Wave Puzzle 7 – Yuu Asaka

I am super excited for this one! I’ve been eyeing these acrylic puzzles designed by Yuu Asaka for quite some time now. They are very intriguing to me for a few different reasons and I can’t wait to get started.

I’ve done a ton of jigsaw puzzles in my day and so these seem in the same vein. They are 2D and essentially comprised of puzzle pieces, however, Asaka’s puzzles must fit into a tray, so they are also packing puzzles. I really haven’t done any 2D puzzles of this sort, so I’m really excited to see how it goes.

I love the initial presentation. 6 pieces already fill the tray, there’s no room for any more!

My first impression is great. I love that this puzzle has COLOR! Most of my collection is wooden or metal, so its nice to see the vibrant orange acrylic pieces. I also love the presentation. Although nothing new, I like these framed puzzles that appear to be full of pieces and then off to the side is an extra piece. To me, that set-up in itself is a kind of challenge that I feel compelled to accept.

The shapes themselves are very interesting. All are tall and narrow with fairly minor variations. It would seem that they should be able to nest together in such a way as to complete the puzzle, but I suspect that there is more going on here than that.

After about 15 minutes I have some thoughts.

7 orange acrylic pieces must fit into the tray, but is there room?

Well my first assumption was that this would be fairly easy to solve. Ha! I should have known better. I’ve even read a few description here and there where this puzzle was described as very difficult, still, I was feeling cocky and merely by looking at it I though, “Meh, I bet I can solve that one quick!”

There are many configurations, but only one solution

Well 15 minutes into my solving attempt and I’ve been schooled. I had assumed that with only 7 pieces, there couldn’t be that many configurations. After all, I thought, a single piece could only be oriented 4 different ways… right? Wrong. It just so happens that there are other configurations that I ha not forseen. Oh my, suddenly there are exponentially more potential solutions. Looks like I’ve severely underestimated the difficulty here.

But, on a bright note, I do feel that I am on to something. I quickly abandoned the “all vertical” strategy and have started playing with a mixture of orientations. This is yielding better results and I feel that I am moving on the right track. At the same time, there are 2 acrylic pieces that have me questioning everything. They have very small indents and there’s no real way to fill them except by perhaps the corner of one of the other pieces – but I just don’t see any way to have pieces at angles – as would be required to put the corner of one piece into the small indent. Maybe those two small indents are decoys and have no practical use. So much to ponder…

After another 20 minutes, I’ve started to feel a little helpless. There just seem to be so many combinations and the shapes are so similar that its kind of hard to keep track of things and its hard to get any pieces to “feel right” when I put them in place. I continue to work trying endless variations, flipping pieces over, re-orienting them, swapping positions, etc. There’s no methodology here, its just trial and error, keep pushing forward. Likely I’m repeating moves, but at this point, I don’t care, I just keep trying things.

At some point, I start to get close to the solution. I can feel it. All the pieces are going in except the last one is just slightly overlapping. I’ve changed the layout a few times and finally feel like I have the correct arrangement – its just a matter of getting the pieces in the right position. A few times I get down to that last piece and its just slightly overlapping another, so I swap pieces out and try again.

And then, as I’m saying “come on! come on!” I get it right and that final piece slides in!! Hell Yeah!! That was awesome!! What a cool puzzle! What a great solution and what a nice and deceptive initial set-up! I may have lucked into the solution a bit, but I really do think I was following a process of elimination sort of path and just kept pushing forward and happened upon the solution. In all honesty, I was getting pretty close to taking a break and fears were starting to creep in that this might be “one of those puzzles” that sits on the shelf unsolved.

But, this story ends differently because I managed to get the solution. Looking at the solved puzzle really reveals how clever it is. I can imagine these pieces cut out of a single block and its deceptively clever. I will definitely be adding more Asaka puzzles to my collection because this one was just plain fun and excitement.

13 thoughts on “Wave Puzzle 7 – Yuu Asaka”

  1. I love these Asaka puzzles, too. I got Jigsaw 29 first and was quite stumped at first (I went through all the same missteps as in Sadler’s blog) and eventually found my way – I think that helped with this one as I knew there would be something unexpected.

    For me, one interesting aspect of this one (that I think helped in the end) was how the name relates to the pattern, or a part of the pattern (no spoilers) and I had a strong intuition about that at he start.

    I don’t have Jigsaw 19 but Asaka said it’s pretty similar to 29. Still, I’ll bet it’s fun.

    1. It seems the consensus is that the 2nd Asaka puzzle done is easier than the first. I did them in the reverse order as you with wave 7 first and I felt that the solution to 29 came pretty easily. They are still both great puzzles. I’ve also done a lot of Stave puzzles, so feel that helped me a lot with 29.

      I think your insight into the name is brilliant. I didn’t even think about it but it makes total sense.

      1. Apparently he has a couple more out now Wave 5 and Ice 9

        I’m going to have to pick those up too (and Jigsaw 19)

  2. Thank you for a nice article with lots information
    I have this puzzle in my hand
    I tried lot
    Please send me the solution
    Svani29@ yahoo.com
    Satishkumar Vani

    1. Hello Satish – I just sent you an email with an image of the completed puzzle – hope that helps!

  3. Thank you for the article, I love this Yuu’s puzzles.
    Would you be so kind as to give us some more info about the designer and how to buy his puzzles?
    Shoud I contact this email adress shown in the first picture?

    1. Sure. I don’t know a lot about the designer honestly. I know that you can find him on facebook and I believe you can email him directly to purchase puzzles as well.

      I bought my puzzles at Puzzlemaster but it looks they are now sold out now. I think emailing him is probably your best bet.

      1. PuzzleMaster is now restocking and has arranged to manufacture them in Canada so as to keep them in stock.

    2. PuzzleMaster has picked them up and arranged to make batches in Canad now, so they’ll be in stock a little longer (we hope)

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