Happy New Year, my dear readers! Welcome to the first issue in this brand new year. I wish you a very productive and fruitful year of 2022. As promised, I have been busy preparing a New Year’s gift for you all. Before I reveal what it is, let me tell you the story and meaning behind my choice of gift.
One day, while I was swiping on the endless Tiktok feed, a video of solving a geometric puzzle caught my eye - I was immediately intrigued and challenged. Quickly before the solution was about to be revealed, I snapped on the pause button and took this screenshot:
The puzzle is called Bitten Biscuits, and its goal is to rearrange these three puzzle pieces and create a shape of mirrored symmetry. Quite a simple rule, I thought. Maybe I can solve this?!
I first tried to solve it in my head and quickly realized it was not realistic - I needed to hold these pieces, rotate and rearrange them to iterate my solution. Looking at the screenshot with an almost perfect straight down angle, I came up with an idea: trace the puzzle pieces, print them on paper, and cut them out. I tweeted about my little weekend fun:
With the paper puzzle pieces, I was able to play around with them and landed with a solution - or so I thought it was a solution:
Because the traced puzzle pieces from the screenshot were not precise enough, I couldn’t spot that some of the curvatures didn’t fit with one another. I excitedly resumed the Tiktok video but only to be disappointed that my solution wasn’t correct and the real solutions were spoiled in the process as well.
While this was a failed attempt to solve the “Bitten Biscuits” puzzle, I did see a smarter idea emerge: we can play puzzles this way! The revealed solution also tells me the exact geometry of the puzzle pieces and how to redraw them from scratch with precision. The printing and cutting process also becomes optional, and instead, we can rotate and flip shapes inside a design tool like Figma.
I had a blast playing with geometric puzzles this way. I found a few more geometric puzzles, traced the puzzle pieces from a picture, figured out the solution (or gave up and Google, in the case of “Oleo 10”), and then redraw the puzzle pieces with precision.
(Drumrolls…) I present to you the New Year’s gift: Fuzzle Puzzles! You can get it for free via Gumroad. You will get both the Figma version and the printable PDFs if you prefer physical forms.
In a way, I am envious of those of you who will play these puzzles - I was not able to play them with precisely drawn pieces. To draw them with precision, I need to know the solution first - a weird chicken egg conundrum for me and just me😂.
I hope you enjoy this gift from me! For me, it is personally really important to send this particular gift. Its process reminds me a lot of what I am doing at large as an entrepreneur - you find a niche problem or need, hack together a solution that sort of works, and make it better to share with everyone else who might find it useful. It is a great reminder of why I quit my job five months ago to start this journey. In a way, it is a gift to me as well.
Best of luck! To us all.