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Frabjous (Special Edition Frabjous -- (Special Edition) ($59.00 + shipping)

First of all, I would like to thank my fellow collector friend  Rob Stegmann  for having displayed this wonderful puzzle/sculpture on his website, which I surf from time to time. This is how I found out about it, and instantly fell in awe of its sparkling beauty -- and accesability of purchase.

George W. Hart is Chief of Content at the newly formed Museum of Mathematics (MoMath) in New York City. He comes to this position with an interdisciplinary background as sculptor, scholar, mathematician, engineer, writer, computer scientist, and educator. His geometric sculptures are recognized around the world for their mathematical depth and creative use of materials. He is a pioneer in using computer technology and solid freeform fabrication in the design and fabrication of sculptures.

One of his magnificent sculpture/puzzles is being offered at a reasonable price for the general public.
Its name: Frabjous

The 'Special Edition' version is made of ACRYLITE® Radiant acrylic sheeting -- lazer cut to the spiraling pieces that make up the sculpture/puzzle -- which has the ability to create dazzling color changes and dramatic eye-catching movement, all without specialty lighting! ACRYLITE Radiant sheet magically shimmers with iridescent colors that change as the viewer moves.

Another less-expensive version being sold is one where all the 31 pieces are in blue (sculpture/puzzle consists of 30 identical pieces -- one extra is provided) .

There are three sources one can purchase this magnificent sculpture/puzzle:
 Artifacture  in Dallas, and at the  MoMath online shop  , and Artifact's  Etsy shop

According to the fine folks at Artifacture:
Product Details :
The special edition Frabjous is a sculpture and geometric assembly puzzle made from dichroic acrylic. The swirling geometric form is composed of thirty identical pieces that catch and reflect the light in stunning fashion.

Mathematically, the planes of the shape are the face planes of a "great rhombic triacontahedron," a self-intersecting polyhedron with thirty rhombic faces. But the puzzle piece is a carefully designed subset of the rhombus that doesn't intersect copies of itself.

Weaving the parts through each other so each remains planar is trickier than it looks. Instructions are included. Recommended for ages 16+.

The word Frabjous is, of course, from Jabberwocky by Lewis Carroll, "O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!"

-George Hart, Artist
Museum of Mathematics (MoMath)

Manufactured by: Artifacture
30 identical pieces combine to form a beautiful sculpture
Finished size 6" x 6" x 6"
Designed by Mathematician George Hart
Made from laser cut, dichroic acrylic
Made in the USA

Comments: The product comes with a pair of cotton gloves . . . to keep any fingerprints from soiling any section of the sculpture/puzzle during assembly, thus interfering with the displaying of the beautiful iridescent colors that are produced.

Also, you are supplied with one extra piece (for a total of 31) -- in case you get a little more irritable than usual in the assembly, and apply a little bit too much pressure at some point, whereby you crack a piece.

Thank You to the folks at Artifacture. Nice touch.

Instructions are supplied with the kit. However, the instructions only go so far. The instructions were a help as far as the vortex pieces overlapping each one in succession in a clockwise rotation, for the first 10 pieces (module #1).

Besides showing the entire solution, a  video   on YouTube helps in viewing the 'vertical' pieces and their placements (in between module #1 and module #2).

The 3rd phase (module #2) was a little tricky. Here's where I slowed up considerably trying to establish a perspective as to how I was to proceed. At some point, it hit me . . . . . looking at all the spirals.

Star of David

  A shape-changing puzzle from Stewart Coffin .
Six interlocking, dissimilar pieces of Honduras Mahogany which assemble different ways to form various geometrical figures having an axis of symmetry .   The assembled puzzle has the shape of a symmetrical column with the Star of David as cross-sectional end faces .

Different assembly combinations yield the different shapes .

You can view the solution  here

top half

notice the numbers I penciled in the center -- 1 2 3 >

bottom half

also notice the orientation of the numbers
(which way they're facing) -- 4 5 6 <

This is crucial when assembling the pieces in various combinations .

top pieces

These next two photos depict the pieces as they're oriented for the Star of David's regular shape .

bottom pieces

Different combinations that can be used for acquiring various shapes are :
123> --- <465 regular shape
135< --- >264 chaos
123< --- >456 drooped sides
123< --- >465 crushed top / sliced side
132< --- >465 sliced symmetry

Cuckoo's Nest
Another Stewart Coffin original made from six hexagonal birch bars with attached dowels, forming a symmetrical cluster .   A higher-level version is called Locked Nest (aka The Monster), with twelve bars instead of six .

