Saturday, 29 April 2017

Haleslock #2

Why #2? Why obviously because another one was released before :)

I already published a review of the haleslock#1 here, so time to speak quickly about this one.

Shane Hales, designer and crafter of this haleslock series learnt about his mistakes and released more of this lock. Guess what: it was sold out super fast, and maybe even faster than what he thought.

What are the differences and common points between this puzzle and the other one.
First, both are not crafted from scratch but are modified locks that can be bought in the market.
Then, both require several steps to open even if this one require fewer steps though.
Both are very niceley designed and are quality locks that a serious metal collector and/or serious trick locks collector should have in his collection.

 Like the previous lock in the series, the keys (here 2 and not only one as for haleslock #1) are attached to the lock. However here the keys can be used directly inside the lock because the chain is long enough, which was not the case for the preceding lock.

In my opinion, this trick lock is closer to a trick lock (ie: more a trick than a sequence of moves to solve) than to a real sequencial discovery trick lock.
Indeed it does not have a lock of steps. The hardest being the first one and after that it's pretty straight forward. If you have ever played with haleslock #1 you will notice that the difficulty is less high. The price also is less high.

I wish the puzzle was a bit more difficult but I like the effort put in this lock and I think Shane Hales is definitely a genius. I hope some more in the series are in the mind of Shane.
If you have a look at his website, several puzzles include locks or keys, like his imitation locks and the puzzle called "turn the plug" which I hope he could craft some more.

Monday, 10 April 2017

Time to fold....astonishing foldings!!!

Below you will find some foldings I folded recently. Only one sheet of paper. No glue, no scotch tape used!
For some I put the 2 sides and when the folding is backlit. For other (like 3D foldings), as they are not suitable to be backlit, I put only 2 pictures. They are super time-consuming, but the result is worth the effort I feel :-)

Hope you will enjoy them. And as usual they can be sold!




Thursday, 6 April 2017

Haleslock #1

A newscommer (well, not really new now!) in the beautiful world of puzzles came, and guess what: he crafts very nice puzzles!
His name: Shane Hales!

His puzzles are pretty rare because made in very small quantities, so don't expect to play with one! Just enjoy the nice looks, and that's it. Yes, I know it's frustrating and I am definitely the first person to be furstrated to see that I won't be able to own his beautiful wooden puzzles.

Pretty recently (some months ago) he released some sequencial discovery trick locks. Being good with locks, offering services related to protection and lock, he naturally made lock puzzles. Logical way :-)

If you see some comments on blogs about his puzzles, you notice that the guy does not show off and modestly says that he produces puzzles that are far from being perfect and won't be able to achieve as good quality as compared to other craftmen. Come one! This is false, totally false. Even if I cannot judge about his wooden puzzles, in my mind the Haleslock #1 is a very nice first steps into trick lock puzzles. Sure, this is not a popplock, but who cares?!

So what about the lock itself? This is a modified lock obviously with a stange thing on a side under Shanes' signature and a key attached with kind of a key ring.
Sure, the key will be useful, but how to free it? This will be the first step of your journey. I am sure, for those who played with this puzzle, they may have had some difficulties with this steps. But you will definitely smile with an "ah-ha" moment when you solve this first part of the puzzle.
Then you will have to perform several steps to solve the lock.

Solving the puzzle was not super hard but very pleasant and I can say that this is a nice lock for anyone who likes this kind of puzzles. In my mind Shane did a very great job and the feeling about this lock is shared among the puzzlers: a nice lock to have, to play with or both!

The puzzle had a lot of success and demand was way higher than offer. Hence, Shane, for his other lock design, chose to make more puzzles.....but again demand was higher than offer. I will talk a bit about his other lock in another post later.

Sunday, 19 March 2017

Twisties, again?

A quick review about 2 new twisties: a pyramix by DaYan and a 2x2 rubik's by MoYu.

I find the it's nice to have a 2x2 cube this one is a good one: it turns smoothly and you can even use corner cutting, but I don't think this will be really useful though.
I am still trying to look for a good and easy to understand method to solve it. Not sure if there is a method to make the first step which is to make a side of one color (usually white). I did it randomly and must admit that it took me a bit of time.

Then is a stickerless pyramid. I have not yet tried to solve it, but I can say that it turns again smoothly and the pieces don't pop-up

I will need to scramble it and solve it now!

