Thursday, 25 May 2017

The captive coin

Why captive? Just because you have to free it!

As you can notice, if you're a bit aware of this kind of material, this puzzle is made out of corian, which is not a natural material. It looks like stone.

The goal is easy, how to achieve it is a bit more complicated, especially because you cannot really see the mechanism. However, you can still have an idea of it.

What can you hear? Thing(s) ratling inside.
What can you do? You can depress the lid!

Now you understand that you need to depress it enough so that the coin reaches the same "level" as the hole to free it.

If you have ever played with this puzzle, I am sure you have managed to solve it several times, but not always on the first attempts. The hidden mechanism (simple, if I am right) is the roots of that.

A unique design, crafted by Frank Chambers, this puzzle is also pretty scarce.
The difficulty is not high but solving it is pleasant, and remember that usually with Frank Chambers' puzzles, don't expect to spend hours and hours on a single puzzle.

Thursday, 18 May 2017

A-mazing drawer

As the name suggests this puzzle is amazing and is...a maze with a drawer to open!

Designed and crafted by Simon Nightingale, this unconventional maze is not for the faint of heart, this is a very difficult puzzle!!

The goal is to open the drawer, the puzzle is solved when you've done that, you cannot remove completely the drawer and thus, you cannot see the mechanism, unfortunately...

Immediately after handling it, you will hear something ratling inside, like a marble, and you will assume (and you sould be right to do so) that you will have to carry the marble to a certain place where, by pushing the drawer, it should be released.

The biggest difficulty is that you have no idea of the design of the maze, nor really where you are, especially because the puzzle has some tricks (no banging by the way) that I cannot tell without spoiling. I manage ot solve it....without really understanding the puzzle and I fear you cannot really understand it without seeing the mechanism. Hence, in my opinion, this is not an easy puzzle to repeat.

Amazing by its difficulty and mechanism, I think this puzzle is a nice addition to your collection provided that you're ready to be frustrated :-)

Thursday, 11 May 2017

Exchange bottle

Exchanged by Wil Strijbos, this puzzle have some uncommon features.

First, it differs from Wil's usual bottle that are in glass. Secondly this one has 2 goals. And finally, guess what? The bottle is normally used for pee tests....!!

OK so one goal is to free the ball. The second goal is to put the metal ring that is inside same as in the right picture. Indeed at the beginning does not "cover" the shackle of the lock but only goes through.
The bottom of the bottle has a hole and maybe this can be useful. Ah...and I forgot to mention, don't even try to open the bottle: this has been glued!! What did you expect??
Like another of Wil's bottles, the keys are outside. Surely they will be useful in some ways.

So despite its original look and its "must-have" value for a collector, what about the solving process?
Tying to not spoil, I would say that this is a dificult puzzle. Of course, you have to get clever ideas in the right moments, but even if you have these ideas, the puzzles requires dexterity, I would even say a pretty hard dexterity, especially for one goal.
And you have also to pay attention to not use brute force and be careful to avoid damaging the plexi. This is not a strong plexi, so be careful. Not to put in every hands...

What do I think about this puzzle? I like it a lot...but I would have liked even more with less dexterity (and why not more steps) and in a thicker bottle.
In Wil's flickr you can see some other bottles. A strange one has even a lot of things inside...would be worth the case to make some more! :-)

Saturday, 6 May 2017

Twisty & magnetic puzzle

I recently received 2 puzzles: a magnetic puzzle and a twisty cube 3x3.

About the magnetic puzzle, it comes from CubeZZ
The puzzle comes in a small rounded box and sealed. It is composed of many magnetic balls, the goal is to make a cube, but of course you can experiment making any kind of shapes.
The color is bright and attractive. The good point with this magnetic puzzle is that it's suitable for anybody including children as the magnetic force is not too strong, so that it's not possible that the balls pinch your fingers.
I am still trying to figure out how to make a cube, if anybody knows please let me know :-)

The second puzzle is a twisty cube coming from SpeedCubeShop.
It's a Gan air 356 that you can see here:

I have already reviewed a cube in the same series. This one is as good as the previous one: very smooth, easy to make corner-cutting, very enjoyable!
The difference is that here you're provided with a tensioning plastic tool, and for my previous review there was a metal tensioning tool with additional nuts.
But unless you're a super top level of high speed cubing, you won't touch to the screws of the cube. But maybe you still want to experiment different smoothness.
A very good cube again!