Want a Residence for 80,000 Puzzles? Attempt an Italian Citadel.


Meet the Millers, George and Roxanne, proprietors of the world’s largest assortment of mechanical puzzles: bodily objects {that a} puzzler holds and manipulates whereas looking for an answer. In complete, the Miller assortment — an accumulation of collections, and collections of collections — quantities to greater than 80,000 puzzles. It includes some 5 thousand Rubik’s Cubes, together with a 2-by-2-by-2 rendering of Darth Vader’s head. And there are greater than 7,000 wood burr puzzles, such because the interlocking, polyhedral creations by Stewart Coffin, a Massachusetts puzzle maker; they evoke a hybrid of a pine cone and a snowflake and are Mr. Miller’s favorites. Mrs. Miller is keen on their 140 brass, bronze and gold puzzle sculptures by the Spanish artist Miguel Berrocal; Goliath, a male torso in 79 items, is “a puzzle that each one puzzlers lust after,” she mentioned.

Till not too long ago, the Miller assortment resided at Puzzle Palace in Boca Raton, Fla., filling their mansion and a museum (a smaller home) subsequent door. Puzzles occupied even the bogs. Then final 12 months, on a whim, the Millers purchased a Fifteenth-century, 52-room fort in Panicale, a hamlet in central Italy. They packed their puzzle assortment into 5 40-foot delivery containers and, for their very own transit, booked a cruise from Miami to Rome.

Earlier than crusing away in April, the Millers went on a two-month street journey — “a final hurrah,” Mr. Miller known as it — visiting puzzler pals from coast to coast. Alongside the way in which they collected extra puzzles. In Backyard Grove, Calif., they loaded up a cargo van with 58 packing containers from Marti Reis, who donated her assortment of folksy punning puzzles by the designer RGee Watkins, akin to Diamond Ring, a dime with a steel ring passing by way of the coin’s heart. The puzzle maker Lee Krasnow, who has manufacturing amenities in Portland, Ore., and Grand Rapids, Mich., met the Millers at a puzzle celebration on the outskirts of Austin, Texas, and hand-delivered his famed Clutch Field. Produced from unique hardwoods and precision machined metals, it opens with a refined unlocking mechanism; the aim is just “the fun of getting opened it,” Mrs. Miller mentioned. After which, “should you’re daring,” Mr. Krasnow added in an electronic mail, the aim is “to totally disassemble it into about 40 particular person items.”


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