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Deal of the Week: If you've been following the blog for at least the last couple of weeks, then you might have heard about the deal of week. All you have to do is mention the name of my blog with your order at Sloyd's, and you get the discount of this week's featured puzzle. This week, you can get 15% off when you order the IQ9. For a limited time only, the discount will be available for a whole month (March 22nd), so you can combine it with the next few weeks' discounts. Note: The Sloyd puzzle shop will be closed until 4th of March, so all your orders will be processed after that date.
Jean Claude Constantin has a few interesting Packing Puzzles called IQ'plus the number of pieces used'. The one you see here today is the IQ9 (Sloyd has also the IQ17), and this might be the hardest packing puzzle yet. You up for a challenge?
The design of the puzzle is nothing fancy, although I like the different wood tones of the pieces contrasting with the reddish hue of the box. There's no lid on the box, but even if you don't have the puzzle solved, the pieces fit all in the box, albeit over the edge.
As the name suggests , the IQ9 consists of nine wooden pieces that have to be neatly packed inside the box. To give you a good idea of what's going on with this puzzle, let's look at the piece dimensions: The cube, for example, has a volume of 8 units, and the three identical squares have a 4 unit volume. Now, this would be like any ordinary packing puzzle if not for the box's odd dimensions. Looking at the piece dimensions, you'd expect a box with a unit area of 4x4, but that's not the case. The real area of the box is approximately 3.9x3.9 units. See the problem here?
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To solve the puzzle, you need to really think outside the box. The goal is to get all nine pieces inside the box, without showing any parts over the edges. Anything over 1mm is already too much. Any mathematical wiz would probably calculate the solution in a couple of minutes, but since I'm no mathematician, I'm left with rudimentary techniques.
Forget all the usual tactics of simply stacking the pieces in straight angles. I've tried that and failed. I believe the solution is counter-intuitive and involves packing the pieces in diagonals or any other crazy positions. Suffice it to say, I'm yet to solve the puzzle. I have it for almost a year now, and although I've been trying on and off, I must have spent over a dozen hours on this thing, and the result is always the same, failure. This has got to be one of the hardest puzzles I've tried so far since I've started my collection, back in 2008.
If you like crazy-difficult puzzles, almost impossible to solve by a sane person, then the IQ9 is the ultimate puzzle for you. I'd like to hear from folks who solved it, or from those who didn't solve it as well, so I don't feel so stupid.
Availability: You can get a copy of IQ9 at Sloyd.fi for about €22. As usual, you can take advantage of a 15% discount just for mentioning the name of my blog when you place your order. For a limited time, the discount will be available for a whole month (March 22nd), so you combine it with the next few weeks discounts.