Hexadecimal Puzzle 2013 - Limited production of 190 units

Starting at: $109.00

A limited edition finely crafted puzzle in a beautiful presentation box.  Each puzzle will be serialized with up to 190 units being produced.

The Hexadecimal is a mathematical puzzle based on binary arithmetic.  It consists of a sliding carriage and a stationary base.  The carriage is fitted with 8 rectangular switching bars which can pivot on their centers to angle in either of two directions.  The base, which holds the carriage during the puzzle’s operation, id fitted with an assembly containing 4 blocking keys. These keys can be present into any one of 16 positions.

The object is to remove the carriage which contains the 8 switching bars.  By setting the 4 the blocking keys in various configurations, there are 16 puzzles to solve ranging from fairly easy to extraordinarily difficult.  At the highest level, it is one of the most difficult puzzles we know.

Finely crafted in Maine cherry wood and handcrafted in Spring Hill, Florida, it is designed for puzzle-solvers, computer enthusiasts, and logical thinkers. 

 The puzzle was designed and patented by William Keister in 1986 (1907 – 1997).  William was a brilliant Bell Labs engineer responsible for many advances in electronic switching systems.  One day he raided Bell Labs’ stock room, gathering up pushbuttons, electronic relays, and light bulbs to build an electronic version of the Chinese Ring Puzzle.  After a few hours work, he realized he had wired it up wrong, but studying what he had done he also realized he had stumbled upon a whole series of binary code sequence puzzles, of which the famous Chinese Rings Puzzle was just one variation.  He went on to sketch out a whole series of logic puzzles and show how they could be solved mathematically with Boolean algebra, a precursor to today’s computer languages.

 The puzzle was originally made for one year only in1986 by Binary Arts (now called Thinkfun Holdings).  7500 were produced of which about 750 are estimated to still exist, most firmly in the hands of puzzle enthusiasts/collectors such that they rarely come up for sale and when they do command very high prices.  The original selling price of the puzzle in 1986 was $49.99.

 I became interested in reproducing a small numbers of these based on urging from puzzle collectors who could not obtain one otherwise.  As I looked into it, the technical challenges were greater than we have ever faced.  So I consulted with my associate Bob Nolet, a master woodworking craftsman, (I call him the Toymaker) who took the lead in overcoming most of the challenges.  Our goal was to produce a product nearly identical to the original from the same natural cherry.  The puzzle measures about 9” x 4.5” x 2.5”.

We added a felt lined presentation box with sliding cover which can optionally be lasered engraved with a name/date or presentation message.  Select that option below and input the text you want, or you can contact me directly.

We obtained liscensing rights from the current patent owner to produce up to 200 units.  The wood we bought will cover us through 190 units (max), so that is where it will end.  It has been a pleasure making this puzzle and we hope it is something that you will enjoy.  They will be sold in serial number order, with the first 5 held preassigned.

Comes with original instructions as issued by Binary Arts and includes a biography of William Keister.

There is a somewhat fascinating Youtube video of a person who is expert at solving this puzzle.  If you cut and paste or perhaps click this link you can see him working one of the original puzzles:        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V4bNG6YF49Q

Our version of the puzzle.


Add to Cart:

  • Model: Hexadecimal
  • Shipping Weight: 2.5lbs
  • Manufactured by: Creative Crafthouse

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