Mechanical Puzzle Classification
by Jerry Slocum
Used with permission
Mechanical Puzzle Types (Example name is bold)
- Put -Together Puzzles-Putting the object together is the puzzle.
- 2 Dimensional assembly puzzles ( Tangrams, Anchor, T, jigsaw,etc.)
- 3 Dimensional assembly puzzles -Non-Interlocking (Soma,etc.)
- Miscellaneous put-together-(Instant Insanity, puzzle rings, etc.)
- Matchstick puzzles
- Take -Apart Puzzles-Taking the object apart or open is the puzzle.
- Trick or secret opening puzzles -(Puzzle boxes, etc.)
- Secret compartment puzzles (Slopes, coins, etc.)
- Trick locks & keys
- Trick matchboxes (matchsafes )
- Trick knives
- Interlocking Solid Puzzles-Disassembly & assembly to solve puzzle.
- Figural (Animals, objects, etc.)
- Geometric objects (Cube, etc. )
- 3-D jigsaw puzzles
- Burr puzzles
- Keychain puzzles
- Miscellaneous interlocking solid puzzles
- Disentanglement Puzzles-Disentanglement & entanglement to solve puzzle.
- Cast Iron & sheet metal puzzles
- Wire puzzles (Chinese Rings, etc.)
- String puzzles ( Non-rigid disentanglement )
- Miscellaneous disentanglement puzzles
- Sequential Movement Puzzles-Moving parts of object to a goal is the puzzle.
- Solitaire puzzles (Remove pegs, counters, etc. by jumping )
- Counter puzzles (Rearrange counters, pegs, etc. by jumping )
- Sliding piece puzzles (2D & 3D )
- Rotating piece puzzles (3D-Rubik’s cube ,etc. )
- Maze & route puzzles
- Miscellaneous sequential movement puzzles (Tower of Hanoi, etc.)
- Mazes and Labyrinths for People
- Dexterity Puzzles-Manual dexterity is primary to solve puzzle .
- Throw & catch (Cup & ball, etc. )
- Rolling ball puzzles
- Maze dexterity puzzles
- Miscellaneous dexterity puzzles
- Puzzle Vessels – Drinking without spilling, or filling a vessel is the puzzle.
(Puzzle Jugs, Bottom fill wine & tea pots, Pitchers, etc. )
- Vanish Puzzles – The puzzle is to explain a vanished or changed image.
(Loyd’s Get Off the Earth, etc.)
- Folding Puzzles – The puzzle is to fold a paper or hinged object, to form a specifi ed pattern. (2D & 3D)
(Fifth Pig Puzzle, etc.)
- Impossible Puzzles – The puzzle is to explain how an object was made or why it behaves in a seemingly impossible way. (Arrow thru bottle, celt, etc.)