My ongoing quest to annoy my family at Christmas...

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Project by rwyoung posted 11-24-2009 06:31 AM 3785 views 27 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

In my ongoing quest to annoy my family members with dippy stocking stuffers at Christmas I present…

The Half Hour Puzzle. This may look like a SOMA cube puzzle but the Half Hour Puzzle has one solution while the SOMA puzzle has something like 240. I believe this design is credited to Stuart Coffin. The name comes from the average solution time.

27 pieces of cherry glued up into 6 puzzle pieces. One coat of boiled linseed oil, I’ll apply a second after a few days. The easy way to apply the BLO to these 6 pieces is to put them in a little tupperware container, pour in some oil and shake it around. Then blot off with paper towels and let them rest on newspaper.

-- Don't sweat the petty things and don't pet the sweaty things.

9 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile


118162 posts in 4692 days

#1 posted 11-24-2009 06:41 AM

I’m glad I’m not visiting I’m dizzy just looking at the photo


View Julian's profile


884 posts in 4640 days

#2 posted 11-24-2009 02:58 PM

Looks good. I have the wooden puzzle book and have built this as well as a few other puzzles. They are destined to be stocking stuffers also. Great job!

-- Julian, Homewood, IL

View DannyBoy's profile


521 posts in 4980 days

#3 posted 11-24-2009 06:25 PM

Ha! I love it!

-- He said wood...

View OhValleyWoodandWool's profile


970 posts in 4235 days

#4 posted 11-24-2009 09:13 PM

LOL – I’m sure you’ll acheive the intended level of annoyance

-- "All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence, and then Success is sure." Mark Twain

View dustyal's profile


1322 posts in 4590 days

#5 posted 11-25-2009 12:51 AM

Nice work. I have the Danish version of this puzzle.. like, for over 25 years…

I’ve been thinking of doing this but I wasn’t sure how to go about making 27 cubes nicely squared when assembled. So I haven’t got off to a start, yet.

-- Al H. - small shop, small projects...

View papadan's profile


3584 posts in 4483 days

#6 posted 11-25-2009 12:59 AM

I like making puzzles. Mind if I copy this one from your picture?

View rwyoung's profile


412 posts in 4587 days

#7 posted 11-25-2009 03:08 AM

The plans for this puzzle are found in several different places. Google for “HALF HOUR PUZZLE” and you can find several sites that show the configuration of the 6 pieces. You might even be able to see enough detail in my photo to get their shapes.

As to books, there are several. One very good one is by Charlie Self (Creating Wooden Logic Puzzles is probably the title). A little googling will also turn that one up. You can pick up a copy or request one through your public library and make copious notes (for the cheapskates around here). Most of the 3×3 and 4×4 block style puzzles are pretty easy to make and don’t require a lot of information to duplicate.

-- Don't sweat the petty things and don't pet the sweaty things.

View ohwoodeye's profile


2641 posts in 4268 days

#8 posted 11-25-2009 09:45 PM

Very neat. I have several family members who will think this is awsome and I will be making them some. Thanks for posting the idea.

-- "Fine Woodworking" is the name given to a project that takes 3 times longer than normal to finish because you used hand tools instead of power tools. ----Mike, Waukesha, WI

View moshel's profile


865 posts in 4798 days

#9 posted 12-20-2009 03:17 AM

I have made heaps of these from scraps (contrasting colours goes well – I use mostly Jarrah, Rimu, Silver beech and Oak and some black walnut). instead of gluing 27 cubes, I cut 5X1, 5X2 and 4X3 and glue them together – its actually even nicer than using individual cubes. I use the sketch from

Thanks for the idea – i open my day with making one, as they are so cute.

-- The woods are lovely, dark and deep, but I have promises to keep...

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