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Jerry Slocum's Puzzle Categorisation

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Jerry Slocum has devised a system of mechanical puzzle classification used by many collectors around the world. His ten primary categories for mechanical puzzles are:


  1. Put-Together Puzzles - the principle object is to put the puzzle together
    1. 2-Dimensional assembly puzzles
    2. 3-Dimensional assemble puzzles, non-interlocking
    3. Miscellaneous put-together
    4. Matchstick puzzles
  2. Take-Apart Puzzles - the principle object is to take the puzzle apart
    1. Trick or secret opening puzzles
    2. Secret compartment puzzles
    3. Trick locks & keys
    4. Trick matchboxes (matchsafes)
    5. Trick knives
  3. Interlocking Solid Puzzles - the object is to disassemble and then reassemble the puzzle
    1. Figural
    2. Geometric objects
    3. 3-D jigsaw puzzles
    4. Burr puzzles
    5. Keychain puzzles
    6. Miscellaneous interlocking solid puzzles
  4. Disentanglement Puzzles - the object is to disentangle the pieces and then put them back together
    1. Cast iron & sheet metal puzzles
    2. Wire puzzles
    3. String puzzles
    4. Miscellaneous disentanglement puzzles
  5. Sequential Movement Puzzles - the object is to move parts of the puzzle in the correct sequence to solve the puzzle
    1. Solitaire puzzles
    2. Counter puzzles
    3. Sliding piece puzzles
    4. Rotating piece puzzles
    5. Maze & route puzzles
    6. Miscellaneous sequential movement puzzles
    7. Mazes & labyrinths for people
  6. Dexterity puzzles - manual dexterity is necessary to solve these movement puzzles
    1. Throw & catch
    2. Rolling ball puzzles
    3. Maze dexterity puzzles
    4. Miscellaneous dexterity puzzles
  7. Puzzle Vessels - the object is to fill a vessel or to drink from a vessel without spilling
  8. Vanish Puzzles - the object is to explain how an image has changed or a part of the image has vanished
  9. Folding Puzzles - the object is to fold a paper or hinged object to form a specified pattern (both two and three dimensional)
  10. Impossible Puzzles - the object is to explain how an object was made or why it behaves in a seemingly impossible way