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Changes made to, and discussions regarding, THE PUZZLE CLASSIFICATION & DATABASE since 2000.

The Puzzle Classification was completed in 1999 by Edward Hordern and James Dalgety with much help from many people especially. Jerry Slocum, Marcel Gillen, Stan Isaacs, David Singmaster and many others. Since 1999 the following Sub-Classes have been added:-

March 2002 Added Class DEX-PITF for Dexterities of the Pitfall type both cased (Farmer’s Silver Bullet) & uncased where the playing surface is not held in the hand but controlled by knobs (Brio Laberint) or other mechanical means.

May 2005 Added Class OTH-GAME for Puzzle related games and toys. (note Type, such as DEX, as qualifier) Examples:- Pocketeer "Bean Bop", Parker's "Orion" "Mind Maze" & "Situation 4", Rubik's Challenge.

July 2010  Added suffix -REL to EVERY main heading for related items that are not actually Puzzles.
e.g. SEQ-REL for Shop display for Rubik Star-Wars Heads
OPN-REL for Plastic non-working model souvenir of Hakone puzzle box.
The –REL subclass now sometimes renders the OTH–GAME sub-class redundant.


Problem areas under consideration.

There are nearly 5000 dexterities in the Puzzle Museum and the whole Dexterity section of the classification could be further rationalised.

Should there be New Class for puzzles that are deliberately made to look like a different class; for example, a puzzle that looks like a TNG but is actually an OPN puzzle will almost certainly be initially identified as a TNG which is what the inventor intended. Should it be a function of a Classification to partly give away the solution of a particular puzzle.

Currently OTH-TRIK is for puzzles that require subterfuge in the form of an additional component; or, in other words, are "not fully self contained".

OTH-HOW was suggested for "How does it work" puzzles which cannot be included in AMB-POBJ  (Paradoxical Objects). Maybe “How it works” is same as “How was it made”

Considered and rejected dropping AMB-TURN as they can be included in AMB-HIDD.

SEQ-GROUP. Many Rubiks type puzzles are now called TWISTY PUZZLES this is now referenced in the Classification. This whole class has grown enormously in the past 15 years and needs a re-think

PAT-TRAIL (large Subgroup of PAT-EDGE)

NON-PUZZLE section (for items that are found in the majority of puzzle collections but are not actually related to puzzles. How about NPZ-JOKE, NPZ-MAGIc, NPZ-GAME, NPZ-TOY, NPZ-OTHer. Perhaps if they are not puzzles then maybe they should never be included.

In 2008 Robert Reid observed “Dodeca” appeared as an example in two classes.
Is “Polyominoes” the wrong overall generic name – What should it be? PolyPolys?

There should be more examples of classifying less obvious puzzles such as: -

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A small group of Metagrobologists was going to try to rationalise and update the Puzzle Classification in 2015. Life intervened and only some suggestions were made and few implemented.
It is important to get input from as many knowledgeable people as possible but it is also important that any committee be small enough to reach consensus within a finite time. The group included Simon Bexfield, Laurie Brokenshire, James Dalgety, Peter Hajek, Steve Nicholls, Simon Nightingale, David Singmaster, and Allard Walker
The Hordern-Dalgety Classification was completed in 1999 with much input from Jerry Slocum, Marcel Gillen, Stan Isaacs, David Singmaster and many others. However in the past 15 years several errors and anomalies have become apparent and there have been unforeseen developments in the puzzle world such as the dynamic increase in the types of Twisty Puzzles.
During the past 15 years I have received significant suggestions from several people, including Dick Hess, Bob Finn, Rob Stegman, Stan Isaacs, & Andreas Nordman.
The original OBJECTIVE, DEFINITIONS, and METHOD at the top of page <http://puzzlemuseum.com/class/pzcla99a.htm> have stood the test of time and are still acceptable as they stand. These are VERY IMPORTANT so please tell us if you disagree with them as they are the foundation of the classification.
Specialist puzzle enthusiasts may further subdivide classes for their own specific purposes but generally the classification needs to be understood and usable by a non-puzzle person after half a day's training (Think of employing an art student to classify your collection). 
The Slocum Classification was created a very long time ago and does not have enough detail. The Hordern-Dalgety Classification arguably has too many sub-classes in some areas and too few in others. For example in Sequential where the Twisty enthusiasts can further subdivide SEQ-GRP into about 500 sub-categories which is way more than is practicable.

Other problems arise with "Packing Puzzles". These are usually just Assembly puzzles with the addition of a containing box or tray. Without thinking, many people call them "Packing Puzzles" then do not count the container as one of the pieces, though if a cube has to be built, is it different if it has to be put into a plain cubic box?

There is sometimes difficulty deciding if a puzzle is a Tanglement puzzle or a maze for Example Oskar van Deventer’s GGG puzzle.
"INTERLOCKING" is a much abused class. Perhaps it should be dropped as many interlocking puzzles are just well made push-fit puzzles. To many people "interlocking" means that each piece is held in place by another piece. The standard 6 identical piece rhombic star can arguably be called an "Assembly" puzzle as it falls apart unless very well made.

"OPENING" it has been suggested this should have been called "CONCEALED MECHANISM" - This also includes most "SEQUENTIAL DISCOVERY PUZZLES".

A few examples of puzzles which illustrate potential classification difficulties.

Rob Stegman's comparison of different puzzle classification systems

If you are interested yourself in making suggestions please read all the current classification pages then email a summary of your own suggested improvements to us with "Classification 2017" in the subject line. To keep us sane, please initially try to limit your suggestions to less than half a page or 200 words. PLEASE EMAIL YOUR SUGGESTIONS with "Classification 2017" in the subject line.

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