This is the second put together puzzle designed by Yael Meron that I have played with (the first being Tel Arad). I must say I really enjoyed this one. I have met Yael Meron, who hails from Israel at the past several IPPs and exchanged puzzles with her. Like the Tel Arad, Chorazin is inspired by ancient landmarks in Israel. “….the name of this puzzle is inspired by the synagogue remains at the ancient village of Chorazin (in Hebrew Korazim) in North Galilee”.
The puzzle measures 5cm x 5cm x 2.6cm and made up of laser cut acrylic and brass pins. Construction fit and finish is excellent with tight tolerances throughout. While Chorazin would probably be classified as a 3D assembly, put-together or 3D packing style puzzle, Like the Tel Arad, Yael has managed to come up with something that is very original in terms of puzzle design, breaking away from the traditional norm of what a packing puzzle we usually expect. With most 3D packing puzzles you put the pieces into a box, sometimes even sliding them within, the Chorazin requites you to rotate linked pieces into a frame from all four sides.
Each of the four pillars holding the top and bottom acrylic plates hold a varying number of little square pieces linked by brass of rivets/pins of varying lengths. The object is to flip or rotate the linked squares and put together the links into the “frame” with nothing sticking out from the sides. The four sets of linked squares move like a chain but some of the linked squares have limited movement. Looking at the way the puzzle has been put together, one cannot but help marvel at the design process (and testing) and all the work that went into the creation and production of the Chorazin. I am not sure if computer assistance was required in the design and I will make it a point to ask Yael when I next meet her.
Initially the puzzle looked to be rather difficult with all the links free-moving and flipping all over the place. It didn’t help that the frame was also loosely connected by the four pillar pins. However, there is a bit of logic to solving and applying the same with some thinking and close observation, I was able to determine how the links rotated, their orientation and the way they should be placed inside the frame. I was stuck towards the end when I had one link which simple refused to go in nicely with the rest but after some re-adjustment to the pieces here and there, the final link rotated into its correct position.
Overall a very fun and nice packing puzzle with just the right amount of difficulty for an Exchange Puzzle. Great design concept!