In this special issue, we talk exclusively to Dimiter Vakarelov, a master metagrobologist and topological puzzle designer. Dimiter has long been interested in topological puzzles (string-wire-wood puzzles). He calls these puzzles “topological” after Martin Gardner, with the motivation that their solution is based on some informal topological thinking. Dimiter explores how in 1992 he published in a Russian book a paper titled ” How to invent a new topological puzzle”. At that time there was no Internet and the main source of topological puzzles was the collection of puzzles and books of Anatoly Kalinin. The exclusive feature article contains an astonishing guide to the internal classification of topological puzzles based on the base puzzles and a description of different ways of combination and hiding the base principles, which in a sense presents methods of “how to invent new puzzles”. This is demonstrated by a variety of examples, most of which are new puzzles.
We also present an interview with the wonderful Jean-Baptiste Jacquin, a French puzzle collector and blogger from the suburbs of Lyon, in the southeast of France. He organises a puzzle meeting every spring in Lyon, France, bringing together those that have a love of Metagrobology and documents the events and his interests on his puzzle blog: Rencontre Casse-tête Lyon. In 2010, Jean-Baptiste founded the Arteludes online shop, a fantastic destination for those interested in beautiful, unique hand-crafted mechanical puzzles with the craftsman Maurice Vigouroux. Arteludes produces a wide range of mechanical puzzles hand-crafted from exotic hardwoods.
Topological puzzles are qualified by some puzzlers as the most difficult. Dimiter Vakarelov
Alongside these, we also present an interview with Maurice Vigouroux, completed for us by Guillaume Largounez (thank you!) and an interview with the prolific wooden puzzle designer and craftsman Stephane Chomine kindly completed for us by Jean-Baptiste (thank you!) and lots more!
When I first started making puzzles I was very into basic six piece burrs and cube puzzles!Stephane Chomine
100 pages, on 130 gsm, silk paper. Digitally printed. In colour throughout. Binding: perfect bound PUR Binding. Printed in the UK. The Gloss lamination cover (4 additional sides) is printed on 170 gsm, gloss paper, in colour on the outside and inside.
A4 210m x 297mm portrait.
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