2007 Puzzle Design Competition

The full 2007 IDC Guide (photos, instructions, solutions, and relevant notes) is available: 2007 IDC Guide (5.7Mb),
or a Description-Only Guide version (1.3Mb).

The following is a summary and buying guide for the 55 entries in the 2007 competition (click on images for larger photos). 

All designs are copyrighted and are the intellectual property of the designer. All rights are reserved.

(Now they know how many holes it takes to fill) The L-Bert Hall

Designer: Ronald Kint-Bruynseels
Goal: A 3x3x3 assembly puzzle, based on the nine L-tricubes with 9 identical pieces and a unique solution.

Materials: Wood: cocobolo, jacarunda pardo and birch.
Classification: Slocum: 1.2 // Hordern Dalgety: ASS-CART

Purchase: Check availability and price at: www.cubicdissection.com. About 30 copies will be available after IPP27. Price: $60 to $70.


Designer: Robert Reid
Goal: Fit all 14 bowties into the box.

Materials: ABS plastic
Classification: Slocum--6.4 Miscellaneous Dexterity Puzzles

Notes: This puzzle is actually a demonstration of a space filling object. Each object is made up of four pyramids which have transverse sections of regular pentagons. The way that 12 fit together at an apex is that of the regular dodecahedron, not that of the rhombic dodecahedron.

Purchase: For sale at www.puzzlepalace.com.

Baby Duck Case

Designer: Edi Nagata
Goal: Place five duck pieces flat in the two frames.

Materials: MDF board
Classification: 2D put-together

Purchase: Overseas order form at the designer's web site, or contact via Email (edi001@witful.net).
Price: ¥2600.

Bevel Cube

Designer: Katsuhiko Okamoto
Goal: Scramble first, and then restore all the faces, like Rubik's Cube.

Materials: ABS resin
Classification: Sequential Movement Puzzles

Notes: There are three geometric elements of a cube: the face, the vertex, and the edge. When the faces turn it's a Rubik's Cube; when the vertices turn it's a Skewb; and when the edges turn it's the Bevel cube! Rotations besides 180 degrees are possible, allowing very unexpected movement and shapes.

Bird in the Nest

Designer: Vladimir Krasnoukhov and James Dalgety
Goal: Let the little bird out of the nest.

Materials: Wood (wenge, bubinga, and beech)
Classification: Take apart puzzle.

Purchase: Reproduction available from Bits and Pieces.

Blue Balls

Designer: George Miller and Vesa Timonen
Goal: Interlock all eight pieces.

Materials: ABS and Acrylic
Classification: Slocum 3.2 Interlocking Geometric Shapes

Purchase: For sale at www.puzzlepalace.com for $370.

Bolted Cage

Designer: Erik Johansson
Goal: Remove the four lock pieces. Disassemble and reassemble the puzzle.

Materials: Mahogany
Classification: 3D Interlocking

Purchase: Please visit www.tankenotter.se for info.

Cast Loop

Designer: Vesa Timonen
Goal: Assemble the two pieces to form a loop.

Materials: Zinc alloy
Classification: Slocum - 3.2 Interlocking geometric shapes

Purchase: Available from most Hanayama retailers.

Cheese and Mouse

Designer: Vladimir Krasnoukhov
Goal: Put the mouse (circle) in the box with cheese.

Materials: Wood (oak and bubinga)
Classification: Put-together (2-D Packing problem).

Chinese Rings Handle

Designer: Erik Johansson
Goal: Completely remove the blue rope.

Materials: Birch wood and polyester rope
Classification: Disentanglement

Purchase: Please visit www.tankenotter.se for info.


Designer: Bob van Etten
Goal: Pack the three men and the three dogs flat in the tray.

Materials: Plastic pieces and case.
Classification: Packing

Purchase: Puzzle can be purchase from Here to There puzzles. Price will be $35.00 plus shipping.

Cross Box

Designer: Robert Yarger
Goal: Open both secret compartments by manipulating the wooden blocks within the cage.

Materials: Bloodwood, beli, puprleheart, magnets
Classification: sequential movement

Purchase: Currenlty 6 out of 30 puzzles are left and can be purchased for $555 at www.cubicdissection.com or by contacting Robert Yarger at stickmanbox@aol.com.

