|Ooh! 3 new goodies!|
The cast hexagon is named for its shape.......obviously. Hanayama have rated this as difficulty level 4 on their scale of 1-6 and this correlates with PuzzleMaster's rating of 8 (Demanding) on their odd scale of 5-10. I think the assessed difficulty is about right or maybe it should be a 3/6 (7/10). Size is 6.2 x 6.2 x 0.7cm. The review on the PuzzleMaster product page was only 3 stars because he felt it was solvable by just random fiddling with no Aha! moment. More on that view later. Jerry reviewed it and certainly enjoyed it. The puzzle was designed by Mineyuki Uyematsu and won a Jury Honourable Mention Award at the 2014 IPP design competition (at that time named the "Claws of Satan" - and luckily changed names by Hanayama. It was released by Hanayama in early 2015 and has taken me until now to get hold of a copy - I really do apologise! There are 3 moving pieces made of steel with brass rivets and an anodised gunmetal grey frame and initially the 3 pieces look identical. After the first couple of movements you see that each is unique and this makes life complicated. The 3 pieces are formed of 3 layers of steel with tongues of metal between them and those tongues interlink the pieces together and severely restrict how they can move. It is effectively a flattened burr but one that requires rotational moves.....lots of them. As you see from the picture above after you find a way to pull the pieces apart abit, you need to find way they will rotate and then make space for them to move within the confines of the frame and allowed by those tongues of metal. In many places you are blocked from doing what you want and it is very easy to get lost in multiple cycles of rotational movements.
The aim becomes clear fairly quickly that you need to cycle the pieces into place and also orient them correctly to leave a hole the correct size and shape to allow a piece to enter and drop through. The reviewer on PuzzleMaster is correct in a way - there is no big Aha! moment, there is a small series of realisations as you discover what is an isn't possible and then also discover which piece is the first to come out. I spent a fair while concentrating on the wrong piece. There's also the issue of going around and around in circles and sometimes finding your way back to the beginning but at others of being hopelessly lost.
After about an hour a piece dropped on the cat's head and much to my and Mrs S' surprise he didn't even wake up despite the solidity/weight of the piece! She was watching me with the evil eye at the time because I was making small chinking noises and muttering profanities to myself. Having gotten the first piece out you would imagine that it is trivial to take out the remaining 2 but you'd be wrong. Quite a few more moves and a dance of the pieces are required before first one then the other come out. In all just over an hour was required for the first solution.
|3 pieces and a frame - a very nice challenge|
Repeating the process was easier the second time but I still struggled and I reckon that it must have only been on my fifth or sixth attempt that I finally had the puzzle fully understood and could literally go straight from beginning to end and back again in the shortest possible number of moves. All in all, I really enjoyed this puzzle - it is well made, it's nice and shiny and a fun one to play with. I've not yet shown it to any non-hardcore puzzler's yet but I think it will be greatly appreciated by them too. Go ahead and buy it from Nic or from PuzzleMaster (or your favourite store) and enjoy! At $15CAD or £7.95 this is a bargain!
I hope this gets uploaded ok - let me know if there are any problems with the post. Now I'd better get back to work - starting on the spare bedroom with 2 huge cupboards full of yet more hoarded stuff - wish me luck!