Neil's Puzzle Building Blog
29Jul/110

Cube Vinco

Cube Vinco is a beautifully made puzzle from Vaclav Obsivac. This modest wooden puzzle unlike many other of Vinco's puzzles is not a coordinate motion, but rather a take apart puzzle, and is made just as well as any of the other items he sells. I got this one from Puzzle Master, for around $15, or you can get it from Vinco directly.

Cube Vinco

Cube Vinco

This is one of the smaller puzzles from Vinco at only 1 3/4" cubed. The woods used are fairly plain, however the workmanship is excellent. Each of the four pieces fits together very tightly, so that although the seams are easily visible, determining how to take this puzzle apart is not obvious.

One of the nice features of the way this puzzle is created is that most people when they pick it up will hold it such that as they pull on the sides to try to free the pieces, they will actually be holding onto both sides of the same piece, and in fact holding it even more firmly together, making separation impossible. Even when you know how the pieces go together, it takes a few tries to be able to find the correct finger hold to be able to start moving the pieces apart.

Cube Vinco Halves

Cube Vinco Halves

The puzzle is made up of four pieces, which are a set of two mirrored pairs. The only way to put the puzzle together is to create these pairs, then in turn join them together to create the finished cube.

Cube Vinco Halves

Cube Vinco Pieces

Without seeing the pieces being taken apart, this could be a difficult puzzle to put together, even with only four pieces. In fact when taking it apart, due to the very snug fit of the pieces, more often than not, the pieces fly apart in your hands (and across the room) so you're not going to see how the pieces were assembled.

Puzzle Master rates this as a Level 8/10 puzzle - Demanding, however I have to think this is a little high. While it's nicely made, quoting Stewart Coffin, "It is more of an amusement than a puzzle" ( taken from "The Puzzling World of Polyhedral Dissections"). That said, I still think this is a great puzzle to own, and at such a low price how can you resist adding it to your collection!

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