Cubature of the Ball

Designer: Kirill Grebnev
Goal: Remove the ball. The cage surrounds eight segments. One segment is empty and the other 7 are filled with 6 identical cubes and one ball. The ball is constrained by the grooves in the cubes and the cage. Aside from this constraint, the ball and the cubes are free to move. The puzzle is a sliding maze where the map changes as the cubes are moved. If the ball is removed, the goal is then to get the ball into the segment diagonally opposite the entrance.

Materials: Plexiglas

Purchase: Please visit my web site: puzzle.palyn.ru/, or write me: postmaster@palyn.ru.

Cubicle Puzzle

Designer: Sam Cornwell
Goal: Undo the five main pieces.

Materials: Mahogany
Classification: Interlocking: 3.2


Designer: Albert Gübeli
Goal: Put together and take apart.

Materials: ABS, 3d Printer
Classification: INT-POLY, Interlocking polyhedral 3d

Purchase: Web site: www.albinegri.ch. Three puzzles produced; price $300.

Diamond Star

Designer: Kate Jones
Goal: 1. Assemble the 23 tiles inside the tray so no two diamonds of same color share sides. 2. Assemble in the tray so resulting color pattern is periodic and shows 12 stars. 3. Assemble outside the tray to form the largest convex shape with separated colors (very hard).

Materials: Laser-cut acrylic tiles in a red acrylic tray, with wavy hexagon inset, 23 tiles with total area of 57 diamonds, hand-inlaid with white, black and gray diamonds in star-like patterns.
Classification: Put-together plus non-matching.

Notes: The periodic pattern of two-color stars embedded in hexagons of a third color was originally conceived as the basis for a game board.

Purchase: Contact Kadon at www.gamepuzzles.com. Price: $75. Not a limited edition; we'll make as many as we can sell, in batches of 10 at a time.

Dice on a String

Designer: Hans van Klaveren
Goal: Slide the dice together to form a 3x3x3 cube. 26 dice are connected by a string; place the extra die in the middle where the string must cross twice.

Materials: Plastic dices and (minor) flexible colorful string
Classification: Folding puzzle FOL (Dalgety)

Purchase: Limited stock. Price 35,00 € each. Variations are possible: all nrs. on same side - centre dice integrated. Contact manufacturer: klaveren@chello.nl.

Digits in a Box

Designer: Eric Harshbarger
Goal: Fit all ten pieces into the box and close the lid.

Materials: Pieces: machined aluminum; box: pine or poplar
Classification: Polyform, Packing

Purchase: Currently I only have about a dozen sets left at $200 each. More information about larger, future production runs and manufacture will be available at my website: www.ericharshbarger.org.


Designer: Hirokazu Iwasawa
Goal: First, remove the chain from the wire part without unclasping the chain. Then, return it to the starting position.

Materials: Wire and chain.
Classification: Disentanglement (Wire-and-String Puzzle)


Designer: Koshi Arai
Goal: You can make a hexagon, a triangle and a square out of all 12 pieces.

Materials: Natural Wood coated MDF
Classification: Put Together

Purchase: Contact the designer via email: karai@earth.email.ne.jp.


Designer: Vaclav Obsivac
Goal: Find two different ways to assemble the 12 pieces using coordinated motion.

Materials: Plum
Classification: Interlocking puzzle

Purchase: Contact via e-mail: vinco@centum.cz. Price is 20 €.

Fall Tower

Designer: Tom Tolman
Goal: There are 6 problems of increasing difficulty. In each problem, the goal is to construct a tower of the indicated blocks, placing them end to end so that all visible and adjacent surfaces match in either color or shape. A tower may have a single block lying flat as a base, or have a base of two vertical blocks. All tower blocks not a part of the base will have both ends adjacent to other blocks. The tower must be able to stand without support.
Problem a) Use blocks 1256;
Problem b) Use blocks 14567;
Problem c) Use blocks 12456;
Problem d) Use blocks 123567;
Problem e) Use blocks 234567;
Problem f) Use all blocks to form a tower.

Materials: Maple with acrylic
Classification: put together

Purchase: Licensing information available from tolman@gmail.com

Football Downunder

Designer: Stephen Chin
Goal: Ten move puzzle box. Lid is the part with the shoelaces (opposite the map of Australia), it slides off to open; no force needed.

