I was at Maker Faire Bay Area this weekend. One of my favorite things was a collection of simple handmade puzzles sitting on a table under an umbrella, away from the action. A Russian woman named Tatiana Ginzburg told me that the puzzles were part of some kind of mind enlightenment group she started. When I got back home I looked her up and found her website, Global Enlightenment.
I picked up the puzzle shown in the photo here. It's two nails, bent in such a way that the nails are linked. I spent about 15 minutes trying to disentangle them. I bought it for $10 and as I was walking away from the table, accidentally separated them. It took 15 minutes of trial and error to get them linked again. I spent the rest of Maker Faire fiddling with them. Every hour or so I was able to get them apart, but I didn't know how I did it. Last night when I got back home, I stayed up late and finally figured it out. I can get them unlinked in a few seconds. I still haven't figured out how to easily get them back together. I'll work on it tonight. I love this thing.
I don't know where you can buy this exact kind of nail puzzle. This one looks similar, though.
Martin Raynsford makes beautiful and intricate wooden puzzles with space-filling fractal curves and is kickstartering a set of four. The pattern is a single line that crosses all of the two dimensional space without ever repeating. The puzzles follow these simple rules to break the line into multiple pieces that are almost identical but are […]
Here are three two lateral thinking puzzles that were new to me. They’re from the book, Lateral Thinking Puzzles (1991), by Paul Sloane. Death in the Field A man is lying dead in the field. Next to him is an unopened package. There is no other creature in the field. How did he die? Death in Rome […]
One of my favorite puzzle books as a kid was Perplexing Puzzles and Tantalizing Teasers, by Martin Gardner. It had fun “real life” type problems (how can you drive an 11-foot-9 truck under a bridge with 11-foot-8 clearance?) and it introduced me to palindromes (“Straw? No, too stupid a fad. I put soot on warts.”) […]
Seasoned chefs have a bit of a love-hate relationship with their cutlery. A really good set of knives has to prove its worth by being put through the wringer – and if they’re really good, they’ll still look great afterward. So it is with the Damasukasu Japanese 3-Piece Master Chef Hanshu Knife Set. Sitting in […]
With the intuitive software out there today, anyone can become a music producer. You’ve probably heard that from any number of laptop impresarios, but you still have to know how to use the tools – and Logic Pro X is one of the best platforms out there right now. In order to get the most […]
Believe it or not, PDF files have been the go-to format for contracts and forms of any type since 1993. And sure, they’re easily shareable – but that’s about it. When you need to edit or sign a document – and you will – that’s when frustration can set in. Luckily, there are workarounds, and […]