It is supplied in the usual Hanayama black box with the 2 pieces of the puzzle tied to a piece of card. The box just gives instructions to separate the pieces and put them back together again, no other information is provided and no solution is given. If you want one (and I don't think you will need it) you can download it from Puzzle Master here. Designed (again) by Akio Yamamoto, it consists of 2 odd shaped pieces (named after "the image of intertwining Bach melodies") of brassy metal which are linked at one end. It is 10.1 x 2.5 x 2.5 cm in size and is reasonably substantial in your hands. I had high hopes that I could do this one in the living room but once again, I got told off for jingling!
Quite quickly it becomes apparent that one piece can be moved along the length of the other and can be flipped over the other side. After doing this several times, I realised that there are a few blind endings in this puzzle. You get to a point where you feel you have gone a very long way and there you stop. Back-tracking to the beginning initially doesn't seem to help, there are no other moves available - or are there?? After about 10 minutes I made a Eureka discovery - a very neat little move that is entirely unexpected and then you can make a whole lot more progress. This then leads to another dead end before another special little move is required. Luckily this one only held me up for a few minutes. From here the pieces just slide apart - the particular pattern they make when you do that very last slide is truly beautiful! The 2 pieces apart look like this:
|Cast Baroq pieces|
I have given this to several puzzle friends and colleagues - almost everyone opens it eventually but only the experienced ones are able to put it back together again. Everyone has enjoyed it! In fact, during an operating list, one of my patients (if you are reading this then I hope you are well recovered) was having his procedure awake under spinal anaesthesia and he was quite interested in my little hobby. I gave him this puzzle to play with during his operation. With a little assistance (I think it is harder to do whilst you are lying flat on your back) he solved it and also delighted in the final separation movement.
If you want a nice intermediate difficulty cast metal puzzle then you cannot go wrong with this one.