3pc Block   . . . from Stewart Coffin .
I have designed several styles from this original . . .  here

PinHole   . . . from Stewart Coffin .
So called because the locking mechanism are wooden dowels that set into their complimentary holes .

Cube   . . . from Stewart Coffin .   Pentangle's version is called 'Wookey Hole' .
Made of Cherry, Mahogany, Maple, Rosewood & Padauk .

XEON . . . The Molecule Puzzle   . . . injected-molded version of Stewart Coffin's wood original of the Altekreuse puzzle . . . made by Skor-Mor from their Geo-Logic line .   This one's a hot item . . . it's got heat fins on it .

Taken from the package it originally came in: "The intrigue of things yet unknown has always challenged the inquisitive mind to understand the mysteries that lie just beyond comprehension. Just beyond the limits of expanding science, and into the realm of the vast unknown. Here at the edge of total darkness you are lured on to discover the infinite series of questions about time, energy and matter. You are impelled to that edge where there is no modern understanding to guide of instruct you. Here you must use the only infinite tool at your command, your imagination."

mini Tut's Tomb
Mini version of Mag-Nif's original full-sized Tut's Tomb .

2 mini balls & mini barrel
The two balls are mini-versions of PuzzlesDownunder's Puzzle Bank Ball .
The barrel, although of keychain puzzle size, nonetheless has a high degree of precision in its fabrication proportional to the scale of solving difficulty .

Multicolored Plastic Ball
From E-Bay

Plastic simulated-wood ball   . . . origin unknown .

. . . made in Germany by a manufacturer named Pussy .   Origin of purchase is unknown .

Soma Cube   . . . created by Piet Hein - made by Parker Brothers (1969) - Binary Arts' Block by Block .   Fascinating Cube by Skor Mor .

Lighthouse . . . from Bits & Pieces
This puzzle, and the Cannon, were made with expert metal craftsmanship .   I don't know who designed it, but it was made by SEQUENCE in TAI PAI, TAIWAN .

. . . from Bits & Pieces
Designed by Doug Haigh .

Money Lock Bank
This is a very well-crafted puzzle !   A one-of-a-kind gem extraordinaire that comes along every once in a great while that doesn't seem to make much of a ' Here-I-am ! ' recognition .   However, those collectors who take special interest in these kinds of puzzles - as I do - can readily perceive the value of such a prized addition . . . and the genius behind it .

Pyramid . . . from a DollarTree store
It has 14 pieces and the base .   Because it does have a base, this puzzle is only considered as 'pseudo' interlocking, using the base to keep it together .

Four Cubes . . . from a DollarTree store
Mag-Nif Corp. has the same puzzle, but with more quality .

Hexagon . . . from a DollarTree store
Although this is a non-interlocking puzzle, I have added it to my list because it's a very nice 3D pentomino version .

Whiting's Woe
    The sticks are intrically carved from North American pine and flame-torched for grain enhancement .   This version is copied from the original Plato's Secret on my  "30+ years ago"  webpage .   It is five times the size also .

16pc Easter Egg
. . . made by Peoria Plastics Division of Blever Industries, Inc.

It takes 20 moves to separate the 3 pieces .   Made of break-resistant polycarbonate plastic .   It has a Difficulty Factor of 9 on a scale of 1-10 with NO FORCE REQUIRED .

Professor Brain's Corn Puzzle
A 14-piece partial ear of corn .   Made in Taiwan .

Giant Chiclets
. . . from E-Bay

Pieces separated

Giant Pyramid . . . by Gordon Bros.
According to Kadon Enterprises, Inc.'s website :  http://www.gamepuzzles.com/index.htm
    "The nine crystal-clear pieces of this monster fit just one way to make the order-5 tetrahedron on the contemporary-style terraced acrylic base.   Solving it has been known to take anywhere from an hour to a year, or more."

Although this little novelty looks like an inexpensive toy puzzle for a child, it is very well made with a nice snug fit .

    click for larger pic
Polar Bear
14 pieces .   Stamped onto the bottom is :   1986   PKR   CORP   ANIPUZZLE   MADE IN THE U.S.A.

