I had been eyeing up a few of the wire puzzles by Jean-Claude for quite a while and finally bit the bullet and ordered this one quite a long time ago from Puzzle Master. It is designated as a level 9 (Gruelling) puzzle by the guys at Puzzle Master and I figured that at that level and with no string involved at all, it wouldn't be too bad and might in fact be quite a fun one to explore. None of the other level 9 puzzles recently have caused me much difficulty. Oh how wrong I was!!
It arrived in just a simple plastic bag with nothing more than a label on it - I do quite enjoy the unpackaging of puzzles and feel that some of the distributors are missing a trick by not giving us something to unbox! It is nicely made of anodised steel wire and measures 8.7 x 8 x 4.5cm. The puzzle is named Euro after the resemblance to the European currency symbol. The picture above makes it quite difficult to discern that there are 3 pieces - if you partially butterfly it then this becomes more obvious and also reveals just how interlocked all the pieces are:
|Now you can see the pieces properly|
Initial exploration shows that all movements are VERY restricted. In fact there is almost no movement possible at all. After a little while I got up the courage to be a bit more vigorous and using just a tiny little bit of force it is possible to start making a few more moves but really not very many at all. It appeared like other moves should be possible and looked like they would lead to somewhere interesting but every time I tried it, a significant amount of force was required and I backed off! After the first hour or so of fiddling, I gave up and put it in my work bag to carry around with me so I could have a try whenever the possibility arose.
Well, it arose reasonably frequently and I spent hours and hours and hours on this blasted puzzle! It is a pure wire puzzle with no string at all so how can it be so difficult? I carried it with me for several months with no success at all! I began to think I would never get it and I should just give up and download the solution! But no! I kept at it and recently after a rather complex and definitely not intuitive sequence, the ring popped off into my hand! And from there the other two pieces came apart.
|3 pieces - it nearly killed me!|
So I now ask the puzzle community - have you got this puzzle? Can you solve it? More importantly can you help me put it together again? I absolutely hate to put a puzzle away in pieces!!!
Should you buy this puzzle? Well I have to say that if you want a tremendous challenge (I think it should be rated as a level 10!) then absolutely buy it! It is only $10. If you do buy it then you can gloat at me if you find it easy and please PLEASE tell me how you put it back together!
Is it possible to use up all your puzzling ability?
I have just recently received some gorgeous new burr puzzles from Alfons Eyckmans and really hope that I can manage these (sob! sniffle!) - at least if I cannot then they will look gorgeous on display!
Back row Left to Right - Save the gorilla, Clamps, Devil's pet 2
Front row - Damocles and Bigfoot Charlie.
|Burrs from Alfons|
Having put out my plaintive cry for help with the reassembly - my friend Joe was kind enough to send me a whole series of photos showing me how it went back. It was very similar to my disassembly technique but did seem to require just a little more force than I think is correct.
Unless anyone can show me how it is possible without force then I will assume that Joe is correct! Thanks so much mate!
My initial claim that this was inventin by Jean-Claude Constantin has been shown to be incorrect. The puzzle was actually invented and patented in January 1905 by Charles Saunders of Melrose Massachusets. In the patent he perfectly describes this puzzle which he just names "Puzzle"! Obviously the Euro part has come with the new currency! You can download a copy of US779874 from here! Unfortunately the diagram he includes is pretty much the same as that from Puzzle Master and of no help whatsoever!!