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  • Pentomino Jigsaw Puzzles

    Here are a couple of unusual jigsaw puzzles. In fact you may not even consider them to be jigsaw puzzles, as they are not cut from a single board of wood. But I think that they can rightly be considered to be tray jigsaw puzzles. They also differ from regular puzzles in that they have multiple correct solutions, in fact so many different solutions that it confounds common sense!

    The puzzles are based on the mathematical concept of Pentominoes. Briefly, a Pentomino consists of five connected squares in the same way that a domino consists of two connected squares. There is a lot of information on the Internet on the subject of Pentominoes, and this is a good starting point: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pentomino. There are 12 distinct Pentominos, and these puzzles both require you to fit them into a tray.

    The first puzzle uses the set of 12 Pentominoes (total area 5 x 12 = 60 units) and they must be fitted into a 6 x 10 tray (also area 60 units). The second puzzle adds a 2 x 2 square to the 12 Pentominos, making 13 pieces with a total area of 64 units, which must be fitted into an 8 x 8 square tray.

    The pieces are all cut from 1/4" hardwood, each piece from a different species. The pieces are left in their natural state, not stained, just wiped with tung oil to bring out the color and grain. The basic square unit on which the Pentominoes are based is 3/8" x 3/8". so the tray for the first puzzle measures 2-1/4" x 3-3/4" and for the second 3" x 3". The box for the first puzzle measures 3" x 4-1/2" x 1/2" and for the second 3-3/4" x 3-3/4" x 1/2".

    Either puzzle can easily take a hour to find a first solution, yet there are 2339 different solutions to the 6 x 10 puzzle and a whopping 16146 solutions to the 8 x 8 puzzle!
    Attached Files
    Ron
    www.turtleteasers.com

  • #2
    Love it - but I was never good at these types of puzzles. The choice of different types of natural wood grains and colors works great.

    John
    http://www.puzzlesdelmeeple.com

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    • #3
      You got to be kidding. 2339 different solutions? It makes a beautiful puzzles and I particularly like the way you embedded your turtle.
      Bob

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      • #4
        Very wonderful puzzle. Would make a fun gift!
        DeWalt 788

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        • #5
          Nicely done! Elegant presentation with the box/tray. Is there a pattern available?
          "Still Montana Mike"

          "Don't worry about old age--it doesn't last that long."
          Mike's Wood-n-Things LLC

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          • #6
            Really cool, Ron. That kind of puzzle is very dear to me as I have one, given to me as a Christmas stocking gift probably about 1950 or so. It's in an amber plastic case, has ten plastic pieces in three colors, and is called a "Ten-Yen" puzzle. I've worked with it periodically for over 60 years. With it, there are different solutions, often based on which colors you want adjacent or separated when finished.

            Carter

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            • #7
              Originally posted by wood-n-things View Post
              Is there a pattern available?
              Mike,

              Sorry, I didn't use any patterns except for the turtle inlay on the box lid.

              For the pieces I used a 3/8" grid, and the shapes of the pieces are evident from the photos.
              Ron
              www.turtleteasers.com

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Carter-Johnson View Post
                ten plastic pieces in three colors, and is called a "Ten-Yen" puzzle. Carter
                Carter,

                I'd love to see a photo of your "Ten-Yen" puzzle. It sounds like it might be Japanese. The Japanese are great puzzlers!
                Ron
                www.turtleteasers.com

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                • #9
                  Ron...

                  Ask and ye shall receive... Carter
                  Attached Files

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                  • #10
                    Carter,

                    Thanks for the photo of the Ten-Yen puzzle. I did a Google search and found many references to it. If you wear out your version, you can get a replacement here:

                    Kadon Enterprises, For Youngest Players (Page 1 of 3)

                    Ron
                    Ron
                    www.turtleteasers.com

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                    • #11
                      That's really, really cool, Ron!
                      Shawn Ferguson

                      Come visit at The Ferguson Puzzle Company !

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                      • #12
                        Are the pieces somehow marked top and bottom or is this part of the game and the reason it is so difficult but with so many solutions?

                        Mike

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by MikeyD View Post
                          Are the pieces somehow marked top and bottom or is this part of the game and the reason it is so difficult but with so many solutions?

                          Mike
                          Mike,

                          The pieces are not marked in any way, and can be turned over and/or rotated as a solution is searched for. The cross piece, the X-Pentomino, has only a single shape, regardless of how it is reflected/rotated, the straight piece, the I-Pentomino, has just 2 shapes, but the others have either 4 shapes or 8 shapes. So there are 63 shapes available from the 12 pieces.

                          I don't know why the puzzle can be so tricky even though there are so many solutions, but perhaps it is partly due to the fact that you are trying to fit 63 shapes rather than 12 pieces.
                          Ron
                          www.turtleteasers.com

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I really like those! i'd probably finally go over the edge if I tried to cut one, but cool just the same. Did you use some kind of program to create the pattern?
                            Cathy
                            Cathy

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by cskipper View Post
                              Did you use some kind of program to create the pattern?
                              Cathy
                              Cathy,

                              I did write a program to find and print all the solutions to the puzzles. If you are interested the PDF files can be downloaded from my web site.

                              But I just used squared paper to create patterns for the pieces. You can see the 12 pentomino shapes in the photos. My squares have sides measuring 3/8" .
                              Ron
                              www.turtleteasers.com

                              Comment

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