|Hanayama Cast Diamond|
Recently my friend Nigel returned home from the IPP in Japan and brought with him the 3 latest Hanayama cast puzzles for me to play with. After a little PayPal had flitted across the intertubes, my new toys arrived and I decided to try and space them out a bit and not greedily solve them all at once. I have to say that I really liked the new packaging:
はずす: (pronounced "huh-zu-su") means 'to take apart' in Japanese,I started with the easiest of them - the Cast Diamond which was a design by Scott Elliot who specialises in designing rather beautiful shapes that interlock in unusual ways. The 3 latest puzzles are not available in the West just yet but keep an eye on the PuzzleMaster page, the Hanayama UK page and Hendrik's store for updates as I am sure they will be arriving soon. The Cast Diamond is a level 1 on the 6 point difficulty scale and I would agree with that rating.
and puzzle is written ぱずる: (pronounced "puh-zu-ru")
Hanayama combined the two words together to make up a portmanteau that describes a puzzle you take apart.
There are 2 beautifully made shiny and identically shaped pieces with one being silver and the other black (my pictures don't do them justice). The Diamond is the only Hanayama puzzle I know of which arrives with the 2 pieces completely separated (the Cast Loop by Vesa Timonen arrived with the pieces interlocked but in an incorrect configuration). Looking at them, it is obvious straight away how they are supposed to be linked together - there is a cutout on the back of each half diamond to accept the conical tail that protrudes above each half diamond. How to physically get them to lock together is another thing entirely! I picked mine up the evening they arrived and within 30 seconds I managed to solve it:
I would suggest that the Cast Diamond is a perfect puzzle for all of you collectors out there - you need to own it for completeness and you also need to own it to enjoy the torture of your non-puzzler friends and to watch the joy on their faces when they do manage it.
There is an interior maze inside which needs to be navigated by lifting and dropping the pieces and rotating them back and forth. The puzzle could have been a level 6 had there been blind ends to navigate but I found the pathway to be very straightforward and even logical. I managed to disassemble it into the 3 pieces in about 5 minutes (it took that long because of my habit of constantly retracing my steps to ensure I remembered what I had done). The construction is fascinating and it is certainly a pleasure to navigate. The feel of the pieces and how they slide is a delight - this has been a really nice worry bead for me over the last week.
|Very clever design|
Don't be put off buying it though - it is a nice one for a quick play and will also be good for torturing your friends. Hopefully it will also be available soon outside Japan.
Cross your fingers for me that I don't get called in!