|Hanayama Cast Keyhole|
You would have thought that with all that going on, I wouldn't be writing a blog post or even playing with a puzzle at all but I certainly have found that in times like these I need something to occupy my mind to stop me dwelling on the terrible occurrences of last week (even medical professionals feel the stress when it is one of their own) - solving something fun and writing a blog post is a bit cathartic for me and very therapeutic. I definitely would not be up to doing a Revomaze but I find that a simple little puzzling diversion is just the ticket. I rummaged in my "to be solved" stash from Tomas at Sloyd and found the Hanayama Cast Keyhole. This puzzle is a beautiful little thing designed by the Finnish Vesa Timonen and is available at the bargain price of €14.95 from Sloyd. I guess that if you live in North America it might be cheaper to get it from Puzzle Master here for $12.95.
It arrived in the usual Hanayama immaculate black packaging and the instructions on the box say simply to take it apart and then put it back together again. The puzzle is 6.9 x 2.6 x 4.5 cm and made from lovely shiny gold and chrome metal. I took the photo before I had even played with it at all because these puzzles do get marked by fingerprints immediately and they do get scratched during play - the gold one in particular will look very scratched fairly quickly.
It is obviously a simple maze puzzle. Actually it is NOT that simple! Hanayama have rated it a level 4 on their scale of 1-6 and Puzzle Master have rated it as an 8 (Demanding) on their quirky scale of 5-10. I think that rating is about right. No solution is provided and I doubt anyone will need it but if you collect them or do need it then download it from here.
Tomas wrote this about it:
"At first glance, the two pieces have simple concave and convex angles on their flat surfaces. However, when the two pieces intertwine, they take the shape of a 3D maze. You must twist and turn them around. If you rush without thinking, you will come to a dead end. Be careful as you may end up going around in circles"I did not expect too much of a challenge from it and thought it would be a perfect diversion for my disturbed mind. However, I definitely was not expecting to get stuck within a couple of moves and to go round and round in circles for about 20 minutes! I found a couple of possible starts but neither of them would go any further. I blame my poor fevered brain because I eventually did find the next move and can not explain what was so difficult about it. After that point, it is a very nice little wander through the maze with very few side roads. The solution is almost soothing and it is surprisingly long! The path goes back and forth through the maze quite a few times with pieces held in different orientations and levels before sliding apart through the very obvious exit point.
|2 Keyhole pieces - The gold is upside down but I'm too lazy to get the light tent out again!|
The Cast Keyhole is a lovely little challenge which is not too difficult and definitely a nice diversion for the troubled soul. I can heartily recommend it for anyone's collection.
|50 Cent Labyrinth|
|Back of the puzzle|
After that I managed to work my way through the maze and at times got stuck for no good reason. After about an hour I managed to solve it:
|Tricky little bugger - I still don't understand it!|
|Sneaky bastard! 2 Ball bearings!|
Thanks David, that has really helped me take my mind of things. A perfect gift and a perfect exchange puzzle!
One of my cats absolutely adored the packaging too! He cannot resist sinking his teeth into polythene bags and the stiffer ones that often contain puzzles are just the best! He did this in just 2 minutes whilst I was trying to find the first move into the maze:
|Nom Nom Nom! Anything else to chew?|