Imported from Universal Distributors of Oakville, Ontario - Canada .
This puzzle measures approximately 4" in diameter by 2" thick
(actually 3 15/16" by 1 15/16") .


The greatest mystery to this puzzle is its awe-inspiring ability to maintain the holding integrity of its own structure .

According to the folks at Space Cubes, "The clever bit is that until you have all 6 pieces together, the CUBE falls apart .   There is no glue, magnets or clips .   When all 6 pieces are together, they each hold each other together to form the CUBE .

That is the clever bit .   The cube is very strong until you twist one piece and then it falls apart.

Black Box   . . . a take-apart puzzle from  Mag-Nif Inc. .
Although their online catalog does not display it, one can still purchase the Black Box just asking for it through the e-mail .
This puzzle is made of a stiff plastic, and remains stable throughout all climate changes, which is crucial to this kind of puzzle - the sliding seams have to be perfectly matched (and thus, invisible) .
The black color aids in hiding them even further .   Each of the three sides of each half of the puzzle are slightly less than 90° to ensure a fairly tight fit as the two halves are fitted together .

See a larger animation . . . click on the pic

This unique 24-piece gem was one of 54 entries in the 2001 IPP21 Puzzle Design Competition as seen on John Rausch's  Puzzle World

According to Joe's intro, "This brain teaser has several colorful disks that have been cleverly designed to fit into other pieces.   This gives rise to a colorful structure that some say looks like a molecule.  There are approximately 11 Billion colorful permeations.   An exact count is unknown ."

The next five figure puzzles are made by    4D FameMaster   in China .   Excellent craftsmanship !   There are 13 main catagories : dinosaur -- Ice Age -- wild animals -- endangered animals -- dogs -- cats -- horses -- reptiles -- frogs -- sea animals -- cute animals -- polar animals -- North American animals -- and some of the same in mini versions .   Plus, single Special Collection items, such as the Dolphin below, which is about five times the size of the normal versions -- although the size restraint of the pic doesn't show it .

Gorilla . . . . . 26 pieces

Bear . . . . . 22 pieces

Horse   . . . . . 25 pieces

Walrus . . . . . 23 pieces

Dolphin . . . . . 43 pieces

Sticked Triangles   made by The Mandalay Co.

Radius   . . . made by The Mandalay Co.
A 4-tiered cylinder puzzle that resembles Pandora's Box on my  E-Bay  page .   Also known as Cylinder Puzzle at the  WingsToys.com  site .

4pc Pyramid
made by Binary Arts .

Magic Box   . . . from Mag-Nif's plastic version .
This was an experiment with North American pine wood .   The logo was made by using a home-made branding iron out of clothes hanger wire .   I call this type of puzzle a one-way maneuver : Once you've discovered how it opens, there is no brain power required to close it .
    Therefore, the entire crux of creating it in the first place is to ensure that the seams where the separate pieces slide pass each other are absolutely snug and precise .

Framed Star
    This 6-point star is known as Solomon's Seal (an emblem consisting of two interlaced triangles, formerly used as an amulet, especially against fever) .   Solomon, in Biblical times, was a son of David and 10th-century king of Israel proverbial for his wisdom .

Puzzle Bank Ball
This is the GrandDaddy of the little ones that are always being sold on E-Bay .   This one is approximately a whopping 6" in diameter !   Plus it substitutes for a bank as well .

Internal Combustion
This puzzle is made out of solid aluminum .   It was sold by Bits & Pieces until recently, which they now have discontinued .
Besides getting this puzzle at  Piece Time Puzzles  . . . . . as I did, other sources for purchase can be found at  Games & Puzzles  and the 'Executive Metal' section of  Puzzles DownUnder  .   Also at  Mr Puzzle  of Australia .

An exquisitely aesthetically-pleasing wood version, known on the web as: Nightmare Box
. . . . . (formerly Shuffle Box ) . . . . . which is made out of Thailand's own beautiful “Raintree” wood, and according to its website, is "a non endangered and renewed tree from northern Thailand that has the grain structure and appearance of Teak", can be viewed for purchase here at  Creative Crafthouse  .

pieces .
Not as easy as you may think .

the Shell

Lunatic Lock
Brushed aluminum .   Made by Puzzle Makers International .   Currently also sold on  Bits & Pieces  .