All what I can say is that the quality is very good to satisfy you and make your solving process a joy rather than a pain! ;-)

These twisties come from this online shop. They have plenty of choices!

Friday, 17 March 2017

Euro falle 05

5th puzzle in the series designed by Jurgen Reiche and produced by Siebenstein-Spiele, this one maybe be the easiest one  and the smallest one as well!

The goal is to free the coin that is trapped by the plexi, the coin on the backside is glued, so don't try to free it!

The precision is very good as it was cut by laser cutters, and the funny thing with laser cutters is that it's still smell burnt wood even after some time! Overall a nice looking puzzle.

About the difficulty, while a completely new puzzle may have some troubles, I do think that everybody will solve this puzzle very fast (maybe too fast in my mind). I wish it was a bit more difficult. Maybe it was to balance with the previous ones? I cannot comment because I have never played with them, so maybe they were very hard and this time the designer wanted to make something a bit easier? Just assumptions.

Anyway, I am sure you don't like not having all the puzzles in the same series, right?
This puzzle was bought at Brilliant puzzles webshop. They have great choice of puzzle, have a look!

Friday, 10 March 2017

Amazing cubes

Here is a new kind of puzzles I saw in the market: you have a wooden cube with 2 holes, you have something like a metal key, and the goal is just to put the metal key inside the cube and to free it after.

As you see the "holes" are designed in such a way that you cannot just put the key and that's it. You have to fist find the good hole, then put the first part of the key in the right position and then make some moves with the key to put it completely inside.

It did not take long time before solving each cube, so I would not say that it's as challenging as they  mention (they are rated as 4/5) but they are pleasant to solve.

I do think this is a very great idea, it's like a one piece packing puzzle. I wish some more puzzles like these can be designed.

These puzzles are from this webshop, they have several interesting puzzles. Have a look!

Saturday, 4 March 2017

Gan 356 air

A new quick review of a twisty puzzle: the Gan 356 air.

The Gan series is among the best twisties you can have in terms of quality: this is very suitable for speed cubing because the moves are smooths, the corners don't pop-up and corner cutting is very easy to apply.

The first thing you notice is that the stickers are not all squares, some are a bit rounded and the central sticker is even a round. In my mind, this is a cool design because it changes from the basic square you see too often.

The colors are bright and the stickers see to be a nice quality, let's see with time how it's going. ON the white side of the cube is the brandname of the cube, I do think they put the logo on this side as this is usually the side to be completed first and that you look at first :-)

The cube comes along a took and some extra pieces. You just need to open the central piece of the cube, unscrew with the tool. Each plastic piece make your cube smoother, or with more steadiness. It depends the way you like to play with your cube. A good balance should be chosen, but you can experiment. You are also provided with a paper sheet explaining how to solve the cube and how to change the GES (the small plastic things).

About playability, honestly this is super good. This is super quality and the price is not that expensive. If you're looking for a stickered cube, this is the one you should consider buying.

Mine is from this shop that I strongly advise. They have many quality products.

Sunday, 19 February 2017

Origami: time to put them into frames!!!

Some pictures of "new" creations below. And as usual if you're interested to buy, PM me!

I folded this tessellation in 4 colors some time ago and bought recently a big red sheet to put it as a background color. I also bought a nice black frame with glass (this is not plexi). I can be hanged.
I feel that the contrast of colors is very nice.

At the beginning I had a red sheet of 35cm x 35 cm side but I did not find any frame of that size. So I needed to buy a bigger sheet and cut it. Hence, this is also not the same red color.

Maybe I will also buy a frame for the below folding. This will be a big bigger (but a rectangle and not a square):

I will try to fold other kind of "flat origami" soon, that can be put in frames.

Last is an old folding, but I bought a nice plexi display stand for it. First it makes it even more beautiful. Then it's design. Finally it protects well the folding, maintain it perfectly and you can put a light source under to see the patterns of the folding.

Thursday, 16 February 2017


My first review of a kind of puzzles not very developed in the market: the trick key.
You already know the trick locks, the trick bolts. Now let me explain a little bit about the trick keys.

I don't see this kind of puzzles a lot and the only ones I know are designed and crafted by Rocky Chiaro using brass (like for all his puzzles). The goal is obviously to free the ring.

The price is definitely not cheap but the quality is very good and it's handmade. This has a price!

