It took MUCH longer than a day!
|The Day Trip Puzzle aka Tricky Dick|
I had been particularly interested in the more difficult puzzles in the Bon Voyage series made by Eureka puzzles. I nearly got them from Puzzle Master in my last order but they did not sell them individually, only as a set which I didn't really want (some look very simple indeed). If you are interested in the whole set then they are currently on special just now. I was delighted to see them available individually from Sloyd. I picked the ones that I wanted (just the hard ones) and a few days after Tomas recovered full control of his bowels, my puzzles arrived along with just one or erm... several others:
|Toyz, toyz, TOYZ!|
It was designed by Rick Eason in July 1999 and presented at the IPP that August and I suspect it must have stumped some of the best puzzlers in the world! Of course, I was unable to solve it during my intermittent attempts whilst anaesthetising for a few hip replacements that morning - my excuse was that I couldn't give it any real concentration! Having failed at it then, this was the first puzzle that I chose from Tomas and of course it led to a few more. A good friend of mine in the Far East was very encouraging about my choices and I trust his judgement without question! The Tricky Dick/Day Trip arrives in a nice purple box with a 3 star difficulty rating and the useful advice that it's for those aged 7 and up. Well my mental age is currently standing at about 9¾ so I should be OK - hopefully! If any 7 year old can manage it then I think they should be either entered for Mensa or locked up as likely to become a criminal mastermind! The aim of this puzzle is simply to remove the metal ring - how hard can it be? Well let me tell you..... Brian was absolutely right! This is one tough tough puzzle! I do not agree with the Puzzle Master rating of it as Level 8 - Demanding! I would certainly make it a level 9 or maybe the same as my age - 9¾! You may well need a solution for this puzzle - it's not provided but it is available from Puzzle Master here or from Rick's site himself here."the hardest rope puzzle around"
I started work on this last weekend after publishing my last blog post and quickly rediscovered how difficult it is! Nothing I could do would work and at several points I was in grave danger of getting into an awful mess. Luckily I was always able to backtrack out of it. I do know that the friend who originally showed me this puzzle seems to have an extra loop in his that he has not been able to fix for nearly 2 years. It looks fairly straight forward until you realise that the size of the ring is made so that it will not go over both wooden rods at the same time and only just reaches the end of the long rod from inside that curious loop of string between them.
I have played with this on and off pretty much all week (of course I have been side tracked by 1 or 2 or maybe 10 other recent arrivals) and I was beginning to think that I couldn't solve it. Eventually I went back to a basic approach where I tried to imagine how I would put the puzzle together from the solved state. It hurt my little brain quite a lot to think that way and I may never recover the use of several million overworked neurons but eventually I ended up with this:
|Phew! That is one tough puzzle!|
Should you buy it? Despite what it says on the box, this is NOT one for children - you will just end up with a knot or multiple irreducible loops. I would go as far as to say that this is not one for beginner adults either - it would be practically impossible (the easier ones in the series would be perfect for them). But if you are reasonably experienced then this is a superb challenge - I would go as far as to say it is a classic and well worth purchasing at just €5 - get it here or here.
Whilst at the MPP yesterday, I was delighted to meet up with fellow disentanglement enthusiast Taus Brock-Nannestad who challenged me (and the great Dick Hess) with a few new puzzles that he had acquired and I was pleased to say that I managed one that they both had failed at! He also lent me a special one which he had bought from Ton Delsing, the advanced version of Ton's Ring puzzle is supposed to be a real challenge and is sitting beside my chair in the living room for me to play with tonight!
|It looks familiar but I'm assured that it is VERY tough!|
|Oh boy! This looks complicated - thanks Dale!|
|4 keys from the master himself!|
|I wonder if I remember how to solve it?|