Symmetric Shape Puzzles

Spir Ala Rips Symmetric Shape Puzzle designed by Vesa Timonen and exchanged by Tomas Linden at IPP37 in Paris

The IPP37 Puzzle Exchange  saw no less than half a dozen or so symmetric shape puzzles. These and other similar style ones have become increasingly popular for puzzlers and designers in recent years. Especially so after Symmetrick, an innocuous looking two piece puzzle by Vesa Timonen got a Top 10 Vote Getter during the IPP33 Puzzle Design Competition.

The three symmetric shape puzzles I played with over this weekend came to me courtesy of Tomas Linden, Nick Baxter and Emrehan Halici.  They are the Spir Ala Rips (above photo), French Revolution and 3 Pieces 9 Symmetric Shapes respectively. All three were exchange puzzles from the three gents during IPP37 in Paris last year.


Not sure what the name means but Vesa Timonen seems to have done it again. Again just two pieces  but this time with one hole in each piece. The goal is to place the pieces flat on a table such that the resulting shape can be bisected into two identical shapes. I absolutely had no luck with this one but did however enjoy the nice strong woody scent emanating from the Curly Birch used to produce this puzzle.

Spir Ala Rips Symmetric Shape Puzzle designed by Vesa Timonen and exchanged by Tomas Linden at IPP37 in Paris

French Revolution

French colours adorned here of course. Consisting of four pieces, one blue and three red, the goal is to form three possible symmetrical shapes using a combination of the blue piece and any two of the three red pieces. As of this post, I only managed to  find one of the  three possible solutions. Like the name suggest, I kept going round in circles to no avail. The other two shapes have eluded me thus far.

French Revolution designed and exchanged by Nick Baxter at IPP37 in Paris

French Revolution symmetric shape puzzle designed and exchanged by Nick Baxter

3 Pieces 9 symmetric shapes

A straight forward self-explanatory name for the puzzle but this one is anything by straight forward. And the puzzle consist of only three pieces. The goal is to form 9 symmetric shapes but after two days of play, I managed only to form 3 shapes…a rather dismal result percentage if I may add.

3 Pieces 9 Symmetric Shapes designed and exchanged by Emrehan Halici of Turkey


Now this one is from me, yes! SYM-353 was my exchange puzzle at IPP37. Why the “353”? Well, it consist of three pieces; two with 3 sides and one with 5 sides. Sym 353 was a  design collaboration between Stanislav Knot of the Czech Republic and me. My original design had just one solution (as I intended). But Stan saw my design and thought the three pieces could form another symmetrical shape. With some adjustments to the shapes, this proved to be true. Little did we realise that there were two more possible solutions when I sent the puzzle to Ken Johnson of Canada and Rex Perez of Philippines for testing. Each of them came up with a new and different solution, resulting in a total of 4 possible solutions.

SYM 353 designed by Jerry Loo and Stan Knot, exchanged at IPP37 in Paris

SYM - 353 designed by Stanislav Knot & Jerry Loo. exchanged by Jerry Loo at IPP37 in Paris
Diagram and proportion measurements courtesy of Stanislav Knot, Czech Republic

4 thoughts on “Symmetric Shape Puzzles

  1. Carlos Luna says:

    Sym-353 is really interesting. I’ve found the 4 solutions too. Did you manage to proof that there are just 4?

    And regarding the French Revolution Puzzle… I’ve found three solutions with revolution symmetry (one of them also has mirror symmetry, indeed). Since “revolution” is in the name it is quite possible that these are the 3 correct solutions but I’m a little bit dissapointed because I expected mirror symmetry in all of them… Could you confirm if “revolution symmetry” is the goal of this puzzle?

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