|It's a horse!|
Some time ago I received another package of puzzles from him which included some rare disentanglement puzzles and some new designs from Wang Yulong. The first one that I attempted was The Horse by Binary Arts - produced in 1985. I had noticed this many years ago and tried a time or two to get one on ebay but always missed it by a few $$. Knowing how much I love N-ary puzzles, my friend managed to get me this copy and I have to say it is lovely. In fact it is pretty enough that it sits on show next to me on my shelves unlike my other disentanglement puzzles which get shoved into a drawer. I love that the string in this is a piece of leather just like the reins of a real horse. The aim, obviously, is to remove the loop of cord and the wooden block which impairs movements. There are a few moves that need to be done in the right sequence - it is a lovely satisfying thing to do. Even Mrs S said it was a pretty one.
|Well trained horse - not run away with the reins off|
|The Ring Bearer|
|detail of the loop|
For weeks now I have been fiddling with it and occasionally getting a bit of a knot but always managing to return to the start position. Finally last Friday after playing with Shane's Haleslock 1, and flushed with my success at solving that puzzle, I had one last go. I did a rather complex setup sequence which needed pretty much the whole length of the string and started to move the ring around and around. All of a sudden I had this:
|Yeehaw! Finally solved the gift dragon!|
Of course I have to mention the Haleslock 1 - another great gift from Shane (I did offer to pay but he always insists on giving them away to me)! I had got stuck initially (much to Shane's delight) but managed to discover a pathway that he hadn't intended and got stuck again after that. After an email I was back on track and was able to advise him of a way to prevent the same thing occurring with the other locks that he is assembling this weekend. The Haleslock 1 is a small sequential discovery puzzle and to me was a delight to play with. It is not intended to be the massive challenge that is the Popplock series, but is aimed at being a pleasant fun diversion for a puzzler. He definitely achieved that aim. I showed it off at work and the guys who saw it were amazed that such a thing could be done to a lock. Ultimately the aim is to have this:
|Genius! How does he do this at home?|
My Far Eastern friend has also acted as a go between with Wang Yulong and has obtained a few of his wondrous puzzles for me to play with. I started with the '3 Moons around the Sun' puzzle - the aim being to remove one of the moons; the one shaped like a keyring.
|3 Moons around the Sun|
|The Moon has fallen into the Sun|
|Lucky Lantern - a really tough challenge|
|My goodness that was tough!|
My next challenge is one that Mrs S already hates - it may only be lightweight wire but it is seriously jingly - 'The Long and Winding Road' is a bit frightening. It looks N-ary to me but so far I have been blocked after a few moves. There are several ways to start the puzzle but none of them have been successful yet. It is not helped by the fact that everything falls all over the place during the process!
|The Long and Winding Road|
So all of these puzzles today were gifts from good friends and they have all been absolutely delightful - a real challenge for which I will always be very grateful! Thanks guys!