Wednesday, August 10, 2016

3D cross puzzle: complexity versus difficulty

Here is a truly amazing puzzle. The idea is to put together three identical metal pieces into a 3-dimensional cross. That it can be done is shown below.

The task seems rather simple yet it is unexpectedly difficult.  Some of my friends who are versed in such puzzles are still baffled.

This toy may serve as a great metaphor for a problem the essence of which lies not in complexity but rather in the invisibility of the solution. I am sure you know many examples from the history of science.

Questions:  Who is the inventor?   Is it available for purchase?  Is it described anywhere?  If you know anything about it, please let me know.

PS. My copy is a gift from my friend Tomasz Kasprowicz. It bears a logo of a bank in Poland (Centralny Dom Maklerski).

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