|The Bearlin Variations|
For the 31st International Puzzle Party, held in Berlin, Germany, in August 2011, Kate designed a puzzle in honor of the famous Berlin coat of arms, which carries a bear whose right arm is up and right leg is forward. With a tiny change of lines, the bear now takes on four poses. Each pose occurs with four different colors of columns on the shield-like wood tiles.
A huge amount of work went into the making of this set, done in handcrafted, handfinished wood with laser-engraved images, and handpainted colors. It's our most costly IPP gift ever. We gratefully acknowledge the stalwart help of Thomas Atkinson, Richard Grainger, Dick Jones, Meshele Merchant and Josiane Smith in completing this project.
This puzzle is to be solved with several conditions simultaneously, mingling the themes of Latin squares, sliding block puzzles, and Sudoku (see below). The 16 tiles also lend themselves to memory games and a two-player game, Rummy Bears. We have just two of this limited edition design still available, while they last. $49
Memory GameSpread the 16 tiles face down on the table and shuffle them around. Now turn up any two tiles. If they match by color or by pose, collect them and set them aside. If they don't match, turn them face-down again and pick two new ones. In how few turns can you clear the board?
Rummy BearsFor two players. Stack the 16 tiles in a pile face down in random order, then deal 4 tiles to each player and turn up one tile next to the stack. Players should not see each other's "hand". Your goal is to collect pairs of tiles that match by either color or pose. You may pick up and use the turned-up tile if it makes a pair, then discard one tile. Or you may take a new tile from the stack and discard one from your hand. Play until all tiles have been matched up. Winner is the one with more pairs. For a more advanced version of this game, collect groups of 4, all the same color or all the same pose. First player to go out wins.
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