This one came in the usual immaculate Hanayama packaging and was assembled into the initial state (this puzzle can be disassembled into 4 individual pieces and an alternative assembly is also possible to try!) The difficulty level is 6 out of 6 on the Hanayama scale and 10 out of 10 on the Puzzle Master scale - this means it is about as difficult as it gets - Gulp!!! The puzzle is manufactured from the same black chromed metal as the Cast Equa I reviewed earlier and it looks absolutely lovely. My long suffering wife says that whilst it looks lovely, the sound of it has driven her to distraction (she absolutely hates me jingling constantly!) Dimensions are 5cm long and 3.2cm wide and deep, it is also a good weight in your hands. There is no solution provided with the puzzle but if you wish (YES you will need it!!!) then download it from here.
When you first pick this one up it appears that all the pieces are identical but in reality they are not - they are actually 2 pairs of identically shaped pieces and within each pair 1 piece has the maker's name stamped and the other has Quartet stamped on it. Initial attempts rapidly lead to the conclusion that this is not going to be a quickie! One movement is possible on either of the pairs (one easily and one with more difficulty) and after this you meet a dead end! At this point it dawned on me that being systematic may be important - I decided to try each of these movements with the other pieces starting in different positions. I decided to try each of these movements with the other pieces starting in different positions but now moving in different directions! Many things are possible and they all seem to end up more or less with the same impasse! At some point during this laborious trawl through multiple orientations and directions I managed to get 2 pieces rotated - AHA! progress at last! Again I could go no further and this time I struggled to put it back the way it came! So far I had been at it for about a week (not continuously, you dope! I do eat and drink and unfortunately have to work! about 3 or 4 hours in total).
|OMG! This is a part of the solution!!!|
|Cast Quartet Pieces|
If you are after a seriously tough puzzle then go for this one, it looks great and will keep you busy for a long time. BUT, if you easily get frustrated then avoid it - as Brian said "it is almost too tough".