Puzzle Pyramid

Those of you who regularly follow this blog may spot a similar pattern this year to last year here. In days after Christmas, I pick on some received presents that seem suitable to form a post on my blog. I receive other presents which are very welcome. I mean to say, you can never have too much toothpaste, too many pairs of socks or too much wild bird feed. Modern electronic gizmos have uses and as for items made of chocolate – well that’s always very welcome. But such items don’t, perhaps, portray the image of me that this blog does – an image of being a tad nerdy and proud of it

So today I pick on a puzzle sent me by my far from nerdy cousin who I love dearly. She sent, amongst other things, three elegant wooden puzzles suited to a Happy Nerd. I pick on this one for the simple reason I solved it.

The puzzle consists of 6 lengths of wood.

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Each length of wood is made of spheres, clued together.  Two of them have four such wooden balls and the other four have three of them.

I have to say these arrived in completed form, tightly vacuum packed and in such a way that it was bound to tumble into these component pieces on unpacking.

So the problem was to assemble them to make a pyramid. But by the time they had collapsed, I couldn’t even tell you whether it was a triangular or a square based pyramid. I resorted to a bit of arithmetic to work that out and decided it had to be a triangular based pyramid and the base would need ten spheres to make it. Is doing that maths something that marks me out as a bit of a nerd?

I’m not going to say that from then on it was easy, but it certainly helped me to work out how it had to be done. Soon I had my pyramid.

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Two views – one from the side and one from above.

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Now some advice if you have one of these puzzles. Don’t try and do it on a smooth surface. The pieces will just slide apart into the 6 separate pieces. I used an upside down place mat/chopping surface to work on because the ridges gave just enough grip to stop the pieces sliding much. That mat, incidentally, was another Christmas present. In many ways a carpet would be the ideal working surface.

Thanks, Ali, I love it!

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