Mechanical Puzzle Classification

by Jerry Slocum

Used with permission

Mechanical Puzzle Types (Example name is bold)

  1. Put -Together Puzzles-Putting the object together is the puzzle.
  1. 2 Dimensional assembly puzzles ( Tangrams, Anchor, T, jigsaw,etc.)
  2. 3 Dimensional assembly puzzles -Non-Interlocking (Soma,etc.)
  3. Miscellaneous put-together-(Instant Insanity, puzzle rings, etc.)
  4. Matchstick puzzles
  5. Take -Apart Puzzles-Taking the object apart or open is the puzzle.
  6. Trick or secret opening puzzles -(Puzzle boxes, etc.)
  7. Secret compartment puzzles (Slopes, coins, etc.)
  8. Trick locks & keys
  9. Trick matchboxes (matchsafes )
  10. Trick knives
  11. Interlocking Solid Puzzles-Disassembly & assembly to solve puzzle.
  12. Figural (Animals, objects, etc.)
  13. Geometric objects (Cube, etc. )
  14. 3-D jigsaw puzzles
  15. Burr puzzles
  16. Keychain puzzles
  17. Miscellaneous interlocking solid puzzles
  18. Disentanglement Puzzles-Disentanglement & entanglement to solve puzzle.
  19. Cast Iron & sheet metal puzzles
  20. Wire puzzles (Chinese Rings, etc.)
  21. String puzzles ( Non-rigid disentanglement )
  22. Miscellaneous disentanglement puzzles
  23. Sequential Movement Puzzles-Moving parts of object to a goal is the puzzle.
  24. Solitaire puzzles (Remove pegs, counters, etc. by jumping )
  25. Counter puzzles (Rearrange counters, pegs, etc. by jumping )
  26. Sliding piece puzzles (2D & 3D )
  27. Rotating piece puzzles (3D-Rubik’s cube ,etc. )
  28. Maze & route puzzles
  29. Miscellaneous sequential movement puzzles (Tower of Hanoi, etc.)
  30. Mazes and Labyrinths for People
  31. Dexterity Puzzles-Manual dexterity is primary to solve puzzle .
  32. Throw & catch (Cup & ball, etc. )
  33. Rolling ball puzzles
  34. Maze dexterity puzzles
  35. Miscellaneous dexterity puzzles
  36.  Puzzle Vessels – Drinking without spilling, or filling a vessel is the puzzle.
    (Puzzle Jugs, Bottom fill wine & tea pots, Pitchers, etc. )
  37. Vanish Puzzles – The puzzle is to explain a vanished or changed image.
    (Loyd’s Get Off the Earth, etc.)
  38. Folding Puzzles – The puzzle is to fold a paper or hinged object, to form a specifi ed pattern. (2D & 3D)
    (Fifth Pig Puzzle, etc.)
  39. 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.)

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