Thursday 7 March 2013

Trick Bolt #1

Trick Bolt #1
A couple of weeks ago I reviewed the Trick bolt #2 puzzle made by Puzzle Master and I said that I would hopefully be next reviewing the much harder first in the series - Trick Bolt #1! Obviously this would be dependent on me actually solving the thing first.

I was not sure that I would actually manage to solve it particularly quickly when I read that Gabriel had failed to solve it over quite a period of time before finally posting his review! Now Gabriel is a pretty amazing puzzler so I was really worried that I would fail dismally and not to get a review for you. So basically as soon as I finished the last episode I picked up this puzzle to give me a chance of solving it before it was time for my next Puzzle Master review. What mechanism could possible have kept Gabriel stumped for so many weeks?

This puzzle is packaged nicely just as the last one was and is rated as 7 out of 10 (Challenging) just like the other. I personally think that 7 is the correct score for this one and that 6 is probably closer to the truth for bolt #2. It is also very good value at $10. Sizewise it is rather different to the other in the series - it is short and stubby with dimensions of 7.7 x 2.7 x 3cm and is a good heft in the hand being made of the same antique brass metal as the other one. Just like the other there is no solution provided - if you really need it then you can download it here.

This time there are no grooves in the top of the bolt for you to go wasting your time on so all you can do is have a look at the nut. When you first try and unscrew it (you know you have to at least try that!!) there is a very small amount of movement in the nut which gives you hope but it is very quickly dashed when you see that the movement you have seen is just a very slight one. In fact it's literally only just a hint of a movement! So of course you then try screwing it the other way - I've been caught before by puzzles with reverse threads on them and it's not going to catch me again! I should have looked at the thread on this one - it is quite clear that the thread runs the correct direction and all I succeed in doing is screwing the nut nice and tightly down onto the bolt. I then try to unscrew it again and find that even that tiny movement I had initially was gone. Now what?

I actually managed to solve this one in about 5 minutes. I tried to think in my head how this could work and managed to visualise an idea. Going back to the puzzle, I explored the relevant part and discovered something new which more or less confirmed my initial idea. I managed to get the nut part way off and then struggled because this one requires a little dexterity towards the end. But I managed to get the washer off with a nice smile at the mechanism and had a look at how it had been implemented. It is a very nice physical principle.

See - it can be done with relative ease
I have handed both these bolts to various friends over the last 2 weeks and watched them try to solve them. Both are suitable for beginners to puzzles and are good enough quality that you won't be disappointed. The Bolt #2 is the easiest by far and only causes a few people a little delay in solving. The bolt #1 is significantly harder but still solvable by anyone. In fact there is a little more discovery to it. I am pleased to have them both in my collection - like Gabriel, I can definitely recommend them especially at such a low price. I plan to carry them around with me for a little while as part of my torture for my friends.


  1. I think this is the same as my Cross Threaded from Mr Puzzle Australia...a nice bolt puzzle

  2. Looking at the pair of them in the series on Brian's shop, I think you are right Jerry.
    Any of you Australians might be able to get it more easily there.