came with this puzzle is slightly ambiguous, to say the least . Therefore, for those of you who have this particular puzzle, I give you my simplified version .
The need for dexterity is at a minimum, as you will note in the photos as you move through the solution . All the pictures were taken with the puzzle resting on a solid surface . The slow, easy building of the structure will gain you confidence as each step is accomplished .
I believe that this solution can be easily followed through, even for those of you who are just puzzle novelists . Once one has gained the confidence of this solution, one can go on to the more difficult (many more pieces) versions .
make this structure using 2 long pcs add 2 more long pcs through the center and 6 regular short pcs
add a vertical long pc and 3 regular short pcs turned slightly for better viewing at the further end away from you
Add a second long vertical pc . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . and add 2 regular short pcs and rotate puzzle to the left 90° to the original 2 long pcs
drop the vertical long pc closest to you closeup view
same closeup view - turned 45° left add one of the 'special' key pcs
Note: it doesn't matter which way the side notch is pointing
slide it all the way to the first vertical bring up the second vertical
same view zoomed out add 3 more regular short pcs to this end
slide end into puzzle puzzle is turned to see last unfinished end
turned another 45° to view last movements add the last 2 regular short pcs
slide topmost long pc left add the 2nd 'special' pc (last to put on puzzle)
Slide top horizontal long pc to the right to finish