Thursday, 29 September 2016

Cast shark: level 1

Second puzzle in the marinelife series designed by Akio Yamamoto, this puzzle is (much?) more difficult than the cast seabream: the shapes of the pieces make the puzzle a bit confusing and if your puzzle has some flaws (it can happen with mass-produced puzzles!), then it's pretty hard to discover the moves.


I like the design of a shark going through jaws without being bitten ;-)

The puzzle is less easy than what you can think at a first glance because you need very small moves and good precision when you manipulate it so that it can move. So if you're blocked, try to make small and slow moves, and maybe it will help you....And obviously you need some idea to progress.

It's worth more a level 2/6 difficulty in my mind. I think it's an interesting puzzle. So try to buy it, you won't regret!

Monday, 26 September 2016

Cast seabream: level 1

Designed by Akio Yamamoto, this puzzle belongs to a marine series of cast puzzle with usually 2 metal colors. As it's about marine sealife, the moves are not regular ones and can be very hard to discover and manipulate the pieces.

Actually this puzzle is not difficult and the moves are easy to discover: you will have to move and rotate the fishes.


I think this puzzle is a nice introduction of using rotations when solving a puzzle, and it's definitely easy to repeat. But still, it's fun and nice. Good puzzle for beginners....and for more seasoned who want to complete their collection :-)


Thursday, 22 September 2016

Cast key: level 1

Designed by Nob Yoshigahara, this puzzle embodies perfectly what a level 1 cast puzzle should be: a puzzle with several steps but not too many, not confusing but pretty straight forward steps.

The puzzle can be solved by anybody, it's really not difficult. The sequence of steps are nice and I love the idea and the design.

Starting with this puzzle in your cast puzzle journey is the best idea you can have :-)
Even if you won't have any difficulty to solve and reassemble the puzzle, it's pretty addictive to play again with this puzzle.

Can you also try this challenge below (the position of the right key is not the same)

I usually try to find if you could have several challenges for a given puzzle. For this puzzle, yes you have 2 challenges in a way, for more fun!

Thursday, 15 September 2016

Cast flag: level 1

One of the several puzzles designed by Nob Yoshigahara, the goal of it is to free the flag from its cage.

The core is composed of 2 moving parts and depending of where the flag is in its cage, you can move one part or the other on different side of the cage.
You really need very good precision, because otherwise you cannot move the flag and think you're blocked, even if it's not the case at all!


Honestly, this puzzle has a lot of moves for a level 1! And I am sure a beginner would have difficulties. I would classify it as level 2.

With my old packagings I did not have the writting below, so it made me smile.
Well, when the solution doesn't go along with the puzzle, it just means that the designers/puzzle firms are too lazy to write a proper solution. The solution is part of the puzzle, it should always be included.
Luckily, it's not too difficult to find the solution of the cast puzzle on the internet if you're ever blocked.



You can buy this puzzle at Sloyd

Monday, 12 September 2016

Cast bike: level 1

A pretty big puzzle regarding usual size of the cast puzzles. This puzzle designed by John R.Lynn is composed of a bike and a ring to free.

The bike is like a maze and has some slots on both side. As they are on different place on the bike, you need to always look at both side of the bike. Indeed you may think you're blocked, but actually you can still move on one side of the bike.


You will have to navigate thourough the whole bike to free the little ring.

There are a lot of moves and thus, I would classify it as level 2. In my opinion, level 1 puzzles should have fewer moves. So even if it's not a difficult puzzle, it's still challenging and should not be classified as level 1.

Due to the small size of the ring, it tends to slip away from your hands, not practical....

I like this puzzle. You can buy it at Sloyd

Thursday, 8 September 2016

Cast ABC: level 1

I will try to make up for lost time in terms of reviewing the cast puzzle series. I may have already reviewed some, but now I will try to speed up a bit. However, there are a lot, so it will take months. Plus I may do some breaks to speak about other puzzles.

I will also try to each time make a summary of what I consider to be the best in each ranking of difficulty. That's my choice, some may not agree and feel free to give your feelings as well!

Something to add: for several puzzles the difficulty ranking has changed. I will trust the ranking of the packaging I have.

This time: cast ABC designed by Nob Yoshigahara

As you notice you need to free the C letter from the AB. This is not a difficult puzzle and is worth well its ranking (level 1). You should not have difficulties to solve it, but pay a lot attention where the C is freed from.

Actually I put the puzzle solved and tried to reassemble it later and I was blocked because I tried to put the C on the wrong slot. It's surely funnier to try to reassemble a puzzle later because you can forget a bit the solution and thus have still some challenge left.

Finally I managed to find the right slot and reassemble. Nice puzzle!

You can buy it at Sloyd

Thursday, 1 September 2016

Popplock T2

T2 is nice, is secret, is difficult to open, and is definitely a collectible lock. Let's see why.

T2 was made in 2 different version: a limited version was made out of stainless steel and thus is rarer. The only difference with both version of the lock is the material used, the solution of the way they work remain the same, of course.

A nice feature that I like with this lock is that you can opened it by unscrewing the front pannel and see the mechanism. And if you like, you can even create a plexi cover to put instead of the metal cover so that you can admire the mechanism while solving the lock.
But well, it makes it a very easy lock them. The main difficulty is that you cannot see what you're doing while trying to solve it. And even if you have feedback from the lock, well, it's difficult to solve. And you always need to pull the shackle to see if you have solved the lock as, unfortunately, the shackle does not pop up :-(




Your tools: you have a key and something like a rod. The first version of the lock had only one tool which was the key with a small rod on it's top, which gave a clue: you could only use the key or the small rod, and not both together. Whereas, with the 2 tools you now have, you can use both at the same time. You follow?

You will hear some clicks while you turn the keys inside the keyhole, and sometimes you will be blocked....and at some point you may solve it without understanding what you did :-)
The interesting thing is to open the lock to see the mechanism.

I had difficulty to open the lock and I do feel it's not easy to repeat. But obviously it's highly collectible, it's a popplock after all! Plus it's still fun to play with it. Give it a try!

Monday, 29 August 2016

Time to fold...some flower origami !!!

Some new pictures, still without glue and without scotch tape. And the modules don't fall apart.
The models are not that big, the biggest one is the red and rose one as it requires more modules. All are time-consuming to make (cutting the paper, folding each piece of paper, assembling the globe in the appropriate way, correcting the potential mistake during the assembly process which becomes more and more complex as you add more modules...).

And as usual, if interested to buy any foldings, PM me :-)


Enjoy!






The following is a bit loose because of the number of modules used (12) and the shape of the origami. Some glue can be added to make the folding less fragile.

Monday, 22 August 2016

Time to fold....some spirals !!!!!!

The following foldings are all made with only one sheet of paper, without any scotch tape and without any glue. The "theme" is spirals as you can see the paper rolling again and again around an axis.

The differences between each of them are the angles and the shape of the base (square, triangle...).

These foldings are time consuming and require a lot of precision, and a bit of dexterity as well ;-)
What is interesting is that they are 3D foldings and "pop up" in a way, but can be flatten as well to admire the shapes.

As usual, I can sell some of them if any interest you. But I won't sell some as those ones are a pain to fold and I am not up to make them again. Feel free to ask if a folding catches your attention!


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For the 2 above, it seems they are the same, but not really. Look precisely at the picture on the right and you will notice a variation. Actually, the folds are very different!



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