May 2021 Update Preview

Update is Monday, May 3rd at 3pm EST (UTC -5)


April Fundraiser Auction 

Our Marketplace event to help fund the move was a great success! My staff and I thank you for your participation and hope you enjoy the new additions to your collections. While I'll miss the puzzles, it brings me a smile to know they will be gracing someone else's shelves.

The next Marketplace event will begin as scheduled on Sunday, May 16th. There are already a ton of interesting items up for grabs.


July Update Preview

Our next update will be Monday, July 12th. We are continuing to work on production systems and must stay with safer, known designs until we work out the kinks and are able to take on riskier new work. Therefore our goals for that update include:


April Giveaway Winner

Congratulations to Jason Rucker for winning our May 2021 giveaway! Jason scored a free copy of the Three Cubes Assembly Puzzle by Kohno Ichiro.

Every month we choose a random member of our newsletter to receive a free puzzle. If you'd like to join, just drop your email address in the box on the lower right of any page on the site.


May Sticker

This month's sticker was designed by Church Grim, who did a nice job creating a counterpoint to last month's colorful sticker.



Important Note - Care, Storage and Display

Our work is handcrafted to very precise tolerances and must be kept within the range of 40-60% relative humidity at all times. Failure to do so may cause inoperability or permanent damage.

Please read the Caring for Wood Puzzles guide to ensure proper fit and operation. We recommend an occasional polishing with Renaissance Wax to keep wood puzzles in top condition.


Now, on to the Puzzles....

 ResQ Sequential Discovery Puzzle

DESIGNER: Frederic Boucher & Eric Fuller
MATERIAL: Hawaiian Koa Box; internals from Ebony or Mixed Exotic Woods (Canxan, Catalox, Bloodwood, Chakte Viga); Paduak and Walnut Spaceship
RELEASE DATE: 5.3.2021
PRICE: $219 / $289
SIZE: 2.65" (6.7 cm)

ResQ is a unique Sequential Discovery Puzzle based on Boucher's Visitor Q. We took the original design and modified it by adding additional goals, tools, and tricks. ResQ is the result of nearly three months of prototyping and features previously unseen concepts and hardware.

The brilliance of Boucher's VQ design is in the depth of possible movements and states the puzzle can be in. Visitor Q is very much like a maze; you find configurations that won't allow you to progress and must back-track to find another approach. I can't overstate the sophistication and elegance of VQ. To the extent ResQ turns out to be a good puzzle, it's because I was standing on the shoulders of a giant.

Solving ResQ requires imagination, analysis, close observation, a bit of dexterity, and a lot of exploration. A minimum of 70 moves is required, with no upper limit.

Are you up to the challenge? If so, here are your instructions:
A Visitor from another dimension needs your help! A mysterious evil has trapped the Visitor in a psychic prison, damaged his spaceship, and thrown it into a deadly vortex. You can save him by accomplishing these tasks:

1. Free the Visitor from his Psychic Prison
2. Unlock the vortex
3. Retrieve the Spaceship without using rotations (to avoid making the vortex even more unstable)
4. Navigate the vortex and retrieve the spaceship parts:
-The thick and thin Antenna Assemblies
-The silver Fuel Disk
-The gold Reactor Orb
-The six-orb Navigation AI Module

You must use the parts you retrieve as tools to retrieve other components. Be careful not to put loose parts into the vortex, or you may find yourself faced with difficult and frustrating salvage operations. Good luck!

We produced ResQ in two batches. The regular batch of approximately 120 copies uses four different exotic kinds of wood for the vortex, which helps with the solution. A smaller, limited release of about 30 copies uses solid ebony for the vortex, which increases the difficulty. Both editions feature a box made from Hawaiian Koa, a scarce and difficult to obtain wood. ResQ ships in an unsolved configuration and includes a piece diagram to aid in resetting the puzzle.

ResQ contains small parts and should be kept away from children. We recommend exploring ResQ on a flat surface using the provided solving mat.




Surround Assembly Puzzle

DESIGNER: Khono Ichiro
MATERIAL: Chakte Viga and Wenge
RELEASE DATE: 5.3.2021
PRICE: $65
SIZE: 2.625" (6.65 cm)

Designed and first released at IPP in 2009, Surround is closely related to the 3/4/5 Cube designs by Kohno Ichiro. In this case, you must use six pieces to surround the solid cube in such a way that is self-supporting. Two solutions using magnets are possible. Another "rule-breaker" solution does not use magnets and covers the cube completely. The finished shape is pleasingly symmetrical and displays well.

This batch of Surround was constructed from Chakte Viga and Wenge for a beautiful contrast. Approximately 40 copies of are available. Surround ships in an unsolved configuration.





Five Cubes Assembly Puzzle

DESIGNER: Kohno Ichiro
RELEASE DATE: 5.3.2021
PRICE: $55
SIZE: 2" (5.1 cm)

Five Cubes by Kohno Ichiro is the final and trickiest iteration of his brilliant concept. By careful use of magnetic polarity, the pieces are dissimilar despite their appearance. The goal is again to assemble the pieces into a symmetrical shape of five distinct, equal-sized cubes with none of the cubes overlapping by their neighbor by more than one-half cube. All magnets must be engaged for the final shape to be stable.

Once solved, the puzzle snaps into place, resulting in a beautiful and entertaining fidget toy. Five Cubes belongs to a set including the Three Cubes and Four Cubes puzzles. Each escalates in difficulty.

