|Hanayama Cast Laby|
As usual the Hanayama packaging is immaculate and inside is a pair of thick rings made of a dark charcoal coloured metal, one is a complete ring with a maze inscribed on both sides and the other has a gap to allow it's removal from the other. The easy removal is prevented by a couple of small pins in the gap. Together they are 6.3 x 5 x 2.5 cm in size and feel nice and sturdy. It is clear that the two mazes need to be navigated simultaneously to separate the pieces. These mazes are quite long and include a number of parts that skirt the outer rim giving the impression that this is going to be quite a long haul. The reviews on the Puzzle Master product page are overwhelmingly positive apart from one person who didn't have the attention span to work it out! Some of my fellow bloggers have reviewed it and also enjoyed it - Oli stated that it was a good challenge here, Brian Pletcher enjoyed it having taken an hour to solve it (review here) and Tom Cutrofello was also kept going for quite a while.
No solution is supplied but if you need one (I would hope you wouldn't) it can be downloaded from here.
I have been carrying it around for about 2 weeks but due to my obsession with one particular twisty puzzle, I have not managed to get around to it. I sort of idly fiddled but that was all - certainly no sustained attempt at solving. Today, during a quiet period, my assistant asked whether I had anything new for him to play with and, with a little hesitation, I handed the Cast Laby to him and told him that I hadn't done it myself so if he solved it then he really had to put it back together again for me!
There were a number of expletives when he realised that the maze was double sided and then he went silent for a while (which is really unusual for Dave!!!) I think he must have played on and off all morning (about an hour in total) when a sudden exclamation made me look up to see that he was holding 2 separated pieces. A congratulatory firm handshake managed to ensure that he lapsed in his concentration and lost track of where they came apart and then I told him that the puzzle wasn't complete until it was reassembled. "No problem!" he said and then very quickly realised that he didn't actually recall where they came apart or even what the entrance point was. In fact he couldn't really remember which way around the pieces went! Quite a while later, he handed it back and I was left with the 2 separated pieces! I won't let him forget it for quite some time!!
|Cast Laby Pieces|
This is a really clever little puzzle - I am not sure it is level 5 (maybe it should be a 4) but is a nice challenge and I think it looks better in real life than the pictures. This is definitely a good one for the collection. Buy it - it's good value at $13!