|(Click to Enlarge)|
Usually, I don't go for Burrs very often, not because I don't like this type of puzzle, but because they can really put my patience to the test. Some of them are great works of art made by extremely talented craftsmen, and the Satellite is a good example of this. Also known as Knobbly Burr, the puzzle was designed by Dic Sonneveld way back in 1975. Several different versions were made of it and the one I have is available from the folks over at Brilliant Puzzles.
The Satellite is not your typical Burr puzzle, with notched sticks. The six pieces are interlocked by a series of sequential movements, similar to the solving process of the more traditional Burr, but instead it uses an alternate interlocking mechanism. The result is rather interesting, providing a whole different experience.
|(Click to Enlarge) - First Move|
The striking design of the puzzle is what really drew my attention in the first place. The intricate pattern of each of the six faces is stunning, with a mix of straight and curved lines, creating a beautiful symmetry seldom seem in puzzle design. The puzzle is also unusually large, with a diameter of 14cm (5.5"), but still comfortable enough to manipulate.
|(Click to Enlarge) - Partially Disassembled|
The Satellite has a rating level of 4/5, which is challenging, but not crazy difficult like other Burrs. As with most Burr puzzles I've tried so far, taking them apart is usually easier than it is to reassemble them. Much to my surprise, both disassembling and reassembling were easier than I expected. I took about 10 minutes to do solve both challenges, although reassembling was slightly trickier, as I was unsure which sequence of pieces I should've followed. Dexterity certainly plays a major part in the reassembling, because the puzzle seems to conspire against you and doesn't want to be solved, falling apart at any given opportunity. The trick for an easier assembly is to connect the pieces in two groups of three pieces and finally join them in a two-move sequence.
|(Click to Enlarge)|
I loved everything about the Satellite puzzle. The design, the concept, the right level of difficulty, all combined to provide a really enjoyable puzzling experience. This one gave me extra confidence to try other Burr puzzles in the future, maybe a tad more difficult even...