funny puzzles

with six polyhedra stemming from a square prism

There are numerous polyhedral jigsaws, sometimes complex and very difficult to assemble.
Here is my "uncle Leon's puzzle", composed with only six pieces it is easy to build using a stick of wood; the simplicity of the pieces hides well the difficulty of the assemblage!

It would be a great pity to go to the solution (LiveGraphics3D animation) without the pleasure to search.

This object is a "burr puzzle"; it can be built in several ways, with more complex assemblings. Explore the burrs! (PDF version)
      Rob's Puzzle Page  is an other interesting reference
My uncle Léon was a carpenter-cabinetmaker; he was obviously not the inventor of this puzzle. It is Boer's crisscross puzzle (or carpenter's cross puzzle, devil's knot puzzle, chinese cross ...) well known in the woodworking jobs (references in French). But for me it will always be "uncle Leon's puzzle"!

Here is a variant which I personally find more difficult.

solution (LiveGraphics3D animation)

with six identical polyhedric pieces

The diagonal burr  is made from six identical pieces, each having two notches; with the ends of the pieces bevelled we get a nice diagonal star : the assembling builds a stellated rhombic dodecahedron.

the assembling needs a clever intermediate state

solution (LiveGraphics3D animation)

four pieces (6+4+4+6=20 balls) to form a "tetrahedron"

4 pieces '20 balls tetrahedron'

six "dumbbells" (6×2=12 balls) to form an "icosahedron"

6 dumbells 12 balls 'icosahedron'

home page
convex polyhedra - non convex polyhedra - interesting polyhedra - related subjects February 2005
updated 27-08-2021