This weekend I opted for a “simpler” interlocking cube to navigate. So I decided on Norton Starr’s IPP37 Exchange Puzzle, Coffin’s Four Piece Interlocking Cube, designed by Stewart Coffin, the latter’s design #93. For the several IPPs that I have exchanged puzzles with Norton, he has engaged the services of Bill Sheckels, a fine furniture maker in Greenfield, Massachusetts, USA. Bill Sheckels has his own etsy site called Blackdogpuzzleworks where he sells a range of interesting interlocking puzzles puzzles of his own design, which you don’t usually see elsewhere as well as other other wooden stuff.
The Coffin’s Four Piece Cube is very well made out of white oak and finished with an oil finish to give it a smooth touch and allows the pieces to slide smoothly but remain snug in the solved position. Dimensionally it measures about 6.8cm cube all round. Pretty hefty in the hands. The puzzle comes packed in its own box and even wrapped with orange wrinkled paper. What’s unusual about the puzzle is also that the packaging comes with accompanying notes to the puzzle; which describes the puzzle and gives various references to other publications. A good read for those interested to find out more.
The object of the puzzle is of course to take it apart and put it together again. This is an interlocking cube after all, and the pieces fit so very well that I took a wee bit of time to find the first piece that moves. After that, it was a matter of tugging at the remaining pieces for them to come apart. Putting it back was not so easy if you scramble the pieces and happen to forget the orientation and positioning of each piece.
The other puzzles I have exchanged with Norton include his Octassembly and Packed Pyramid. Both of which are quite different in design from Coffin’s Four Piece Cube. Norton is a retired maths and computer science professor from Amherst College.