Ziggurat

Posted on by Gabriel | 2 comments
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Ziggurat is a very nice exclusive puzzle sold at Puzzle Crafthouse and was designed by Mike Czerwinski. The puzzle is based on the shape of an ancient Mesopotamian temple with a flat top and four sloping sides.

The Ziggurat puzzle is entirely made of wood, pieces and tray, and measures about 15 square centimeters (6"). There are nine dissimilar pieces, each with a total of four to nine links distributed on its four sides. The object of the puzzle is to link all towers in a 3x3 square so that they're all connected by at least one link to each adjacent tower.

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The design of the puzzle is very well done and quite original. It's hard to imagine any other similar puzzles that have this unusual shaped pieces. One of the things I like most about the puzzle is that it has multiple levels of difficulty. I have to say that when I first tried it, I thought it had only one level, although I was rather suspicious when I solved the puzzle within 10 minutes. Sure, I could have been lucky the first time, but when I solved it a second time with approximately the same amount of time, it was too good to be true.

After I read the description, I discovered that indeed, it had three difficulty levels, and the two solutions I had just found were only a fraction of the 5.130 possible ones for the 1st level. Note that in order to solve level 1, you only need to have at least one link connecting all adjacent towers. The outer links are not important for the solution. Below is a picture of a level 1 solution.

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A couple of minutes later, I recovered from the disappointment and started to rearrange the piece layout to see if I'd find one of the possible 2.704 solutions for level two. It didn't take long either, and it probably took another 10 minutes or so. The good thing was that it wasn't necessary to remove all pieces from the tray, so a few piece swaps and it was solved. In level two, you now need to have at least two link sections connecting each adjacent tower. You can see below one of the level 2 solutions.

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The fun part, or grueling part, depending on your mood, is when you attempt to solve a level three solution... And to complicate things worse, there won't be thousands of solutions to find, but only a mere two. Here, you have to link all adjacent towers with three links. Given the complexity of the piece arrangement needed to accomplish this, it's no wonder that Puzzle Crafthouse has it among their highest rated puzzles, at 5+. In case you're wondering... No, I haven't solved this level yet. I did tried for about an hour, but gave up for now. I'm quite happy with the solutions I found and it won't be in the unsolved category. Thank you Mike, for the multiple levels of difficulty, otherwise this would've been a whole different story.

The Ziggurat is solely available at Puzzle Crafthouse for about $23 USD.

Closing Comments:

The Ziggurat by Mike Czerwinski is a brilliant concept with everything a good puzzle should have. The multiple levels of difficulty make it accessible to any puzzler, casual or experienced, and with more solutions than you will ever find, it's great to have around for a dull moment. Highly recommended for a packing puzzle fan.

2 comments:

Jorbs3210 said...

What do you mean by "link," exactly? It's hard to tell from just the pictures...

Gabriel said...

Hi, Imagine the top of the pieces as a perfect square. The links are those protrusions hanging out from the edges of the pieces. You have to connect the pieces by combining and arranging them so that you can fit all of them in the tray.

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