Sunday 16 August 2015

Double Lock

Double lock puzzle - looks horrendous
Today's will be a pretty short blog post unfortunately! I am absolutely shattered - my mother has become quite ill (still at home for now) and I decided to drop in on her yesterday without warning so I could assess her myself and establish whether I would need to kick the arse of the NHS! The vagaries of the UK motorway network meant that my journey from Sheffield (about 160 miles) took 5½ hours and nearly ruptured my bladder! Steve!!! I might have needed your assistance with that! (He's a urologist!!). Needless to say a repeat journey home taking 4½ hours today has left me just a tad fatigued! So today's post is a quicker than usual one.

This is another of my beloved disentanglement puzzles from Tomas Linden's Sloyd store. I had basically chosen a whole bunch of the toughest ones I could find on his site and intended to work my way through them. This one is the Double Lock puzzle which is available in the Eureka Mini-string series. They are beautifully made, well packaged and an absolute bargain at €5.04 each. You cannot go wrong with these puzzles. I have also realised since I got them both that the Summer Holiday puzzle in the Bon Voyage series is the same puzzle and a bit cheaper at €4.90! It serves me right for not looking at the puzzle itself before buying and just looking at the difficulty level!

Reef knot
It arrives in the same small green box as last week's Hemi-sphere's puzzle with the only instruction being a diagram showing that the solved state has the 2 reef knots undone and the wooden ring removed from the puzzle. Dimensions are 4 x 4 x 2 cm when scrunched up but it spreads out well when you lay it all out to examine it. The difficulty level on the box is 3 stars out of 4 and on Tomas' site it is described as 3/3. Puzzle Master only stock the Bon Voyage puzzles as a whole set  but within that it is rated as 8 (Demanding) on their scale of 5-10. This should be a piece of cake right? Just you wait and see! No solution is provided but if you find that you really need one then it is available to download from here or for Summer holiday here.

I was initially absolutely petrified of getting this one really badly knotted - there are very few limits to how foolish you can be with this - the only limit is how much string you can wiggle through to wind in and out of the knots! In the picture at the top of the blog post it looks horrific but the first thing anyone would do is spread it out so the full extent of the madness can be properly explored.

Much easier to understand now? Maybe not!!
Now the 2 reef knots are better visualised and it then allowed some plans for what to put where to be tried. There are 2 little tiny loops attached to the balls that cannot be moved and very much limit your movement but the rest is one very long piece of string. I started trying to unravel it from one knot and pull it through as much as possible to allow me to feed it through the other and around the bottom beige ball. This looked very promising and when the string proved just long enough to allow this I began to be encouraged. Foolish boy! This nearly led to a real mess but luckily because of my extreme fear, I had kept everything oriented correctly and was able to undo my moves without too much of a struggle. There was quite a lot of cursing however!

This really did take me quite a long time to solve! I must have worked on it for nearly 4 evenings before I had a breakthrough that didn't end in a heart attack. I really did upset the cat on my lap (who lurves string puzzles) when I let out a big shout for this result:

The shout of success did earn me 2 small claw holes in my t-shirt when he shot off me but it was worth the clothing sacrifice. The Aha! moment here is really quite good - you are never going to solve this by accident. It requires a long 4 move sequence to solve this which is not at all intuitive but very fun to discover. Putting it back together looks awful because the end pieces look so very different to the starting position but I think that in order to work out how it comes apart you will know enough to reassemble it.

I'm not sure I am confident enough to hand this to anyone else to play with as it may end up in an awful state - especially if that someone else is a newbie. I reckon I could give it to an advanced puzzler without fear. But then I do have 2 copies by accident and so can afford to lose one. Plus at €5 it is really very cheap. Get one - you won't be disappointed!

Just a couple of pictures to pad out my blog post. It is a running joke amongst the members of the Puzzle Photography Facebook Group that a few of us, when we post our pictures, call them "Spam" - so today, when I link this post I will inform them of my "stringy spam" for them to peruse. The joke started when I was accused of spamming the group after I got a whole load of new puzzles and enthusiastically showed them off. The accuser was banned for being mean and argumentative (I am an admin of the group) and from then on any new puzzles or reviews are titled with spam. My good friend Steve Miller (the man responsible for Pyro puzzles and the incredible Fire puzzle - which is still available if you don't have one yet). Sent me a nice little gift! He told me he had some spam for me and it arrived yesterday whilst I was at my mum's house.

spam spam spam spam spammity spam - do visit that link!!!
I shouted in surprise when I opened the very well taped package! What do I see? He wasn't kidding! SPAM! Apparently there is wood involved which I will be playing with later. When I told the present Mrs S who it came from she recalled that he is an explosives engineer with a propensity for making loud bangs and making a mess! She expressed the hope that it not make any mess in her nice kitchen! Needless to say I am not sure I trust Steve and so will be taking it through to my study/shithole to explore further! If you hear a very meaty explosion from the Sheffield area then you will know that Steve has "Spammed" me! Thanks so much mate! I'm off to play soon!

Talking of the study/shithole - things are just a "bit" out of control at the moment and it is only because of the concerns for my mum that I have not been nagged Whack! Ouch! to tidy it up! What do you think? I can still see a few bits of desk so things are fine for the moment!

Doesn't need to be tidied yet, does it?

1 comment:

  1. Kevin, I'm glad to hear you did not rupture your bladder. It would have taken me quite a while to get over there to fix you. Please don't count on me to unravel your balls either if you get them twisted in a knot - I'm talking about your puzzle, of course!