With very little time available, I chose the one of the easier ones I had, the Cast Dolce which is rated by Hanayama as level 3/6 and by Puzzle Master as level 7 (Challenging) on their scale of 5-10.
This one was designed by Akio Yamamoto and adjusted by Nob to make it trickier. The aim is, as with most of them, to "take it apart and then put it back together". There's a bit of other philosophical stuff on the box which can happily be ignored.
The reviews on the Puzzle Master product page are mostly 4 and 5 stars and other bloggers have enjoyed it:
Tom Cutrofello (who usually only reviews puzzle apps enjoyed it and reviewed it here.
Gabriel reviewed it here and interestingly he found an alternative single move solution which I have not yet been able to repeat.
This puzzle is simply gorgeous - it is a nice size (12cm x 4.7cm x 4.7cm) and made of both silver and gold anodised cast metal in the shapes of the male and female symbols - the flash in the photography shows up every fingerprint and speck of dust, it looks much better than my photo really shows. This puzzle is shiny enough to appeal to anyone like me, with advanced magpie tendencies! The packaging that it came in was the standard black box and, as always, is beautifully displayed!
The first thing I always do with these is take my photos, for my records and for the blog (just in case I can't put it back together again in time to post my review) and this also serves the useful purpose of giving me a record of what the starting position is. This time, however, the photo was not helpful at distinguishing what was the start position. So, after a little exploration, I realised that there was a groove at the tip of the female symbol and a ridge on one side of the inside of the male one and in the start position, these could interlock like this:
Once I had established that first move, it has a really nice little sequence that simply fell into place for me and kept me occupied for just another 5 minutes. I suspect that less experienced puzzlers might take a fair bit longer. Overall this puzzle is a very pleasant, tactile thing to play with and really is silky smooth. Eventually you separate male form female like this:
|Separated the male and the female forms!|
All in all, I really enjoyed this one. It is not hard for an experienced puzzler - the level 3 (PM 7) is about right and it is a truly sweet sequence of moves (about 12 in all if you include the positioning moves). I will be taking it to work for some of my colleagues to play with (the Hanayama puzzles are absolutely perfect for handing out to non-puzzlers), and it will be interested to see how people cope with it.
Now I need to get back to some of my Twisty backlog and really MUST try to solve the Bermuda cube (Mars) which has singularly stumped me for nearly a year!
|This has beaten me for so long!|