Stand Py Me is a new puzzle from Gregory Benedetti. It’s familiar shape is similar to Stewart Coffin’s Three Piece Puzzle, however it comes as four pieces (plus the stand) not three, and every bit as challenging to solve.
This version was made by Eric Fuller, and stands at 2.75″ with a Wenge frame and Zebrawood and Maple blocks to make the pyramid shape. Gregory comments that the name is a play on words; the Py, not coming from Pi (3.14159265…) but Pyramid. It’s as though a Pyramid is saying “Put me on a stand”. Well regardless of how it was named, it’s a fun name, and really fun puzzle.
The blocks which make up the puzzle are all joined on a half face or quarter face making for some interestingly shaped pieces. The puzzle is made significantly harder by the addition of the frame. It’s fairly easy to create a pyramid of the blocks outside the frame, but doing it so that the pieces are captured inside the frame is a lot tougher.
To get all the pieces in place, you need to move them around much like a standard Burr puzzle, which leads to a 5.1.2 solution. In case you’re not familiar that means 5 moves to insert the first piece, one for the second and 2 for the third. So it’s a tricky puzzle, and took me around 40 minutes to solve it the first time. Now knowing how the pieces fit it takes just a few seconds, although I keep putting the pieces in ‘upside down’ so I don’t end up with the Zebrawood pieces in the corners the way it was made to be.
Having solved it, I modeled the puzzle in Burr Tools, and it confirms the 5.1.2 difficulty, and also points out that there are 2 solutions (not including rotations) but only one assembly.
Eric made 30 copies of Gregory’s design and has signed and dated them. I picked mine up at a recent Puzzle Paradise auction, although they all went very quickly. This is a really well made puzzle, and the choice of woods really shows it off well.
Interestingly, the puzzle doesn’t hold itself inside the stand overly well, and wants to fall out of the gaps, meaning that you really need to turn it upside down and hang it to get it to keep its shape. Not a problem, but it is something that even Gregory admits himself.