Two years back, I had great fun with and was able to solve without help, Vladimir Krasnoukkov’s AntiSlide Tetramino puzzle. Hence, I didn’t think that this latest anti slide puzzle in my collection, the Grid Lock would pose too much of a problem. How wrong I was!
Gridlock was Jerry Slocum’s IPP37 Exchange Puzzle at Paris last year. A nice soft spoken elderly gentleman whom I have had the great pleasure of meeting since I started attending IPPs in 2013. Jerry Slocum is the “founder” of the IPP, first established 30 years ago, back in 1978 . He hosted the first gathering in the living room of his Californian home for a handful of collectors. Since then, the modern IPP today has grown in numbers and today, attendance at each event is anywhere between 400 to 500 people, hosted in different countries around the planet. For some history of the IPP and other interesting facts, click here.
anti slide or anti solution?
The Gridlock was the combined brian child of three persons; Brian Young, Junichi Yananose and William Hu. How did three guys come together to design something like that? Well, according to Sue Young (Brian’s wife), she said that “the puzzle started out as William’s idea. But it didn’t work properly. At that time Juno (Junichi) was working here with us and him and Brian started playing with it and over time it ended up looking like something quite different. But all 3 guys had a hand in the final product so that’s how we put the designers down”.
There is nothing very unusual in the physical look and feel of the Gridlock. The puzzle consists of a tray with 6 pieces, the latter which look pretty simple and ordinary as well. All made of acrylic. Construction, fit and finish of the puzzle is pretty decent. The tray (and pieces) have all the details of the puzzle etched onto them. Gridlock was produced by Mr Puzzle of Australia.
The goal of this anti slide puzzle is as what it’s name suggest. To place the 6 pieces into the tray in such a way that not a single piece will slide in any direction within the tray. If you look at the solution of AntiSlide Tetramino mentioned above, you will understand what I mean by not being able to slide in any direction.
Like I mentioned, I (severely) underestimated the level of difficulty of the puzzle. The initial hours (yes, hours, not minutes) I spent on this puzzle yielded only one solution which I thought to be the correct one. Unfortunately, upon checking with Brian (and Sue), it was apparently very close but not quite. Brian and Sue even sent me photos of some rather outrageous solutions from other puzzlers (no names mentioned) which I must admit were rather ingenious, if a bit off-tracked.
The next several days I emailed to Sue and Brian a further two solutions I came up with. But as luck would have it, they were both still not the intended solution. I must state at this point that the correct/intended solution is the one the puzzle exchanger or designer submits for the IPP Exchange Puzzle Book. This book features all the exchange puzzles with puzzles and solutions, names etc for each particular IPP.
As of the date of this post, I am still trying to figure out the correct way the pieces fit inside the tray. I am still no nearer than when I first started. I mean, how many ways can there be to fit the pieces into the tray without sliding? Below are three of what I thought were the solutions for Gridlock…which are ALL INCORRECT.