Today, I have two different slideways puzzles. These are puzzles that slide together and slide apart and are immensely satisfying to fiddle with. While they are not difficult to get disassemble – they can be a little tricky to assemble as the pieces need to be held in a specific orientation while they are simultaneous moved together.
The first puzzle is the Slideways Cube created by Lee Krasnow. A video of Lee’s cube made its way onto Reddit recently and thus the cube was thrust into the spotlight.
Thankfully, the cubes are now available in a $15 plastic version at his Etsy website here. The cube is great fun to play with – it feels sort of magical how the pieces go together and come apart. I’ve enjoyed handing the cube to my kids and seeing their reaction as it falls apart in their hands.
Overall, not a difficult puzzle to solve by any means, more of a novelty item to keep on the shelf and play with once in a while. I still think its a neat item that would make a nice gift.
Next up is the Slideways cross from Cubicdissection.com
This is a really nice piece that is extremely well made. It is a fairly simple puzzle in most respects, but it can be quite tricky if you’ve never manipulated one of these before.
One of the big reasons I love this piece is that the tolerances are so tight that it can seem impossible to solve. Unless you apply the correct pressure in the correct orientation the pieces won’t move. I have played with this piece for hours and its amazing how little force is actually required to separate the pieces. If you are pushing at all, you are doing it wrong. The pieces have virtually zero friction when moved correctly.