Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Trick Lock 4

Trick Lock 4
Amongst my recent rather large shipment from Puzzle Master a few weeks back was this puzzle lock - called simply "Trick Lock 4" (being one of 5 in a series). I now have 5 locks in my collection (2 reviewed so far) and this one will have to be something really special to beat the Danlock or the Poplock T5. This series has had mixed reviews on the internet. Brian reviewed this one on his blog here, Neil here, and Jeff here. I chose this one because it seemed to be the internets' favourite and was a bit tougher than the others in the series.

It is made for Puzzle Master and comes in their own clamshell packaging looking quite neat. It comes with 2 keys which are held on to the shackle with a piece of twine (only one key is needed for the solution and I guess the other must be a spare in case one snaps). It consists of a very heavy padlock weighing in at 390g (13¾oz) - for heavens' sake don't drop this on anything as it will do considerable damage to foot or tiles!! Dimensions are 5.9 x 9.6 x 2.9 cm making this one of the larger metal puzzles in my collection. At first glance it fulfils the Sadler requirement of being shiny!! But on closer look it is quite obviously very roughly made - inner surfaces are scratched or covered in a peeling paint and some of the stamped words are incomplete. None of this detracts much from the puzzle but for $30 I would have hoped for more. Puzzle Master rate it as a level 5 puzzle (but their system starts at 5 so pretty easy). No solution is supplied but if required one is available from here. I doubt that any seasoned puzzler will need it.


Looking around the internet, it would appear that this series has been manufactured by several companies and there are slight variations in the design. The other bloggers have all complained about the extreme tightness of the numbered dial on the front - this problem has been entirely solved by Puzzle Master for this release and it turns freely and smoothly through 360˚. Brian's review said that this was his favourite and he found that most people were stumped by it despite managing the others.

You have a key and a keyhole so what do you do first? I know the voices were laughing hysterically at me for trying it but you have to at least see what happens when you use the conventional approach to padlocks! So what does happen? Nothing! The key wiggles a bit but will not turn in the lock. Hmmm! Obviously the dial plays a part! Next you rotate the dial to various points to see whether anything happens or the key turns - Nope! Time for a closer look at the lock. There is a small clue on the reverse of the lock (I actually wish it wasn't there) - and this sort of gives you a little extra information to work with but not much.

I think I spent another 5-10 minutes before I had my little Aha! moment. This is quite sneaky! In fact there are 2 clues - the one above has been mentioned by Neil and is the obvious one and the other is what really told me where to look - I won't give it away here but you can contact me if you want another clue.

Open
Overall this is a nice puzzle - it is particularly good for beginners but any collector should own one. I do have the #5 in the series too and will write about it soon.

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