GetaCross 3D Puzzle

It’s kind of funny. I was looking on youtube for different kinds of 3D wood puzzles, and I found one video by American Woodworker on burr puzzles. First, I’ve never heard them called “burr puzzles” (because they look like burr seeds) before. Second, the big 12 piece puzzle is REALLY COOL! Anyway, watching the 12 piece burr being disassembled and reassembled unexpectedly helped me in solving GetaCross.

GetaCross (Geta is the Japanese-style of wooden sandal + cross) is another one of the capsule ball 3D series puzzles. There are 6 pieces, about 4.5 cm x 2 cm, and it’s 200 yen. Because the little slip of papers that come with the puzzles don’t have the solutions printed on them, I went to the main website but couldn’t find this series mentioned there at all. So, I tried googling GetaCross, and all that came back were hits on the phrase “get across”. Not helpful. This made me extra cautious, because if I got it apart and couldn’t get it back together again, I’d have a 200 yen pile of loose pieces, and I could get the same effect just by going to the 100 yen shop and buying some Popsicle sticks. And there have been some puzzles that I never could solve, meaning I have a past history with this kind of experience. So, as I got started, I was almost immediately reminded of the 12-piece burr, and that made things easier in the long run.

Again, the pieces are extremely slippery, making them difficult to hold in place. I did figure out the solution by myself in a few minutes. Actually, I got it right the first time completely by accident. When I tried a second time, I discovered that it is possible to get the pieces wrong and not be able to solve it immediately.

There are 4 identical pieces (they’re different colors, but that’s irrelevant), one that has a slightly longer tab on one end, and one piece that has a notch in one of the long sides. This should tell you how to put the thing together right there.

Take three of the identical pieces and hold them in place as shown in the photo.

Take the piece with the longer tab and put it into the gap at the top of the assembly, with the tabs facing down, and the longer tab on the right hand side.

Push the top and bottom pieces to the left about half an inch to an inch and angle them so that the remaining identical piece can be fitted into the notches on the left land side.

Carefully reposition the existing pieces in the assembly so that they’re in their respective notches, and they’re either lying flat or standing perpendicular as the case may be. (Basically, straighten everything out so the pieces fit together correctly.)

Slide the top piece to the left one inch, or at least enough so that the piece with the notch can fit into place on the right hand side. Position the notch to be on the top of the piece.

Then slide the top piece all the way to the right until it stops moving. You’re done. Not a terribly difficult puzzle, but a frustrating one because the pieces keep sliding and falling apart. I should take sand paper and roughen up the inner surfaces a lot, I guess…

To take it apart, just find the one piece that slides out, and slide it out until it clears the piece with the notch. Let go and it’ll disassemble under its own weight.

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