Who do you immediately think of when you hear the term Coordinate-Motion? For me, it has to be Václav Obšivač (Vinco). It’s true, most of his designs use the same basic mechanism and solving technique, but who cares, right? His creations are among the best you can see from independent craftsmen. I only wish I had more…
The latest addition to my collection is the E Box, a three-piece puzzle where the goal is to take it apart and reassemble it back to its original cubic form. Vinco always uses high-quality wood in his puzzles and this one is no exception. It’s also surprisingly small, measuring only 5cm in diameter (2″). Nevertheless, it won’t be because of its size you’ll have trouble solving it.
The outside of the puzzle, for someone that doesn’t know Vinco’s puzzles very well, looks like a three-piece Burr puzzle, which would have a completely different way of solving it. By knowing Vinco’s work, however, you already know what to expect and as such, the solving process takes a little less longer. You still need to find the correct way to separate the pieces, though, and since you’re working with a coordinate-motion puzzle you’ll need to do it simultaneously for all three pieces.
The difficulty of the puzzle is not very high, but still tricky especially in the reassembling process. Vinco has a rating of 3/5 and PuzzleMaster classifies it as a level 8/10. I don’t think it’s that challenging though, but then again, I already solved quite a few similar ones from Vinco, so this might have helped me a little.
When you pick up the puzzle for the first time you’ll hear a rattle inside indicating there’s something loose inside. That’s actually a small sphere put there to add a little extra challenge for the reassembly. When you try to put the pieces back together you’ll need to put the sphere back in before sliding the pieces all the way in. There’s only a small window of space where you can do this, and taking into account that it takes a bit of dexterity to align the three pieces so they slide all together, it can take you a few extra attempts.
Like always, it’s a pleasure to add a Vinco puzzle to my collection. Even though he mostly uses the same mechanism, his designs are quite diverse and use a lot of different wood types and color tones. It’ll be a long while before you can say you have all of his distinct designs.
The E Box is an excellent choice if you’re just starting with coordinate-motion puzzles. I’m sure it won’t be your last coordinate-motion puzzle or Vinco puzzle.
Availability: You can get a copy of the E Box at PuzzleMaster for $16 CAD. For other Vinco puzzles, you can browse their dedicated Vinco page with a wide variety of designs.