It puzzled me for few minutes, so I have to admit that it's not a difficult puzzle at all. I remember it was ranked with a high difficulty on Rocky's website but he has deleted the difficulty.

I like the mechanism and the name of the puzzle, always funny names for his puzzles!

So you should buy it if you have no trick keys in your collection or if you like metal puzzles. I would have liked a bit more steps and a bit more difficult. But well, it must be difficult to implement a lot of steps in small puzzles like trick keys...

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Armadillo cube

In my twisty journey, I could not avoid to tell you quick words about a this twisty: the armadillo cube.

Designed by Michael Kessell Grant Prestidge in New Zealand, the puzzle was initially funded through kickstarter. In case, you should check quickstarter because there are often interesting projects about puzzles.

There are several interesting things to mention about this puzzle: first the shape is nice, the colors are brights. The design can remind you of the famous regular rubik's cube 3x3, but here are some subtle differences like the fact that 2 sides of the cube can share the same colours.
Secondly the pieces can be completely removed in case you want to restart the puzzle. Nothing specially complicated in the mechanism but this is very efficient and make the puzzle's moves pretty smooth (I find the puzzle even smoother after completely disassembling the puzzle).
Reassembling the pieces is not difficult but require a little bit of dexterity as the first pieces are not hold by the other pieces.

Regarding the difficulty of the puzzle, I would rank it in the same level as the regular 3x3 or a little bit more difficult as you have to take into account the shared coloured sides of the puzzle. You have algorithms to solve it. I used the same algorithm as for the regular rubik's cube but I was blocked at some point with 2 corners that could not be orientated the way I wanted. Or maybe I skipped one step...who knows.

The puzzle being available in different shops, you should not have too many difficulties to get one. And it's not expensive!

Sunday, 5 February 2017

The "how" trick box

I know, it's not the real name of the puzzles, but for me it's way easier than writting the German name which is difficult to pronounce and write :-)

So this puzzle is a trick box designed and made by Siebenstein Spiele. It consists of several pannels that need to be moved to open the box. The quality is overall good and I like a lot the design with the question mark.

A seasoned puzzler won't have difficulties to open the box because he knows the tricks that a trick box can contain while a newscomer may experience some slight difficulties.

The good thing with this puzzles (despite its puzzling aspect) is that it has enough space to try to imagine how you could modify the puzzle. And if you wonder: yes I have ideas to make it even more case the designer reads this blog ;-)

It's definitely a nice introduction to trick boxes.

You can buy it at this nice shop: Brilliant puzzles. They have a lot of choices for trick boxes with all price range, have a look!

Monday, 23 January 2017

Medallion: Hanayama special edition!

OK I assume you all know the Hanayama's famous cast puzzles composed of usually (but not always) 2 pieces to separate and then to reassemble.
This puzzle is also a cast puzzle but does not belong to the "official" list of the cast puzzle series because it's a special and limited edition (hence the price is more expensive than the usual price of cast puzzles).

Designed by Oskar, this puzzle is composed of 2 rings that rotate creating a maze and a "tray" composed of 2 parts that you can push and pull.

So you're facing a 2 sides-maze: you have to move a disk, then push/pull the tray, move the other disk, etc. You need to anticipate the next moves depending on the path of the maze.
My technique to solve was was to look on both side each time.

But don't get me wrong: this is a difficult puzzle. I don't really know the rating of the difficulty as it's not written on the box but I would assume at least 5/6. You can be easily lost and make useless moves!

It reminds me kind of the other cast puzzle called L'oeuf, but I have some difficulties with the previous one as the moves were not super smooth and some slight force was needed. For this medallion puzzle, no force at all is needed, the moves are very smooth!

I even found another challenge with this puzzle!
I did not reassemble the puzzle in the "proper" configuration, resulting in a puzzle with the writting on the top with the flat side of the tray pointing up (come one, it's not just about rotating the whole puzzle hahaha!). If you look well on the first picture I put, the writting was at the bottom.
Who's up for this challenge??

In my mind, this is a really nice addition to your collection and definitely a must-have if you like (like me) the cast puzzles.

Being a special edition it's not available everywhere. I advise Brilliant Puzzle webshop to buy it. They charge the lowest price (compared to other webshops) for this puzzle!
Plus they offer a big range of puzzles. No doubt you will find something suitable for you! :)

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