Phew! I was ready for something a little less painful and hopefully a bit more easily successful! Lord! was I wrong about that!
I adore most puzzles (except packing puzzles and dexterity puzzles) and deliberately don't collect boxes to save the tattered remains of my finances. But one of my favourite types of puzzle is the disentanglement group - they are such a varied group and such a huge challenge at a very affordable price that I just cannot resist them. My favourites are the wire puzzles but having had a bit of success with the string puzzles that I got from Markus Götz I decided to try a few more.
The Wise up puzzle was designed by Markus (you can almost see his signature design in it) and manufactured by Eureka games and I got this from Puzzle Master in their "Other wood" section. It's a level 9 (Gruelling) on Puzzle Master's 5-10 scale and I have to say that this might be an underestimate of the difficulty. It is made of a plain wood (possibly maple) post with a nice sturdy thick string and coloured wooden bits as well as an anodised wire ring. The aim here is to remove the red ring from around the post. Unusually, this puzzle is packed in a plastic tube rather than the usual clamshell box. No solution is provided but it can be downloaded from Puzzle Master here.
My initial exploration revealed that there was a lot of length on the string and the rings would pass through the post and the wire loop but the 2 balls could not. This meant that there was a lot of leeway for wrong moves and a huge potential for knots - my nightmare!
I got stuck after about an hour - I had found a particularly interesting sequence of moves which actually raised the red ring up above 2 of the loops of string and, to my warped mind, seemed closer to an exit. I got fixated on this for a couple of hours until Einstein's adage about not repeating the same moves over and over again and expecting a different result finally sunk in to my dense cranium. With a sigh of regret I started a fresh and thanked my lucky stars that it doesn't seem to get too badly knotted.
After trying a new sequence from the very beginning I suddenly looked at my hand and realised that I had this:
|Now how had I achieved that?|
The solution pdf in front of me seemed perfectly reasonable - I followed the steps for reassembly (including the well remembered exit point) and...... the ring kept falling off! Sob! In my weakened state I cannot complete the solve of this puzzle - I've been at it for ages and can't even use the damn instructions! Hence I have snatched failure from the jaws of victory - I am a shadow of the puzzler I used to be! I'm sorry to all of you! Now I need a darkened room to lie down in!
Should you buy this puzzle? I would say yes! It's nicely made, a great price at $18 and a serious challenge! It will also give you a chance to prove (as many have) that you are a better puzzler than me! Snifffff, Sob, bursts into floods of tears! I'm off for a lie down now!
OMG!!! Update update! I managed to put it back together - my technique was nothing like the pdf solution and I cannot remember what I did!!! Aaaargh!