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 Post subject: Sword in the Soma
PostPosted: Wed Oct 16, 2013 2:08 pm 
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Joined: Sun Mar 15, 2009 12:00 am
Location: Jarrow, England
This puzzle is a combination of an assembly puzzle and a burr puzzle. It was designed by Steve Johnson and was inspired by Steve Winter's Soma's Revenge. The Soma's Revenge constsis of 14 parts, six "inner" and six "outer", which are all based on the classic Soma pieces, all of which have to be pushed together, then slid like burrs to form the final cube.

The Sword in the Soma has 15 pieces, the extra piece being the sword.
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Again, all parts except the sword are based on the classic Soma pieces. The large coloured parts are standard pieces, with the addition of slots and cavities which are just big enough so that the inner black pieces can be interted into them.
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Originally the "sword" was just a plain bar, so I jazzed it up a bit and added a hilt:
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There is just one solution in which all of the pieces can be put together and then the sword inserted almost all of the way through. It the burr terminology it is classified as a 1.1.1.1.2.1.1.2.2.3.2.3.4 (= 25 moves) puzzle and Ken describes it as "very difficult".

This puzzle (with Ken's permission) is for sale on my Shapeways Shop.

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 Post subject: Re: Sword in the Soma
PostPosted: Wed Oct 16, 2013 2:24 pm 
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Joined: Thu Feb 03, 2005 12:26 pm
Location: Mainz, Germany
Very nice! :)

I received a nice new wooden burr puzzle with a sword for my collection recently: Excalibur by Stephan Baumegger: http://puzzles.schwandtner.info/puzzle_1337.html

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This one has 9 pieces in a box, one of them being the sword. Takes 79 moves for the first piece to remove, 17 more for the second one.

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 Post subject: Re: Sword in the Soma
PostPosted: Wed Oct 16, 2013 2:38 pm 
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Joined: Sun Mar 15, 2009 12:00 am
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There are some beautifully made wooden puzzles around, I wish I could afford them :cry: BTW, this puzzle has 100 solutions where the sword cannot be inserted all of the way in.

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 Post subject: Re: Sword in the Soma
PostPosted: Wed Oct 16, 2013 2:43 pm 
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That is an interesting aspect. Do you also have a picture with the puzzle assembled, including the sword? :)

I also like the colorful appearance!

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 Post subject: Re: Sword in the Soma
PostPosted: Wed Oct 16, 2013 2:55 pm 
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goetz wrote:
That is an interesting aspect. Do you also have a picture with the puzzle assembled, including the sword? :)
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File comment: Solved
Sword in the Soma.png
Sword in the Soma.png [ 1.52 MiB | Viewed 1059 times ]

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 Post subject: Re: Sword in the Soma
PostPosted: Wed Oct 16, 2013 3:31 pm 
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Location: Mainz, Germany
Thanks for the picture. I noticed it is a different assembly than in the second picture above. It's interesting to see that the assembly with the sword does not have any external openings, but a closed surface. That information might help to solve it.

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 Post subject: Re: Sword in the Soma
PostPosted: Wed Oct 16, 2013 4:09 pm 
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Joined: Thu Dec 02, 2004 12:09 pm
Location: Missouri
Nice looking puzzle and a good price for a Shapeways puzzle. I also like the single solution.

May I ask how you colored the pieces? The came out very nice and I'm currently exploring different coloring options for SF&F so I was curious about the method used here.

Thanks,
Carl

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 Post subject: Re: Sword in the Soma
PostPosted: Wed Oct 16, 2013 5:25 pm 
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Joined: Sun Mar 15, 2009 12:00 am
Location: Jarrow, England
Thanks for the comments guys.
wwwmwww wrote:
May I ask how you colored the pieces? The came out very nice and I'm currently exploring different coloring options for SF&F so I was curious about the method used here.
I coloured the pieces using Rit dye + white vinegar. Since I was colouring only two pieces at a time I used just enough water to cover them + less than a quarter a teaspoon (you can always add a little more if the colour looks washed out) full of dye + 3 caps of vinegar. Also, I only boiled them (with the lid on the pan as much as possible to stop the vinegar from boiling off) until I achieved the colour I wanted - colouring too long leads to very saturated colours which tend to be too dark - for these pieces the dyeing time was between 10-20 minutes.

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 Post subject: Re: Sword in the Soma
PostPosted: Fri Oct 18, 2013 11:50 am 
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Joined: Thu Oct 27, 2011 4:39 pm
Brilliant Puzzle! I love the use of the sword as a piece to give this puzzle a nice theme. The colors for the parts turned out really nice - thanks for including your "recipe" for successful dying.

I was pleased to hear that my SOMA's Revenge was an inspiration for Sword in the SOMA and happy to see another member added to the classic SOMA puzzle line.

This will make an awesome challenge to puzzlers everywhere!

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Inventor of Ethereal Maze Puzzles - A new type of 3D rolling ball maze puzzle
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 Post subject: Re: Sword in the Soma
PostPosted: Wed Nov 13, 2013 7:00 am 
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Joined: Wed Oct 23, 2013 7:39 am
The basic construction of this puzzle used the standard Soma Cube pieces which can be put together to form a 3x3x3 cube in 240 different ways.


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