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Corsica Puzzle Party


Calvi, September 2004

Alternative Puzzle Party

Being unable to go to Tokyo that year, an alternative Puzzle Party was arranged for collectors of mechanical puzzles from Teddington, England.  While the number of attendees was low, we both had an excellent time, and Alice particularly enjoyed the events arranged for non-puzzlers. While Corsica is not known for its puzzles, I hope I have done something to change this situation. Read also our "Journal of a Tour to Corsica" for the tales of the rest of the holiday.


The mediaeval citadel of Calvi dominates the bay.  Admiral Nelson lost his eye at the battle of Calvi. The town is situated on the NW coast of Corsica, ideally suited for sunbathing, exploring, mountain walking, history, trying local food and drink and, of course, puzzling.

The following show some of the puzzles enjoyed by the attendee at this wonderful one-off event.

Below right, an 18-piece burr, still never fully disassembled by its careful owner.

Above, a familiar puzzle to all collectors, and a long-time favourite of host and organiser, Martin Watson.

Below, another familiar favourite.

Above, a new design, from Ronald Kint-Brouwers, a gift from Matti Linkola.

Below, another puzzle from Matti, a four-piece burr, needing 14 moves to free the first piece, shown in its disassembled state as the owner can't reassemble it.

Above we see Coffin's Convolution, and below Martin tries to find a solution for the PentaPipes puzzle.

Above, the pleasing mathematical perfection of O'Beirne's Cube, a recent addition to the host's collection, and below, a two-layer assembly puzzle.

Above, Martin gets to grips with a brace of challenges, while right, he recalls Chicago, while dining out with long-suffering partner Alice, the Puzzling Object, (above right)

On the left, to conclude, it's not a puzzle, but it is the most interesting recreational item I saw in the island.  It's a three dimensional Nine Men's Morris board that I saw in a woodcraft shop in Corte, in the centre of the island.  It was marked Tra Morelles.

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