Slide Elox

Posted on by Gabriel | 4 comments
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(Click to Enlarge)
Jean Claude Constantin has spoiled us over the years with his creations, with high quality puzzles and beautiful designs. As if all this wasn't already good enough, it seems this time he outdid himself. His new line of puzzles goes a step further in the quality department and the result pops out right in front of your eyes.

The Slide Elox is one of three puzzles currently being made with anodized metal. The other being the Nur 8 and the Farbenspiel 6x6. This material in contrast with the black frame makes an exquisite and unmatched striking colorful effect. Acrylic is also used for the sliding pieces, creating a perfect harmony with the metal and the laser-cut wood. The movement of the pieces is quite smooth against the wooden frame, providing a rather satisfying experience.

There are 16 small cylinders neatly placed around the perimeter of the frame, while inside, eight acrylic pieces have to be arranged so that the larger cylinders match with the same colors on the frame. With only a small gap in the frame to slide the pieces around, this will prove to be quite a challenge.

(Click to Enlarge)
Speaking of a challenge. There are actually eight of them for you to solve. Each challenge has a different starting position, meaning more moves as the level of difficulty increases, but they all share the same solution. This has been such an incredibly difficult puzzle that I only managed to solve one out of eight so far. I solved the level 2, while the level 1 has me stumped with only the two small squares being in a parity problem, where their positions are opposite one another.

Not surprisingly, this is rated as a difficulty level 9/10, as this is not your average sliding puzzle. One of the reasons is that the pieces have different orientations, where some move horizontally and others move vertically. The two small squares move more freely, but they still have their limitations when moving around the frame. It's truly a great challenge.

(Click to Enlarge) - Challenge 1 - Starting and Ending Positions

Closing Comments:

I'm a big fan of sliding puzzles. And when you combine one of my favorite puzzle designers and a beautiful, close to perfect, presentation it all clicks together in a one of a kind puzzle. The Slide Elox is now one of my favorite Constantin puzzles.

Availability: The Slide Elox is available from PuzzleMaster for $54.99 CAD. Check out also other great puzzles by Constantin.


Tom Cutrofello said...

Looks like a beauty. I've been wanting to meet this guy for about 30 years.

Gabriel said...

Indeed. And the others made from the same material look just as great. In the same club, would like to meet him some day.

Unknown said...

This was my Christmas gift.. Really a great puzzle. BUT There is a mistake on the provided sheet about the colours starting position..You should always invert the 2 single blocks (orange and red ones) before starting, for the solution to be possibile. I checked online with a software (slide puzzle solver). Here the number of moves for each level: 1=32, 2=56, 3=76, 4=120, 5=132, 6=141, 7=167, 8=195. I posted this here because didn't find any other review of this puzzle. Hope that helps. Best

Gabriel said...

Thanks. I was wondering why I always got to the parity problem at the end.
They should've checked the sheet for mistakes.

Cheers ;-)

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