|Cast G&G - sorry it's really hard to photograph!|
|Look a wood version!|
As puzzles go, and surprisingly for a Jury grand prize winner, it is not rated as terribly difficult - Hanayama rate it as a level 3 out of 6 and Puzzle Master as 7 (Challenging) in their scale of 5 to 10. Certainly, it is much less difficult than many of their wire and string disentanglements. As with all the Hanayama puzzles, it is beautifully packaged and the puzzle is firmly held onto supporting card to stop it jingling and getting scratched in transit. It is a perfectly portable size at 6 x 4.2 x 2.5 cm and feels nice and solid in the hand. It is a very reasonable $13 in price. Like all the puzzles made by Hanayama, it is beautifully plated in silver and gold metal and the gold piece also seems to be coated in a lacquer. I am not sure of the reason for the lacquer but it is not terribly robust and as you can see from my photos it very quickly chips somewhat spoiling the look (if not the puzzle experience). The instructions are to take it apart and put it back together again (obviously)! There is no solution supplied but it can be downloaded from Puzzle Master here.
Now I really thought I had it solved from my experience with the wooden version - and am pleased to say that when I solved that in about an hour or two. So when I got this one I had a good look at it to relearn the starting position (I noted that the Hanayama and G&G were uppermost) and I handed it to a friend whom I work with who was drooling at it (I have been torturing him for nearly 2 years now) and he spent a rather pleasant hour before handing me the two pieces. It is not a straightforward disentanglement puzzle because many of the more obvious moves that you would like to make are blocked by the presence of 2 protuberances on the corners on each side of both pieces. It is necessary to make sure that the puzzle is oriented the correct way to allow the movements to occur - fiendish idea!
|Cast G&G Pieces - notice the state of the lacquer|
Now the observant amongst you will have noticed that the conformation of the picture at the top of this post is different to that of my wooden one and if you've gone to Puzzle Master to look at it then you will also notice that the pieces are incorrectly orientated! Literally, I only noticed the difference as I was writing this review. Yes! I'm not very bright! I spent an hour putting it together (and memorising the solution) only to do so incorrectly. What I have done is found an alternative assembly. My version has a much simpler solution than the original! So I broke off during the review to try and find the correct solution and it is MUCH tougher (I might even give it a rating of 4 Hanayama and 8 Puzzle Master. It has taken me an extra couple of hours to get the correct solution properly off pat.
|The correct starting position|
Maybe I should take more photos like this?