Sunday 1 April 2012

Blue Knight

Blue Knight
Today I am going to review another wire puzzle (surprise!!) from Puzzle Master - this time it is the Blue Knight. I do seem to have had a run of wire puzzle reviews but I just love them and they are really quite robust making them easy to chuck in your bag to carry around for torturing others!!!

I particularly liked the look of this one - it has my initial as its main shape (yes, I am pretty shallow) and looked complex enough to be intimidating but was rated by Puzzle Master as  a 9 (Gruelling) on their 10 point scale so should not be too awful!! It arrived in the usual neat Puzzle Master clamshell plastic packaging with only the simplest instructions to remove the brass ring. It is 13.2 x 7.8cm in size and very nicely made.

No solution is provided but you can download one from Puzzle Master here - experienced puzzlers will not need it but beginners may.

There would appear to be 2 mobile parts on this puzzle - the shuttle as well as the brass ring and if the shuttle doesn't come off then it is obviously intrinsic to the release of the ring. Unfortunately the movement of the shuttle is severely constrained by the 2 blue balls at top right and bottom left. Immediately whilst looking at this one, I could see that there is an obvious exit point. But how do I get to it and how could a ring utilise it? Hmm!

As I have said several times before on this blog, pay attention to any peculiarities of the design. If something is odd or seems unnecessary then it is probably there for a reason and this is certainly the case here. This puzzle requires a series of 5 particular moves done in the correct order and orientated just right to release the ring. Having worked out what the exit point was intended for, I struggled to reach it for a moment - at this point you need to utilise one of those special design "features". Having done that move, you don't really appear to have improved your position very much until you notice a second peculiarity. After you have done that, all becomes clear!

Brass ring removed (no spoilers!)
Overall, this puzzle only took me about 5 minutes to solve but with the two definite Aha! moments, it was really enjoyable. I have given this to quite a number of friends and colleagues and even the more experienced among them have failed to find the solution. One has come to within a single step of solving it but could not see what to do next. Even when you show them, many cannot visualise what you have done!!

Very good value for $16! Add it to your collection - you won't regret it!

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