Saturday, 16 May 2020

Cast rotor

Up for the review is a toughie! A level-6 cast puzzle from hanayama called "the cast rotor".

It consists of 2 "rotors" that dance around each other during the solution process. Both rotor have a notch in the center on both side and have 3 holes. You will have to manipulate the rotors many times to solve the puzzle. Actually the solution indicates that it requires around 30 steps to solve....scary! ....but you're more prone to make way more moves (I am sure I did more than 100 haha).

Basically you have several possible moves: you can use the notch, you can rotate the rotors close to each other and in each other.

Honestly you cannot really solve the puzzle by thinking, you will solve the puzzles at some point.
In fact you cannot predict more than 30 moves. Then, you will proably get confused and do some moves and then few moves later be back to your starting point. This is why this is definitely a level 6!!

The words "rotor" written on both rotor will help you either to solve the puzzle using the solution or reassemble the puzzle with the solution (sorry, but yes I did reassemble the puzzle with the solution and I am not ashamed at all ! I want a proper starting point if I want to solve again the puzzle! and I really advise you to use the solution to reassemble the puzzle).

This is a cleverly designed puzzle but also nicely crafted as it requires precise tolerances. No force need. If it does not go through a notch, you should not force it. Be gentle !!

After spending hours and hours rotating the...rotors, I finally found an unsuspected move (that is needed to solve the puzzle). This was clearly my "ah-ha" moment. And in this moment you clearly notice that if the puzzle was badly manufactured, then this move could not have been made possible (with an impossible puzzle to solve at the end!).
Still, this move did not reall helped me to solve the puzzle, but I made some progress and at some point I solved the puzzle!

Finally !!

This is really a very cleverly designed puzzle and a tough one if you like challenges!

Even if I am pretty proud of having solved a hard cast puzzle, I am not super kind of these level 6 for several reasons: pretty hard to solve and mostly you will solve them with luck.
Secondly, you're not probably willing to have a second try to solve the puzzle once you've already solved it before. Personally I prefer trying to solve again some lower level of cast puzzle as I am sure that I will be able to reassemble them and I can show the solution quickly to friends (which is impossible for this puzzle hahaha).

One more time, I am sorry but I don't like the "new" packaging of the cast puzzles. The previous packing were way better to display the puzzle as you could see it....! I am sure they changed because it must have been too costly....

Do I advise this puzzle? Hell yes !!

Wednesday, 6 May 2020

Some wonderful puzzle boxes

Recently I received some puzzle boxes from Transylvanyart puzzle company, which is based in Romania and crafts exquisite puzzle boxes.

Several things needs to be mentioned. As you can see from the below image, the boxes are carved (manually, good to say, because more and more puzzles are only CNC machined nowadays...) with nice patterns and vernished to give a glossy finish of the puzzle. So it's definitely a puzzle that you should not be ashamed of and show proudly among your collection !!

And depending on the space you have, you can choose between several boxe sizes, but in any case all have the same mechanism.

So let's talk about the mechanism. Several steps are required to open the boxe, none require excessive force. Ok so if I say "excessive" you may think that it still requires force? Well, some parts are especially designed and made to be tight, else the puzzle would solve by itself....and you would be spoiled completely.  So you have to keep on trying you first ideas to see if something can move.
And what is also a good point of having some tight part is that you cannot clearly see where are the pieces that should move.
Even if it did not take me long to solve, it was a pleasant journey.
Please don't bang the puzzle: no magnets are involved :)

You will see a surprise inside the box, well, not really inside...but you will see what I mean. Something that can be useful ;-)
These puzzle boxes can be used also as nice storage for little things: there is enough space inside to put things, and trust me the best way to offer them as presents is to put something really nice inside. It just adds some more motivation to keep on trying to open the boxes.

For a seasoned puzzler, solving these puzzles should not take so long, but for a totally newbie it should be a tough challenge!

Out of the 4 puzzles is one different: the book. It "opens" in an unconventional way...I mean not like a real book, and is satisfaying to solve. It requires fewer steps than the puzzle boxes, but has the same top quality finish as its brothers and sisters.

You can find the puzzles on amazon or etsy.

But be warned about something: the pictures show (in my mind) several steps of how to open the boxes. So if your goal is to give them away as presents to friends, don't mention the name of the company nor the website links. And if it's for you, be quick and buy them without paying attention too much to the pictures (just enough to be able to choose a color you want, but this is it!)