. . . . . pieces
A tricky mechanism if you have no idea how or where to start .   Although I have given you a rare viewing of the innards' mechanism, there are still some steps to be done outside the scope of what you see, which I will keep secret .

Man The Torpedo
Aluminum and brass .   Made by Puzzle Makers International .   Currently also sold on  Bits & Pieces  .

Starting the solution
If you can get to this point, which starts the solution, you've got it made .

Yin and Yang
This Chinese symbol is "sometimes called Tai-Chi symbol. The Tai-Chi is from I-Ching. The I-Ching is the greatest foundation of Chinese philosophy. It’s development is from the natural phenomena of our universe."
Yin (Moon -- dark area) -- Yang (sun - light area) .   Check out this  webpage  for a more detailed explanation .


Lucky Clover

4 identical pieces

Oskar's Cubes


Excellent craftsmanship !   Woods used are Plum & Maple .
Difficulty Level (level 5 - easiest; level 10 - hardest): this is a Level 9 puzzle .   6 pieces .   4 21/64" round at the extremeties .

According to the E-Bay description by the member
(  Wired For Fun  ) from whom I bought this puzzle, "Our European Wooden Puzzles are made by master craftsman, Vaclav Obsivac.

Vaclav makes each puzzle as if he were making them for Royalty. The quality of each puzzle is outstanding and is almost impossible to understand until you actually touch and feel each puzzle. Only the best European hardwoods are used in the production of each puzzle.

Vaclav uses many different types of hardwood in the production of his puzzles. Familiar hardwoods such as cherry, maple, walnut, etc.. He also uses other hardwoods that are harder to find, such as hornbeam, plum, acacia etc.."

Vacalv has his own website  here  . . . . . right from the Czech Repbulic .

Core : 2 inner pieces

2 sets outer pieces

Danzig's Dilemma . . . . . Two pieces of wood with a unique double-dovetail mystery .   This puzzle -- made by Lagoon Games of England -- was purchased from an Ebay member, also of England .   .

logoLagoon Games logo

Neuron Twister . . . a.k.a.   Arjeau's Babylone

Metal Chess King   . . . . . designed by Marcel Gillen

The object of this puzzle is to find a way to get inside the base to retrieve a special coin hidden in there .

red dice Soma Cube
Made with red transparent dice .

Notice all the major sides have the same numbers .   Clever .


white dice Soma Cube

The YOT . . . not a UFO !
This palm-sized mystery is made of high quality aircraft aluminum .

According to the folks at  yot.com  , "It relies on an advanced law of physics ...... Hint: The secret is in the Sphinx.   The solution requires logical thought, intuition and imagination.   It's fun to test your mettle on YOT's metal! "

. . . the inner disk

. . . medalion

When purchased, either this medalion or a US Eisenhower silver dollar comes with the puzzle .

. . . backside

cast News . . . . . level 6
The following two cast metal puzzles are made by the Hanayama Toy people . These Cast Metal Puzzles truly are a puzzler's dream. Incorporating designs from the 15th century up to the present time.

According to  Mr Puzzle Australia  , "Hanayama Toy Co. began life in the mid-1930s as a manufacturer and retailer of traditional games, indoor pursuits and other toys, and from the very beginning has placed great emphasis on creative ideas, good quality and friendly service."

According to the folks at  MediaNugget  , "Hanayama's metal puzzles are mostly classic "tanglement" affairs, where you attempt to separate the component pieces (and hopefully reassemble them). Once you learn how to solve each puzzle, they aren't really all that much fun to repeat, unlike a Rubik's Cube. However, these puzzles are a lot more beautiful than a multicolored plastic cube, and once they're solved, they transition gracefully to paperweights, conversation pieces, and something to just fiddle around with unconciously. The puzzles are divided into six levels of difficulty. Skip the lower half, unless you're buying for a child. But don't think you'll start at the top, either. Several of the toughest puzzles are "unranked." Take on the Enigma at your peril."

cast Chain . . . . . level 6
.....This is another masterpiece by Oskar van Deventer. Oskar is a prolific puzzle inventor from The Netherlands. Difficulty level 6 .



MindBenders' CRYSTAL
This -- as well as the one below -- was given to me by a fellow worker .

The solution can be seen  here


The solution can be seen  here