This batch of Five Cubes was constructed from a nicely figured plank of Shedua lumber. Approximately 65 copies are available. Five Cubes ships in the unsolved configuration.


Four Cubes Assembly Puzzle

DESIGNER: Kohno Ichiro
RELEASE DATE: 5.3.2021
PRICE: $45
SIZE: 2" (5.1 cm)

Four Cubes is Kohno Ichiro's follow-up to the brilliant Three Cubes puzzle. This sequel puzzle features two pairs of identically shaped pieces embedded with magnets similar to Three Cubes. The goal is to combine the elements to create a stable assembly forming four distinct, equal-sized cubes, each connected to the neighboring cube with no more than a half-face. Despite having two possible solutions, Four Cubes is a step up in difficulty. A secondary challenge is possible: find a solution that creates two bars of equal length.

Once solved, the puzzle snaps into shape, resulting in a beautiful and entertaining fidget toy. Four Cubes belong to a set, including the Three Cubes and Five Cubes puzzles. Each escalates in difficulty.

This batch of Four Cubes was constructed from nicely figured Bubinga lumber. Approximately 65 copies of are available. Four Cubes ships in an unsolved configuration.




Three Cubes Assembly Puzzle

DESIGNER: Khono Ichiro
RELEASE DATE: 5.3.2021
PRICE: $35
SIZE: 2" (5.1 cm)

Three Cubes by Kohno Ichiro is an award-winning design placed in the top 10 2018 IPP Design Competition results. This pocket-sized puzzle is a ton of fun and remains a favorite. With only three identical pieces, this seemingly simple assembly puzzle may keep you busy for longer than you expect. The goal is to combine the pieces to create a stable assembly forming three distinct, equal-sized cubes. Complicating this task is the polarity of the powerful magnets embedded into pieces.

Once solved, the puzzle snaps into shape, resulting in a beautiful and entertaining fidget toy. Three cubes were only the beginning; Mr. Ichiro subsequently designed the Four Cubes and Five Cubes to create a set, with each puzzle escalating in difficulty.

Mr. Puzzle posted a great video review of Three Cubes.

This batch of Three Cubes was constructed from striking planks of Canxan. Approximately 65 copies are available. Three Cubes ships in an unsolved configuration.





Heavy Hitter Interlocking Puzzle

DESIGNER: Ali Morris / Steve Nicholls
MATERIAL: Solid Machined Brass
RELEASE DATE: 5.3.2021
PRICE: $179
SIZE: 10.75" (27.3 cm)

Heavy Hitter is a relatively sizeable interlocking burr puzzle disguised as a brass sculpture. The perfect gift for puzzlers, baseball fans, and lovers of fine objects, Heavy Hitter includes six solid brass bats, each over 6" in length. These pieces interlock perfectly to create a display centerpiece you won't fear to let guests disassemble.

Each brass bat has been modeled to be dimensionally accurate and was precision CNC milled within the UK. The solid bat contains a steel spring bearing to keep the assembly stable and prevent unintentional disassembly. The sculpture weighs almost three pounds when assembled and measures roughly 10".

While the set is not limited, TBM has communicated that they do not see themselves making many more. Ali & Steve each wanted one for their collections and decided to make a few extras. Unfortunately, the cost of machining and materials is quite high; once sold out, we do not expect a restock.




Joy Of Hex Interlocking Puzzle Set

DESIGNER: Ali Morris / Steve Nicholls
MATERIAL: Solid Machined Brass
RELEASE DATE: 5.3.2021
PRICE: $399
SIZE: 2.36" (6 cm)

The first Two Brass Monkeys collaboration with renowned designer Derek Bosch, Joy of Hex is the result of Derek's exhaustive analysis of all solid, twelve-piece hexagonal burrs without a solid key piece. The set represents an excellent puzzling value, with a total of thirty-three published assemblies and over 90,000 others to be found!

Joy of Hex includes three separately packaged designs that increase in difficulty, as well as a bonus pack with five extra pieces, an assembly "hex aid" and the Joy of Hex manual. This beautifully produced manual includes thirty more carefully selected designs. Of the base designs, Missionary is the first and easiest. Bish, Bash, Bosch is a relatively simple selection of pieces but is more difficult to assemble. Group Hex incorporates the maximum number of dissimilar piece types (8 of 9) with a single unique solution; a significant increase in difficulty from the others.

Joy of Hex's production quality is in keeping with what we've come to expect from TBM. Each 6cm hex piece is milled from solid brass with an incredibly accurate fit and tolerance. They are then tumble finished for a smooth and pleasing feel. These puzzles have real heft to them; each assembled puzzle weighs about 1.8 lbs, with the entire set weighing in at a massive 8.5 lbs of puzzling fun!

Allard wrote an excellent review of this puzzle, as did Kevin.




Spartan Spinning Top

MATERIAL: Solid Machined Brass
RELEASE DATE: 5.3.2021
PRICE: $49
SIZE: 1.5" x 1.3" (38mm x 33mm)

While not a puzzle, Felix Ure's Spartan Top certainly has puzzling qualities! Created to optimize spinning times, Spartan is precision machined from solid brass and fitted with a tungsten carbide tip. In his [video][], Felix demonstrates a single spin lasting over 17 minutes! Spartan is an exceptional exception to our typical puzzle offerings and one I hope you enjoy as much as we have.

Spartan measures 38mm in diameter, 33mm in height, and weighs 76g. The brass is unfinished to patinate over time slowly.


Picture of the ResQ Sequential Discovery Puzzle