Origami Checkerboard Puzzles by Mick Guy
BOS Booklet No. 84
Like many who are interested in origami, Mick Guy has a life long friendship with puzzles and much of his creative energies have been focused on creating origami versions of existing puzzles that are commercially available. This is his first BOS booklet dedicated specifically to the well-known checkerboard puzzle which involves fifteen differently shaped pieces, each having between 3, 4 or 5 alternate coloured or white squares, each piece in a different configuration from the others. To solve the overall puzzle, it is necessary to fit the fifteen pieces together to form a regular checkerboard or chessboard.
The first part of the booklet involves folding the fifteen different pieces and Mick gives detailed instructions on how to prepare the necessary paper and subsequent folding instructions to achieve each piece. He has insisted in ensuring that only one side of the resulting piece has the coloured and white squares showing while the underside is completely blank. In addition, Mick hates open and floppy edges so he has created locks, sometimes internally so that all edges are secure and closed. These are diagrammed separately for practise. Add to this his planning of the folding sequence for each piece and we have a beautifully designed puzzle.
Not content with this, by using different coloured pieces, there are puzzles along the way. If you make different pieces in different colours, there are 6 different puzzles to do – after the first two pieces (coloured the same) you can put them together to make a 3 x 3 square, fold and add the next 2 differently coloured pieces and make a 4 x 4 square and so on up to the ultimate 8 x 8 square. I made all my pieces with just black/white paper and struggled mainly with construction of the 7 x 7 square. I also photographed each finished square so I could draw the answers for future reference. A word of advice, if you make all the pieces black/white it’s a help to number the pieces in the given sequence you folded them so that later you can repeat all the squares with the ready numbered shapes. There are reference drawings to number them.
For the origami beginner, there’s a comprehensive guide to the diagram instructions and drawings along with guides for you to practise the locks and to preparing the paper for the pieces.
This is an excellent booklet with Mick’s design criteria planned and executed impeccably. Mick has folders full of origami puzzle designs he has created and we can only hope that this is the first of further publications.