By Klaus Kestel
1 January at 23:06
IPP Puzzle No. 67: EGYPTIAN PYRAMID 2
The first review in 2015 is a work from greek puzzle designer Michail Toulouzas. I am quite sure he is well known amongst the puzzlers all over the world and that is not only for winning several prices for his ideas (which I hope I can also review some day), no, because not only the great puzzle ideas are outstanding; he is also supposed to be one of the best craftsmen in the entire puzzle world. Self-speaking there is much more demand for his puzzles than he is able to produce (everything is manufactured in his leisure time) and consequently he made me extremely happy when he came back to me one day and informed about the availability of a few puzzles I was asking for. EGYPTIAN PYRAMID 2 was his entry puzzle in 2004's IPP Design Competition and I got the chance to buy a copy for 80 Euros (I believe the woods used are determining the cost, so please do not take this as a fixed price). EGYPTIAN PYRAMID 2 is a 3D assembly puzzle and the objective is simply to put the 7 dissimilar and non-symetrick pieces back in the tray and form a pyramid. Sounds easy, huh? Nowhere near dear puzzle friends. As a quite non-experienced puzzler like I am, I started and searched for plain pieces to create the bottom layer of the pyramid.....no plain bottom, Gentlemen! OK, after a while I could recall that the pyramid looked like to start (the visible part) flush with the upper edges of the tray and then I tried my luck with this approach. I have to admit I made some progress with the new strategy but ending up a dozen times with a nice and seemingly correct bottom layer but could not finish the pyramid due to two pieces (once just one was missing) did not fit! As a result it means nothing else than Mike smartly cut the pieces/dissected the pyramid in a way that nearly all pices fit with others perfectly but the final shape cannot be reached. After 3 days and about a total of 4-5 hours I finally solved his puzzle and felt immediately the adrenaline rush in my veines - got it! As far as difficulty goes, it is mentioned on the puzzle certificate - which accompanies each of Mike's puzzle's - as "moderate - hard". I feel this is a good judgment and I personally rate it a 8 out of 10. Now, I spoke about the really cool idea of realizing a challenging puzzle BUT the very best aspect, and believe me I have NEVER faced something before, is the smoothness of the woods (my specific puzzle was made out of Walnut, Eucalyptus, Ebony and Maple). In the first instance I could not believe we are talking about wood at all. I am absolutely euphoric about his craftmen skills and, having also works from the famous Robert Yarger, Kagen Sound and others at home, can tell you that this is the VERY BEST quality puzzle I reviewed and played with till today. So which other final resumee can you expect than an absolute purchase recommendation! If you should ever been offered a puzzle from this man I beg you should do the investment. As I mentioned earlier his time for producing puzzles is limited so that you will rarely have a chance to get your hands on one of his works, but the good news is that he recently supervised/and realized an own new puzzle project called DOORS AND DRAWERS with the new Pelikan Workshop and Bernhard Schweitzer which consequently means that a bigger number of one of his creations was (or still is) on the market for a very reasonable price. Who knows, may be this will happen again and by then you should have definitely spared some money!!!!!