RAYA BOX No. 1 – Yavuz Demirhan

Today, I have a wonderful packing puzzle from Yavuz Demirhan. It’s the first puzzle I’ve worked on from Yavuz, but it certainly won’t be the last. (EDIT: I’m wrong – one of my favorites, Octo Cube was designed by Yavuz – you can read that post here) Raya Box No. 1 is the first in a series of 7 Raya packing puzzles available at his Etsy Store HERE.

These puzzles come from Turkey, so be prepared to wait a while if you order from his store. I placed an order on February 1 and just received the box yesterday – so it took a little over a month to arrive. It’s worth the wait though. These puzzles are inexpensive, but still well made and very fun to solve. I also ordered No. 2 and No. 7, though I have yet to even unbox those.

Pack it up, pack it in.

This packing puzzle consists of a rectangular box with restricted openings. There are 6 pieces that must be placed inside the box – 3 “L” shaped pieces and 3 square pieces. The puzzle also comes with a storage bag. I really like that the bag and the box both have the puzzle name on them. This greatly helps my organization. As my collection grows, it becomes difficult to remember the names of the puzzles and the designers – I usually end up searching my emails for receipts or the archives of various puzzle websites to re-discover the name and/or objective of puzzles that I have neglected or forgotten about.

It took me about an hour to solve this one, and I usually struggle with packing puzzles, but for some reason, this one felt very approachable.

I began by trying to assemble the pieces into the required shape outside the box. Most times, with these packing puzzles, I can flip the box over and assemble on the bottom. The edges of the box keep the pieces constrained to the correct dimensions and I find this easier than assembling on a table.

After a bit of struggle, I managed to find a configuration that was the right size and shape. Yay, I thought. Now, I just had to put the pieces into the box. I tried a few times, but it quickly became apparent that the pieces would not fit in this configuration. That darn restricted plexiglass opening wouldn’t allow the pieces to go in as I wanted. I tried flipping the whole shape over to see if they would go in that way. No luck. I persisted for a while, but eventually, I had to give up and go to bed.

One of the many configurations available.

The next day, I tried again. This time, I decided to see if there were any more ways to make the required shape. Ah ha! I found another way to make the cube and once again tried to fit the pieces into the box. And once again I failed. But, I felt I was on to something. The restricted opening makes it clear that the square piece will have to go in last – there just isn’t room for the final piece to be an “L” shaped block.

Back to the drawing board, I took the last configuration and altered it slightly. I could envision how it was going to work if I could just get the first few pieces in correctly. Sure enough I found a way and YES, it worked! That was pretty cool.

No spoilers here. Blurred for your safety.

I’d call this one a moderately difficult packing puzzle. It’s not easy by any means, but it isn’t super tricky either. I think a novice puzzler with enough time would be able to figure it out and an experienced packer could get it done in under an hour – maybe quicker if they really thought about it instead of just trial and error.

If you haven’t already, please check out Yavuz’s Etsy page. As I type this, there are still a number of puzzles available.