Thursday, May 13, 2010

Hachette 3D Puzzle 118

It's kind of funny how you can punish yourself for something someone else does "wrong". I went in to Shosen Book Tower on May 9, hoping that Gakken's new microcontroller kit might have hit the shelves early. When it turned out not to be the case, I picked up Hachette 3D puzzle mook volume 119 just to see what it was. After playing with the kit, and solving some of the Japanese puzzles from the mook (which is a great way to test your understanding of the language), I argued myself into getting another "3D jigsaw" style puzzle some time in the near future. As mentioned before, most of the Hachette mook puzzles are mind benders rather than assembly challenges, and I don't care for the mind benders that much (such as the one where you've got various flat geometric pieces and you need to arrange them to form a heart).

But, and this is where it gets a little perverted... I developed the argument that I'd go into the book store every day now, starting on the 11th, and if the Gakken kit still isn't in, I'd get a Hachette puzzle instead. As sort of a punishment to Gakken for missing their original tentative mid-April release date. Yeah, I know, makes absolutely perfect sense if the only goal was to buy 3D puzzle mooks.

Guess what. The Gakken kit wasn't in, so I walked out with #118, the wooden cross and frame puzzle. This one is also deceptively simple, when you know the trick. Otherwise, it can take quite a while to figure it out. I like it for its elegance.

The mook for #118 is very similar to #119. The first 2 pages talk about the current kit, then there's a description of roulette, followed by a spotlight on the board game Truckers. Another classic painting used as a memory game, then two pages of number/logic brain teasers (including the 12-digit Sudoku and a game where you have to list all of the kanji that have identical readings to some other kanji). The last three pages give the solution for puzzle kit #117, the above-mentioned heart.

At the moment, all Shoshen has that I'm even remotely interested in is #120, a collection of discs with pegs and matching holes, with the goal of stacking the discs to make a tower that doesn't fall over. I've seen this one before but I may get it anyway just to challenge my co-workers for a bit. After that, I may have to go into Kinokuniya to see if there's other, older kits to "punish" myself with. Curse you, Gakken, may this be a lesson to you!

Memory game (this is the picture used in vol. 118, Paul Gauguin's "Arearea"). Quickly glance at the painting and then look away. Without looking at the painting again, answer the following questions: 1) How many people are in the painting? 2) How many are wearing white? 3) How many animals are in the painting? 4) What color is the road? 5) For the person sitting in front, which hand do they have extended?

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