Materials: Australian woods, pins magnets
Classification: 2.1

Purchase: Contact the designer: chins@ihug.com.au.

Forest Puzzle

Designer: Kirill Grebnev
Goal: Remove the ring and then put it back.

Materials: Natural wood and synthetic string
Classification: Disentanglement [ 4.3 String puzzle ]

Purchase: Please visit my web site: puzzle.palyn.ru/, or write me: postmaster@palyn.ru.


Designer: Stewart Coffin
Goal: Fit the four Pentominoes into rectangular tray.

Materials: wood
Classification: Put-together

Inside Out

Designer: Simon Bexfield
Goal: The puzzle contains six pieces. The goal is to connect the six pieces to make either a dodecahedron or a cube. Each edge contains two magnets, which must match in polarity with the adjacent edge.

Materials: Ebony, satinwood, and magnets
Classification: Put-together

Purchase: Contact designer via email (puzzles@bexfield.com). The puzzle will be made in a limited numbered edition of up to 100 in a variety of woods.

Jeweled Crown Puzzle

Designer: Dale Walton and Dick Hess
Goal: 1. Spill out the pieces and make a crown shape with the six pieces. Pieces may be turned over.; 2. Rearrange the pieces with an added jewel to make a slightly larger crown shape. ; 3. Rearrange the pieces with a second added jewel to make an even larger crown shape.

Materials: Wood
Classification: Put Together

Notes: This is the minimum number of pieces known which allows three shapes at different scales to be built.

Purchase: Contact the designer at rihess@cox.net. Less than 30 available at $20 each.

La Ronde des Animaux

Designer: Lozac'h René
Goal: The goal is to solve the enigma of the poem (or back), then arrange the animals as hinted by the poem to form a new figure; then afterwards assemble them in the frame.

Materials: Wood, paper and glass
Classification: Enigma arrangement, and put-together

Purchase: Contact the designer via email; rlozach@free.fr.

Magnetic Super Dice

Designer: Hans van Klaveren
Goal: Connect the dices to each other to form a solid 3x3x3 cube. The whole cube becomes one consisted form and keeps its shape by magnetic force.; Each face of the cube displays the same side of each separate dice. Each magnet must connect to another magnet.

Materials: Plastic dices and cylindrical magnets
Classification: Pattern puzzle PAT (Dalgety)

Purchase: Limited stock. Price 49,50 € each. Variation possible: numbers in random order on each side of the super dice.Contact manufacturer: klaveren@chello.nl


Designer: Tom Tolman
Goal: Cover the two dark pins with the smaller cubes by rolling them into place. Each face of the large cube is a separate puzzle.; Begin by placing the small cubes on top of the large cube so that their symbols are visible and match the orientation on the larger cube. Start with the blue arrow cube as the active cube—only the active cube can be rolled. Roll the active cube up, down, left or right and do not fall off the top of the large cube. Only roll onto a pin if there is a hole in the smaller cube which allows it to roll onto the pin. If you roll adjacent to the other cube, you can move your fingers onto the other cube, making it the active cube. Diagonal positions are not adjacent.

Materials: Maple with polyurethane, screws and screw caps.
Classification: Sequential Movement

Miruha Burr

Designer: Hiroshi Mori
Goal: Remove the three burrs from the cubic structure, then reassemble the cube.

Materials: Wood (hemlock and poplar, oil coated)
Classification: Interlocking, framed burr


Designer: Lozac'h René
Goal: Put the brass cylinder in the bottom hole of the wood cylinder (closed by the other piece of wood), so you must get it out by the other hole.

Materials: Wood (beech or ash), PCV and brass
Classification: Sequential move (Internal maze)

Purchase: Contact the designer via email; rlozach@free.fr.

Pull the Kunai!

Designer: Ichiro Kohno
Goal: Pull the Kunai (sword).

Materials: solid wood, poplar
Classification: Take Apart

Purchase: ¥1,500yen apiece; 5 available one month after IPP.

Quartet 8L2

Designer: Mineyuki Uyematsu
Goal: Separate four identical pieces by explosion, then interlock two colored rings without using force.

Materials: Wood (keyaki jindai, mobingi, pao rosa)
Classification: Put Together, Take Apart


Designer: Albert Gübeli
Goal: Put together, and then take apart the rings.

