Sunday 3 April 2011

Hanayama cast spiral

I bought this a few weeks ago, as part of my "I've run out of revomazes and need something else to do" crisis. I bought them from Puzzleguru who provided great service - the puzzles I ordered arrived within 48 hours and because I had spent quite a bit they sent me a freebie! Their site is pretty extensive and includes the Hanyama cast puzzles, all the Professor Puzzle series (wire, wooden etc.) and quite a lot of others. Prices are pretty competitive - especially as postage is free for purchases above £25 (very easy to achieve!).

I decided to try a couple of Hanayama puzzles and picked the cast spiral because it looked good and was stated to be pretty tough to solve (level 5 out of 6). I hadn't read any previous reviews!

When it arrived it was in the usual Hanayama packaging which is quite attractive and well protected.

The puzzle is a decent weight and feels good and solid in your hand, it is a slightly convex circle just under 5cm diameter and 1.25cm thick. It is made from 5 wedges which are interlinked like jigsaw puzzle pieces. These pieces are obviously slightly tapered because they will only come apart in one direction! The problem is first to separate the puzzle into the 5 pieces and second to reassemble it. The disassembly took about 10 minutes and was not hugely difficult - in fact, I am a little embarrassed that it took so long but I had a mental block before the frankly obvious answer hit me.
Forgive me, my wife does say I am fairly stupid!

The reassembly is a swine! I dismantled it fairly early on in my puzzling career and had not worked out that I should pay attention to what came from where. She reiterates that I am fairly stupid!! It took me the best part of 2 hours to put it back together - during this I realised that the parts are all subtly different! This means that my disassembly was a bit of a fluke - I had the right idea but was lucky it happened first attempt! In the end, I remembered the sort of shape I was trying to make and ended up systematically trying different combinations of pieces until it worked. There was a fair bit of effing and blinding after the first hour of trying!!

When I finally got it back together I tried to dismantle it again and confirmed that it only works in ONE way. Again, to my embarrassment, I struggled to reassemble it! The pieces all look practically identical and I couldn't, for the life of me, tell which should go in each position. I downloaded the solution from PuzzleMaster and had a look. Even after reading the instructions it is a bit of a challenge - it now takes me a few minutes only but I still have to think. I have given it to quite a few people to try - several have opened it but so far no-one has managed to put it back together!

All in all a very satisfying puzzle to own - I can recommend buying it from PuzzleGuru (I am not affiliated with them!)

1 comment:

  1. This was my first one, it's really excellent and you can appreciate the subtle engineering. However, I had overlooked the solution early on and discounted it, so I ended up needing a solution.