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Interlocking puzzles have, for me, the same effect as rope puzzles: very interesting designs, beautifully made, challenging to disassemble and a nightmare to put together. With this in mind, it's no wonder that I don't have many interlocking puzzles in my collection, but seeing a puzzle like the one above and quite affordable, mind you, it's rather difficult to resist.
Knotty 6 is designed by the prolific Yavuz Demirhan from Turkey, and manufactured by Pelikan in the Czech Republic. The puzzle is made from very high quality materials and a lot of care went into producing each copy. The wood is dried to 8% moisture, and a lot of varied species of wood are used to have an extensive diversity of colors and textures in their designs.
The puzzle consists of six identical P-shaped pieces, or congruent, and they interlock to form a tight knot, which at first seems impossible to undo. However, the two holes inside allow for the pieces to move in a certain way so it's possible to remove one piece at a time. I found that there are multiple solutions to remove the first piece, as seen in the pictures below, which indicate that any of the three colored pieces can be the first, although the solution is identical in all three occasions. The pieces move by sliding them one unit at a time. You need two moves to remove the first piece and another two to remove the second. No rotations needed.
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Like mentioned above, taking the puzzle apart is not the most difficult part. I actually prefer to disassemble it...but, like most puzzles in this category, the real challenge comes when you try to put it together again. First you have to visualize how the shape of puzzle comes together. This is easily done by taking a picture before disassemble it. Then, you have to figure out how to combine the pieces so they interlock in the right way - Easier said than done.
Having fiddle with the puzzle for over two hours I gave up and went to look its solution up. After seeing the solution I felt a bit stupid for not figuring it out for myself sooner, as it looked pretty simple. This is rated as a level 7/10, but I guess it depends a lot on how comfortable you feel about solving this type of puzzles. I reckon it's quite easy for an experienced puzzler, but very challenging for a beginner like me.
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Puzzles like the Knotty 6 are some of the most beautiful interlocking puzzles out there. For a collector, even if you're intimidated by these puzzles, it's really worth having one... or more puzzles from Yavuz.
Availability: The Knotty 6 is available at PuzzleMaster for just $19 CAD. You can also check out other beautiful designs by Yavuz Demirhan or made by Pelikan.