Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Cast Harmony

Cast Harmony
In my recent post on my blog about the Sidewinder puzzle I said that I was coming to the end of my batch from Puzzle Master and I might need to get some more. Well "BLUSH" I couldn't resist it and another nice big parcel arrived last week much to the disgust of the present Mrs S! I spent about half an hour unpacking and stroking and generally drooling before she got really annoyed at me and made me put them away.

This batch included 2 of the newest ones from Hanayama which I had been very keen to get hold of. This one is the Cast Harmony and I had been drooling over it for nearly 2 years! I remember seeing that having been designed by Dmitry Pevnitskiy and Kirill Grebnev it had won the Puzzler's award at the Japanese IPP (#30) in 2010 and, whilst I am not in the least bit musical, I loved the association of the musical shapes and really wanted one. But despite it being available from Kirill's site, at $100 that was just too much for me for a wire disentanglement puzzle. So I sat and drooled intermittently. I was really pleased when one of my habitual tours to the Hanayama site showed me that they were releasing a version (I presume with the designers' permission).

It consists of a nice golden coloured treble clef which is interlocked with a silver quaver and obviously the aim is to separate them. As usual, the Hanayama packaging is the immaculate black box. The puzzle is 10 x 4.5 x 3.7 cm and is a nice weight. Boy! Does this one appeal to the magpie in me (Rox will love it!) it is gorgeous. Hanayama rate this as 2 out of 6 and Puzzle Master rate it as 6 (Tricky) on their 5-10 scale and I would agree with these ratings - it is pretty easy. No solution is provided and as far as I can tell there is no downloadable version available. But don't fear you won't need one but if you do collect the solution pdf files then it can be downloaded from here. It is much more attractively priced than the original at $13.

When the delivery arrived and I had put them away, I forced myself to spend some time with the first wife in order that I not need to find a second one. After dinner when we settled down to some TV and relaxation I could not resist going straight for this one having waited so long for it. It is a really nice tactile shape (both parts) and is nice to hold and fiddle with. Beware - if you are too close to the loved one then this may cause pain because it does jingle a little! I got a little burn from the laser stare but not too deep because, much to my surprise, I managed to separate the pieces within 30 seconds!

I think this arrangement might be a C?
Was I disappointed? A little, but remember that it is only level 2 (6) and not supposed to be tough. What I must say is that it is a very sweet little set of moves that you need to do and for me has turned into a rather soothing worry bead/puzzle. I love just fiddling and dis/assembling it.

I have given it to several friends to solve and they have all managed it within 3-5 minutes (even the puzzle newbies) and all seem to have enjoyed the experience. Should you buy it? If you are a collector then it is an essential (and beautiful) part of a collection. If you are a magpie (Rox) then it is an essential (and shiny) part of a collection. If you like things that are puzzling, tactile and attractive then you can't go wrong for the price. I love it for all those reasons!

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