This one looked fairly uncomplicated in it's construction so I figured that it would be unlikely to end up in too much of a mess. We'll come back to that later! It is really good value at $10 and whilst it doesn't look like much, remember that it is rated at level 10 out of 10 (Mind Boggling) so be prepared for a real challenge. It arrives in the usual nice clamshell packaging with the only instructions being to remove the string and balls from the metal structure. It is nicely compact at 13.3 x 4.1 cm and the string is 35cm long. This means it will fit in your pocket whilst you are out and about and annoy the hell out of your wife at all sorts of inopportune moments (OUCH! - sorry dear!). No solution is provided and if you need one then you can down load it from here.
I have carried this around with me now for 4 months! Yes it is THAT difficult. Generally, I am well know as being fairly reasonable at wire puzzles and have solved a huge number of them over the last few years. But this one very nearly had me beaten. There would appear to be only so many moves that you can do with the string in this structure. Quite a lot of moves seem to be blocked very early in your exploration and a few others appear to be heading towards an awful tangle - luckily it is pretty hard to get into an incomprehensible knot because the length of string is such that it can't get too entangled before you run out of length. So why the hugely prolonged solve time? Interestingly I part solved this one very quickly! I think it took me about 30 minutes to separate the string from the wire and I thought that this couldn't possibly be a level 10 puzzle! That is, until it came time to put it back together again! Remember that it is not solved until it is back together again AND understood. I distinctly remember that it was not particularly complex to take apart - it required a few winding moves but nothing very difficult! But could I reassemble it? Hell no!
|I carried the pieces with me for months!|
I intend to have a few more goes at this one - it is infuriating but in a good way. Whilst I really struggled to solve it and even having done so I don't understand it - so according to my previous claim, it is therefore, NOT truly solved yet - I need to repeat it until I can do it every time. Luckily it never got badly tangled and certainly never got to the point where I wanted to chuck it away or out the window!
Should you buy this one? If you are a sucker for a very difficult wire and string puzzle and want something to keep you occupied for a good long time for very little money then absolutely buy it now. If you have a poor attention span or get easily frustrated then I'd leave it!
That's the Sidewinder, so what's this about a Teddy? Surely not a bear? No! I'm not into stuffed toys - this time I am talking about the "2-Ring Teddy". Why put them together? Because the events associated with the Sidewinder reminded me of those around the 2 Ring Teddy wire puzzle - it's another one that I could undo with ease but could not put it back together again for the life of me! I received the 2-Ring Teddy in my last delivery from Wil Strijbos.
|2-Ring Teddy - easy peasy?|
|How difficult can it be?|
I have carried this one with me for a month now and handed it out to lots of people! Everyone manages to separate the pieces in a few minutes but to date NO ONE has managed to put it back together yet! I love it - next time you order from Wil, ask if he has one of these!
I plan on carrying both of these with me for a while - one to torture myself and the other to torture my friends and colleagues!