Posted on Jun 6, 2013 by Gabriel | 0 comments
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Václav Obšivač (Vinco) is a master of Coordinate-Motion puzzles. Most of his designs use this interesting technique, which is the only way to solve them. Diagra, which by the way is a very nice name for a puzzle, makes use of coordinated motions to solve it into several different shapes. For more info on Coordinate-Motion puzzles, check John Rausch's website.

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Diagra is comprised of eight unusual pieces. No two pieces have the same arrangement, which makes it even more difficult than already is. The main challenge is to assemble the pieces into a perfect cube, and you'll be forced to do this, since the puzzle comes in a box with the pieces taken apart. However, the cube is only one of many possible shapes you can achieve with the eight pieces. There are ten shapes included in the leaflet, but I believe you can attempt to create much more than that. Just use your own imagination. The only rule is that no hooks shall be showing on the outside of the shape.

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The puzzle is very well made, with different kinds of natural wood, which provides a beautiful palette of colors and contrasts. It's not a big puzzle, but still very easy to manipulate, measuring 6.5cm in diameter (about 2.5").

This is not an easy puzzle to solve, and even the basic cube shape is quite difficult to assemble. I spent about an hour just to solve the cube, and after gaining some courage I attempted to build another shape. It took a little less, but still more than I was expecting. I found it extremely difficult to find the right connection between the pieces. I always ended up short of two or three pieces that didn't fit into the shape I was trying to. The shape I ended up solving first was not my first choice, as I was constantly trying a different one until I was lucky enough to make the L-shape. I also photographed a second shape, besides the cube, but I had to look up its solution. My patience had reached its limit...

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If the puzzle wasn't difficult enough to solve already, the coordinated motions make it even harder. You can start to assemble any shape piece by piece, but as you progress you figure out that it's impossible to fit the last two or three pieces individually. They need to be slid into place simultaneously. Now, which pieces should do that, that's another matter you need to figure out, so some trial and error is needed.

Closing Comments:

Vinco's puzzles are always a pleasure to add to my collection, and Diagra is a superb design that deserves its place in any puzzle collection. As for solving it, prepare to some serious puzzling, because this is a level 5/5. Nevertheless, it's quite rewarding to solve one or more shapes on your own.

Availability: The Diagra came from Brilliant Puzzles, but at the moment it's out of stock. They have another similar one, the Prism Halfcube, or if you really want this one you can try to contact Vinco directly. You can also check out other puzzles from Vinco available from Brilliant Puzzles.


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