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It’s no surprise that packing puzzles are my favorite type of puzzles. They allow you to think in unconventional ways that even you didn’t think you could. Oleo 10, designed by the Japanese Yuu Asaka, is a brilliant puzzle and a challenge for your solving skills.
A good packing puzzle is one that seems impossible and has a high rewarding value. That a-ha moment when you feel you’ve conquered something that you didn’t think was possible. That’s the beauty of packing puzzles, especially the 2D ones, since you’re limited by a flat surface. Even though it looks extremely difficult, there’s a way to solve it.
The puzzle comes in its unsolved state with 6 acrylic circles and 4 rectangle pieces with semi-circles. The goal is easy enough to understand: try to arrange the four rectangles in a way that they can accommodate all circles as well. The design of the puzzle makes you think in a conventional way at first. You have to go against the pre-conceived notion that arranging the pieces in that way won’t work.
This is a difficult puzzle, no doubt about that. Depending on how good you are at solving packing puzzles will determine your success here. This is rated as a level 8/10, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it was a level 10 for some people. I was able to solve it in about half an hour, but I didn’t think it was easy. It took a lot of thinking to get there – That kind of outside-the-box thinking I was talking above. The solution itself is quite elegant. You can see that it was a well thought-out design. Bravo, Yuu Asaka!
Solution: Click here to view the solution (as a last resort).
Oleo 10 is a magnificent puzzle. One that feels you with pride for having solved it and for making you think in ways that you didn’t know you could. It’s difficult, it’s beautiful and it’s one of a kind. I’ll be curious to try other puzzles by Yuu Asaka in the future.