Sunday 27 October 2013

The Rack

The Rack
Now please everyone be quite - I currently am on day 4 of a visit by my in-laws - absolutely lovely people but I'm not supposed to be sneaking off for a quick surf of the net and definitely not supposed to be taking time to write a blog post! My wife thinks that I have had to do a little bit of paperwork for my work! I don't want any of you being bad and letting her know! No! Before you say it - The Rack is not linking the instrument of torture with my in-laws!!

Keep the mother in-law quiet
with one of these!
My mother in-law is actually quite enjoying doing some puzzles during her stay with us - this at least gives me some time to sit with her and do some of my own all under the pretence of "helping her". She has been working on a globe magnet jigsaw puzzle for the last 4 days and doesn't seem to be getting anywhere at all with it!! I, of course am making lots of encouraging noises and not helping at all! It really does look quite tough - if you want one then something similar can be bought from Puzzle Master. But I have started working on a new kit of twisty puzzles made by Burgo from the Twisty Puzzles forum - it is an astounding kit which expands the idea behind the crazy 3x3 planet series which I reviewed here. It allows the addition of a variable number of non-circle faces to the crazy series as well as having the ability to put segments in that bandage parts together and thus block movements. It will provide hundreds and hundreds of new very tough twisty puzzles for me - You can read about it here. So I am a fairly happy bunny just now but have had to sneak off to get this review out to you.

OMG How horrific does this look? Info at TP.
The Rack is another from my Puzzle Master stash - yet again a wire and string puzzle and yet again a slightly easier one - this time only level 8 (Demanding) on their rather odd scale of 5 to 10 and I would agree with that assessment. This one and the Silent E reviewed as my last wire puzzle have been a welcome relief from the usual horrendously difficult ones but this is the last easy one I have and I have a few more coming from Livewire puzzles - they have released another 5 since my series of reviews 18 months ago and I had to complete the set!! So yet another few tough ones coming your way soon.

The rack is from Puzzle Master's own series of wire puzzles and is packaged nicely in the usual plastic clamshell and the instructions are simply to remove the string with the two balls from the wire. It is very well made from 3mm Nickel plated wire and the string is of good quality. There has been one 4 star review left on the puzzle page which gave a glowing report and suggested that it was perfect for beginners to wire puzzles; a view I agree with. No other blogger has reviewed it yet. No solution is supplied but it can be downloaded from here if you need it.

I have to say that I found this one quite easy (but probably only because I have done so many now) - I got the string off in about 3 or 4 minutes and then has a little panic because (as is usual) I couldn't remember what I had done and struggled to put it back together. I did manage to link it up again but each time the string was looped the wrong way through the puzzle! It must have taken me about 15 minutes to find exactly the right twist to link it back up. The reassembly is actually very counter-intuitive and, I think, really quite a nice sequence of moves.

Unlinked - it's much harder to put it back
I have given it to quite a few friends to play with and not a single one has managed to truly solve it! 1 or 2 have managed to unlink the string but that is where the fun really begins! None have managed to return it to the beginning. Luckily it is always easy to undo the knots they get into. There is a decent length of string and it quickly gets well looped but never hopelessly so. The fun thing to do is watch the look on their faces - there are lots of ways the string can be looped back and forth and they feel they are making progress but suddenly it pulls through and they are back at the beginning much to their surprise.

This puzzle is a bargain at $10 - it won't keep the expert busy for long but it is still fun to do for them because the reassembly is so unexpected. Everyone else will find it a nice challenge and will enjoy it a lot.

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