Materials: Plywood
Classification: ASS-MAT, 3D

Purchase: www.albinegri.ch craft made, 5 puzzles are avaible, price $60.

Really Bent Board Burr

Designer: Derek Bosch
Goal: Disassemble the burr puzzle.; Find one of the two possible ways to reassemble the puzzle.

Materials: Kingwood, holly, East Indian rosewood, tulipwood splines, poplar dowels
Classification: 3.6 - Miscellaneous interlocking solid puzzle

Purchase: Two puzzles are available for sale at $150 from Tom Lensch. More can be made based on demand.

Sailor's Knot

Designer: Erik Johansson
Goal: Untie the knot, then re-tie the knot on the inner part, or vice versa.

Materials: Birch wood and polyester rope
Classification: Disentanglement

Purchase: Please visit www.tankenotter.se for info.

Save the Ninjas!

Designer: Ichiro Kohno
Goal: Remove the ring and Ninja pieces.

Materials: spring, yew, teak, poplar
Classification: Disentanglement

Purchase: ¥2,500yen apiece; 5 available one month after IPP.

Scroll of Iga Ninjas’ Arts

Designer: Ichiro Kohno
Goal: Remove the scroll from the rod, then pass the scroll again through the hole.

Materials: Bottle, yew and teak
Classification: Dexterity

Purchase: ¥1,500yen apiece; 5 available one month after IPP.

Secret of Atlantis

Designer: Pantazis Houlis
Goal: This puzzle has two sides, and each side has a specified solution state. The goal is to go from one solution state to the other and back. ; One solution state (on the one side) shows a picture of two Corinthian columns, and the other solution state (on the other side) shows the picture of a volcano looking at the capital of the city of Atlantis.

Materials: Transparent square plastic tiles with diagonal grooves, connecting strings, and paper tiles inserted between the plastic tiles.
Classification: 5.6 Miscellaneous sequential movement puzzles

Notes: The puzzle is based on the mechanism with square tiles and strings that is used on the Rubik's Magic. A critical difference is that this puzzle uses an odd number of tiles. It is because of the odd number of tiles that this puzzle can never become flat. And it is the same reason that there is no shape-parity, giving the puzzle approximately double the combinations of other even numbered-tile puzzles.

Purchase: Contact the designer. Price is US $75 (not including postage).

Sewing Box

Designer: Shiro Tajima
Goal: Find the hidden needle and string, and then use them to open the hidden drawer.

Materials: Kenponashi
Classification: Take-Apart

Shiroshi Burr

Designer: Hiroshi Mori
Goal: Remove the three burrs from the cubic structure, and then reassemble the cube.

Materials: Wood (hemlock)
Classification: Interlocking, framed burr

Sliding Metamorphosis

Designer: Tsugumitsu Noji
Goal: Slide the pieces to form the Square from the Cross.

Materials: Maple, white ash, bubinga
Classification: Sliding block

Snake Escape

Designer: Kagen Schaefer
Goal: The snakes have escaped! Your job is to pack them all back safely inside the container so you may close the lid.

Materials: Snakewood, prehistoric kauri wood, ebony, maple
Classification: Put together.

Notes: Snakewood is one of the hardest woods in the world. It has a very unique quality of showing a spotted snakeskin figure radiating in all directions. The prehistoric kauri wood is carbon dated somewhere between 30,000 and 50,000 years old. The ancient trees fell long ago and stayed preserved in bogs. Ancient kauri wood is excavated out of the ground in New Zealand.

Purchase: Limited edition of 10 from these materials. Price: $650. Contact designer at www.kagenschaefer.com/.

Switched Maze

Designer: Kirill Grebnev
Goal: At the very beginning the stylus is situated at the START point (left). Hold the handle and try to draw it through the maze to the FINISH point (right) and take it out. ; When the mission is complete, return the stylus to the START—puzzle is ready for a new victim!

Materials: Plexiglas
Classification: Sequential movement puzzle (SEQ)

Purchase: Please visit my web site: puzzle.palyn.ru/, or write me: postmaster@palyn.ru.


Designer: Ludovic Robillard
Goal: Build the various hollow pyramids with the steel balls, as described in the instructions. The tools, extra balls, and holes can all be used as construction aides.

