This Mechanical Puzzle Classification system was devised by Jerry Slocum
and is used here with his permission. © by Jerry Slocum - all rights reserved.
Puzzle Types (Example name is in bold)
1. Put-Together Puzzles - Putting the object together is the puzzle.
1.1 Two Dimensional assembly puzzles (Tangrams, Anchor, T, jigsaw,
1.2 Three Dimensional assembly puzzles - Non-Interlocking (Soma, etc.)
1.3 Miscellaneous put-together-(Instant Insanity, puzzle rings, etc.)
1.4 Matchstick puzzles
2. Take-Apart Puzzles - Taking the object apart or open is the puzzle.
2.1 Trick or secret opening puzzles - (Puzzle Boxes, etc.)
2.2 Secret Compartment puzzles (Slopes, coins, etc.)
2.3 Trick locks & keys
2.4 Trick matchboxes (matchsafes)
2.5 Trick knives
3. Interlocking Solid Puzzles - Disassembly & assembly to solve puzzle.
3.1 Figural (Animals, objects, etc.)
3.2 Geometric objects (Cube, etc.)
3.3 Three D jigsaw puzzles
3.4 Burr Puzzles
3.5 Keychain puzzles
3.6 Miscellaneous interlocking solid puzzles
4. Disentanglement Puzzles - Disentanglement & entanglement to solve puzzle
4.1 Cast Iron & sheet metal puzzles
4.2 Wire puzzles (Chinese Rings, etc.)
4.3 String puzzles (non-rigid disentanglement)
4.4 Miscellaneous disentanglement puzzles
5. Sequential Movement Puzzles - Moving the parts of object to a goal is the
5.1 Solitaire puzzles (Remove pegs, counters, etc. by jumping)
5.2 Counter puzzles (Rearrange counters, pegs, etc. by jumping)
5.3 Sliding piece puzzles (2D & 3D)
5.4 Rotating cube puzzles (3D-Rubiks cube, etc.)
5.5 Maze & route puzzles
5.6 Miscellaneous sequential movement puzzles (Tower of Hanoi, etc.)
5.7 Maze and Labyrinths for People
6. Dexterity Puzzles - Manual dexterity is primary to solve puzzle.
3.1 Throw & catch (Cup & ball, etc.)
6.2 Rolling ball puzzles
6.3 Maze dexterity puzzles
6.4 Miscellaneous dexterity puzzles
7. Puzzle Vessels - Drinking without spilling, or filling a vessel is the
(Puzzle Jugs, Bottom fill wine & tea pots, Pitchers, etc.)
8. Vanish Puzzles - The Puzzle is to explain a vanished or changed image.
(Loyds Get Off the Earth, etc.)
9. Folding Puzzles - The puzzle is to fold a paper or hinged object to form a
specified pattern. (2D & 3D)
(Fifth Pig Puzzle, etc.)
10. 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.)