Kaleidoscope - The challenge everyone can solve but no one can conquer. I just bought one for, whom else - myself. I had been thinking for quite some time now. Finally bought it from my second salary (The first salary was spent on books - my first love).
The concept of a kaleidoscope is simple. You have eighteen pieces of different shapes and sizes. These pieces are painted in random colors. You are supposed to assemble them into an eight by eight square with the colors on top making a pattern. Like a real like kaleidoscope, the number of combinations and possibilities are endless. For example you could make a chess board in more than a million ways using these eighteen pieces. Then there is a pattern that can only be made in just two ways. This would mean you have to be REAL lucky to crack that one.
If you love symmetry, design, mathematics, logic, intuition, this one is for you. You could get lost in the world of kaleidoscope for not minutes, not hours but years.
I have always been a huge fan of Jigsaw Puzzles and I guess Kaleidoscope is a simple extension of the same. Jigsaw puzzles, you fit the pieces to make one picture, one pattern, one design. Here you have same pieces and you can make innumerable designs.
Years ago there used to be a computer game called Tetris on the old Nintendo systems. Kaleidoscope resembles a game of Tetris in many ways. You have simliar basic building blocks. You can fit them in interesting manner and you end up making a block of lines (and a pattern in this case). It was addictive, this is also addictive. But yeah, this is also a tad frustrating apart from being addictive. You spend two hours on this and you still haven't cracked the puzzle that the people have given two on a difficulty scale of five. You start doubting your own abilities. And yeah when you actually make it, it shall do amazing things to your ego. You know that you have done something no one else was able to.
And after all that rambling, I have a confession to make. For everything I consider myself (intelligent, high IQ, intuitive etc.), except for the basic checkerboard, I haven't been able to crack another challenge.
Details available at funkc.com.