Materials: Hardened steel, PVC, ferrite
Classification: DEX-TOOL / INT-POLY

Purchase: Tamashido is availlable for 32 € + shipping charges at www.gataris.com or though e-mail: ludovic@gataris.com.

Telephone Box

Designer: Brian Young
Goal: The puzzle is to open the telephone box to allow you to have fun with the packing puzzle inside.; To open the telephone box you will need to solve a series of puzzles to find the required tools and work out how to use them to open the door. The pieces packed inside the telephone box spell the words TELEPHONE BOX.

Materials: The telephone box is made from satin sycamore timber and finished with brass hardware. The letters of the telephone box are made from other exotic Australian timbers: T-blush alder, E-grey gum, L-Queensland blackbean, E-grey gum, P-red oak, H-brown quondong, O-saffron heart, N-flooded gum, E-grey gum, b-red oak, o-black wattle, x-blackbutt.
Classification: Telephone box – 2.1 Packing puzzle inside – 1.2

Notes: The box is a replica of a full size 1940’s Queensland PMG telephone box.

Purchase: The puzzle may also be purchased from Mr Puzzle Australia’s website and shipped worldwide.

The Great Pyramid

Designer: Joe Becker
Goal: This is a construction kit for 4-level square-based pyramids. The kit's planar pentaspheres can make many challenging 3D assembly puzzles, including the Great Pyramid—a 7-level pyramid using all 28 pieces.; See The Great Pyramid Problem/Bonus sheet for specific puzzles.

Materials: ping-pong balls
Classification: 3D Put-Together


Designer: Ray Fischer
Goal: To show the relationship between a toroid and an enclosed ring (similar to a Möbius Strip), by rotating the latter 720 degrees.

Materials: Various laminates, rosewood
Classification: Interlocking

Purchase: See webpage www.torbuspuzzles.com. Price ranges from $100 to $300 depending on type of material and percision of cut. Several dozen on hand. There are no other similar puzzles and these are patented.

Torbus and Ring

Designer: Ray Fischer
Goal: Separates into three pieces and assemble as two or three interlocked rings. ; Several interlinked configurations of the three rings can be made without first completely unlinking any one ring.

Materials: Oak, steel
Classification: Take-apart

Purchase: See webpage www.torbuspuzzles.com. Price ranges from $100 to $300 depending on type of material and percision of cut. Several dozen on hand. There are no other similar puzzles and these are patented.

Tornado Burr

Designer: Junichi Yananose
Goal: Disassemble and reassemble the 12-piece burr.

Materials: Magnolia kobus
Classification: Interlocking

Notes: To assemble or disassemble the Tornado Burr, you must twist the group of 4 pieces simultaneously. Also, such a movement should be done for the other group of 4 pieces one more time.; The most important key of the Tornado Burr is the slanted notches. The slanted notches demand that each piece is assembled and disassembled in the proper order. As you can see, the Tornado Burr has very eccentric movements. Try your luck, and stop this fierce tornado.

Torus World

Designer: Nikolay Stanev
Goal: Assemble and disassemble the three pairs of interlocking rings.

Materials: Brass
Classification: Interlocking solid puzzle - geometric objects


Designer: William Waite
Goal: Solve the puzzle in three different ways so that when solved the circles make a different symmetrical pattern each time.

Materials: black walnut and red alder wood
Classification: 1.1 2D assembly puzzle

Notes: Not all solutions have the same type of symmetry.

Purchase: available at www.puzzlemist.com. Price: $20 each.

Void Cube

Designer: Katsuhiko Okamoto
Goal: Scramble the cube, and then restore all faces, like Rubik's Cube. In some cases, it will appear that there is no solution to this cube; it is a second puzzle to figure why this happens.

Materials: ABS resin
Classification: Sequential Movement Puzzles

Notes: There are no center cubes!

Whiz of Oz

Designer: Louis Toorenburg
Goal: Move all four cubes from the corners of a board to the center, and so that the letters showing on the cubes match the letters underneath them. There are five playing boards.; Cubes roll from one square to another. The color on the top of a cube cannot match the color underneath it, and the color on any side of a cube cannot match the color of the corresponding neighboring square (note that the color of an occupied square is that on top of occupying cube, not the board square underneath it, making it possible for cubes to work together).

Materials: Wood, cardboard
Classification: Sequential movement

Purchase: Contact via Labyrinth Woodworks web site.


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