Whilst on the subject of puzzle parties - I hope that everyone attending the annual King's day puzzle party at Wil Strijbos' house have a great day - I hope one day to be able to join you.
Today I have already shown a beautiful Turning Interlocking Cube which is easily within most people's reach and now I will follow up with another 2 puzzles that you can afford. First up is the Cast W-U. I got this from Puzzle Master as part of my attempt to complete my Hanayama collection. I have a large number of them and this one had intrigued me for a while. It is rated as level 3 on the Hanayama 6 point scale and level 7 (Challenging) on Puzzle Master's own scale of 5 to 10. I actually disagree with these ratings and feel it should be at least one point lower on the scales. It is based on the classic Horseshoe puzzle which, let's face it, all puzzlers either own a copy of or have played with as a kid. I have 2 copies and, whilst it is no challenge to me, it is still fun to give to non-puzzlers as they remember that they've seen it but cannot remember what to do. Gabriel certainly seemed to enjoy it!
Again, beautifully packaged by Hanayama in their black box, it comes out as a lovely antiqued brass looking puzzle with dimensions 11.9 x 3.8 x 3.8cm. The W-U looks very similar to the original horseshoe puzzle but is made more complex by the fact that instead of 2 chain linked horseshoes there are 4 with pairs at 90º to each other and each pair is capped by a horse's head. The ring is another horseshoe made into a complete ring. No solution is provided and I very much doubt you will need one but it is available to download from here.
This one literally only took me 3 or 4 minutes to solve - there are a couple of interesting twists to the puzzle. It is easy to try to do it like the original version but this won't work without a little alteration to your technique. It also requires more critical orientation of the pieces. As expected you end up with this:
|All in pieces - the notch IS important|
This is certainly a puzzle that any collector should own and is well worth buying if you are a new puzzler or planning on challenging some new puzzlers or children. Certainly at $13 it won't break the bank.
Next up prepare for something absolutely beautiful which is still affordable!
Not wanting to stop there, Marcus has set up a new Kickstarter project and I urge you to go and take a look - he has some fabulous burl woods to choose from (I am currently drooling over the incredible Flame box elder) and some new ideas for different shapes. You won't regret it!