In 1994 we had introduced a dozen dramatic creations, including several based on the golden ratio and a few big beauties. We followed in 1995 with another two golden sets, some 16-piece sweethearts, and a trio of wooden wonders in ascending sizes. The development of different tiling sets that allowed many amazing patterns with well-defined groups of pieces became a continuing passion. "Combinations and permutations" had become our theme and our dream. By 2012 it had grown into "From Singularity to Infinity", but that's a story for another year.
More golden ratio
- Deka-MosaikTM Fifteen pairs of the two golden triangles surround 5 pentagons in a 7" decagon tray, in 4 color mixes. Amazing variations emerge. How many pentagons can they form? It's interesting to realize that you can cut up a pentagon into three golden triangles. And why are they called golden? Because the two different shapes can be joined to form a larger copy of themselves, increased by phi, the golden ratio, an endless decimal (1.618...), and adding one more triangle generates the other triangle shape one order larger. And they can keep increasing this pattern to infinity. By the same process in reverse, dividing a golden triangle by phi into two smaller triangles again produces the golden pair at a smaller scale, down to infinitely small. A fantastic phenomenon of nature!
- Puzzling PentagonTM two shapes of golden triangles, in two proportional sizes, 36 and 72 degrees, build a large pentagon with five-fold symmetries, or matched and non-matched groupings with their 4 colors. Great pedigree of great minds who proposed this set: Nob Yoshigahara, Donald Knuth, first presented at an International Puzzle Party. The 16 tiles travel in cloth drawstring bag, ready to entertain anywhere. Hardest challenge: separate all the colors, and separate the four smallest triangles as well.
Sweet little tilings
- Hexnut Jr.TM The 16 tiles are polyhexes from size 1 through 4 complete, plus four pentahexes. Build hundreds of cool shapes, both in and out of the 7" tray. A game for two players is also included in the well-filled work book. We called it "junior" because it serves as a simple introduction to tiling with hexagons, where the larger Hexnut set includes all 22 of the pentahexes and is a much more complicated set of activities.
- Rombix Jr.® An octagon with 16 tiles formed from dissecting a large octagon into rhombuses. The four differently shaped tiles of the same color form a small (order-1) octagon. It's based on "rhombic circle tiling" discovered by mathematician Alan Schoen and developed by Kate Jones into an artistic puzzle for all ages. Surprising images appear with every new combination. Alan chose to spell the name of the set as "Rombix" (without the h) to be distinctive as a trademark.
- Snowflake Super SquareTM became this year the new name for this exquisitely graceful set of hearts and spaces. We had adapted and developed this design in 1985 from an earlier puzzle, the original Stockdale Square, created by and named after our first laser supplier, Stockdale Technologies in Sanford, FL. After ten years (in the 1980s) of doing our cutting, its owner, Blake Guiles, couldn't keep up with our growing demand and told us where to buy our own lasers. Note how Stockdale and Snowflake contain much the same letters, and since people often called this puzzle Snowflakes, anyway, that renaming was a natural.
- Throw a FitTM 10 cubes with all different mixes of 3 colors on their faces were originally introduced in 1991 on small white plastic cubes. Play a probability game for any number of players, plus tricky puzzle challenges to solve with color arrangements, some reminiscent of Rubik's Cube. In 1995 we upgraded them to the large wood cubes shown. Ten years later we would switch to jumbo white dice, but that's a story for another year. See the 1991 historical notes for the full background story.
- Kolossal PyramidTM This majestic puzzle of 12 pieces built of wooden balls pegged and glued into the required shapes has had a checkered career. First proposed by Len Gordon, the legendary puzzle designer, and introduced in plastic in 1986, it was retired in 1989 and archived for a few years. In 1995 we decided to offer it again by custom order only. Handcrafting it is a real bear. We may look into 3D printing, but at current costs that would be even more expensive and time-consuming. We're happy to keep it alive even in hibernation. Discerning collectors can still acquire it. Just give our master craftsman enough time to build it. Surprise: it has 47 solutions, verified by computer wiz Gordon Collins. Len liked his puzzles to have only one solution, and when this pyramid had so many, Len lost all interest in it. But we loved it so much that we took on the task of making it ourselves in wood. A thing of beauty, on a fine dimpled wooden base.
- TransposeTM lovingly handcrafted, classic wood board by Christopher Clark, its inventor, and 24 stylish wood checkers play 8 different games and a large collection of solitaire puzzles. The title game is a tiny bit reminiscent of backgammon, with its own unique variations. It won first place on Games Magazine's list of the 100 best games of 1996 and was again on the Games 100 list in 1997. We also make it in a slick contemporary style in lasercut acrylic.
A Quarter-Century Retrospective (1980-2005)
1982-2007: The first wave of growth
1983-2008: The lesson of quality
1984-2009: Some things old, some things new
1985-2010: Guests and clones
1986-2011: Thinking big... and bigger
1987-2012: Growing three ways
1988-2013: Compounding complexity
1989-2014: Grand visions
1990-2015: Herculean heights
1991-2016: Happy marriages
1992-2017: Diamonds forever
1993-2018: Opulence in acrylic and wood
1994-2019: Angles, gold and gala
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1995-2020: Tilting towards tilings
1996-2021: Gorgeous geometrics
1997-2022: Big and little