Sliding Block Puzzles
The board and the blocks
Sample beginning position
Possible ending position for the previous beginning position
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There are four 1 x 1 blocks, six 1 x 2 blocks, and one 2 x 2 block. When two 1 x 2 blocks or one 1 x 2 block is removed, the other pieces can be arranged into some "beginning position", and the puzzle consists of sliding the blocks around to some designated "ending position". For example, a general problem might be to place the 2 x 2 block in the upper left corner try to move it to upper right corner (or,the lower right corner, or, the lower left corner). You can make up your own problems, but it's probably more interesting to try some classic problems (as found by clicking here). These problems are arranged in sequences of easy steps; to make the problem harder, cover every other step, or ever third step, or for the toughest challenge, cover all intermediary steps and try to get from the beginning to the end without help. (Warning: to go from beginning to end without a few intermediate steps as suggested is very difficult.)
The outside dimensions of the board are roughly 12 x 14 inches, the frame is walnut, the base is ash, and the pieces are a silken hard maple (very smooth!). It is finished with two coats of varnish oil. The blocks slide effortlessly on the surface and the pleasant click of real wood adds to the pleasure. These are addictive puzzles -- once you're into it, it's hard to put down.
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