Or.... He finally solves a puzzle! Almost!!!
|Haleslock number 2|
|Oooh! The temptation!!|
|A 43 piece burr!|
|Jealous? Yep! me too!|
The Haleslock 2 is newly produced by Shane and was not due to be announced until a bit later but Shane decided to add it to the prize in the current auction being run by Nick Baxter. The main prize of the auction is a supersize copy of the Haleslock 1 with a special USB key containing the full powerpoint lecture given by Shane and Rainer Popp at the 2016 international lock collectors conference complete with lecture notes, all the instructions, a solution sheet and video demonstration. Added to the prize initially was a one-off prototype made by Rainer (never put into production) and then to top it off the Haleslock 2 was added. Shane was forced to put out a notice of the new puzzle to keep in line with Nick B's rules. Another cause for celebration is that ALL the proceeds from the auction will be going to Laurie Brokenshire's charity (ABC swim) and with the total so far up at $3600 that is quite something!
I'm sure you want to know a bit more about the puzzle! First of all, let me say that Shane has sold out of his own personal supply and if you wish to buy a copy for yourself then this should be bought from one of the usual puzzle purveyors (you all know who they are). The lock is a standard Squire lock with 2 rather unusual looking keys (both of which are different) linked to the shackle and between the rivets on the top, it has been signed and numbered with the version number. Of course, you have to try the keys (both of them) and see what happens. You know that nothing happens but you have to try! At this point I was reduced to pulling on the rivets and the shackle. I sat at my kitchen table rattling away whilst Mrs S worried that I would drop the lock on the glass table or the kitchen tiles and had a quick think©. I am not very good at locks (in fact recently I have not been very good at anything much) and I quickly ran out of things to try. Mrs S asked a question when I was stumped and instantly a light went on - there was something new to try and in just a few minutes my Aha! moment arrived and I had an open lock!
|Not too tough but a very nice little Aha! moment|
A small warning to you all, Shane is an amateur at this and these are done as a hobby in his spare time and hence these are not intended to be thought of as hugely valuable collectors items. A number of us were informed that someone was trying to sell the Haleslock 1 for several hundred Euros and we were all appalled at this price gouging by a supposed member of the community. Shane himself says that they are NOT worth that kind of money! They are a very nice piece of puzzling fun. The Haleslock 2 is also a nice puzzling bit of fun but please don't be tempted to pay massive sums for it. Think of the cost of the basic lock and the time and work that Shane might have put into making it and that will give you a rough idea how much it should cost. If anyone other than the usual purveyors is selling one for a large amount of money then please contact me to ask whether it is reasonable. Don't be ripped off!
Finally I have another cause for celebration! I actually solved a twisty puzzle! Not just any twisty puzzle....this one was my nemesis! The Bagua cube is one of the most recent releases from MF8 that I bought from my friend Martin at his Cube store.
|Sickening isn't it?|
There is just a little bit more to it than that!! Having reduced it back by intuition to basic cube shape and used the EPS to move corners back to corner position and edges back to edges with or without rotations, the next aim is to orient the thin slices that are part of the edges. Again, this is mostly intuition and you have it back to a normal cube shape. After that, it is important to reduce all of the edges back to their correct 2 colours. This proceeded swimmingly at first and I reduced one, then two then more of them until I had 4 left to reduce. Now I had run out of space to work with and everything started to go wrong. After a week I had a moment of enlightenment and tried to get the remaining edges to be the colours arranged around a single corner. BINGO! I reduced them and had a solvable cube. Only the tiny triangles needed to be moved and there is a simple algorithm for this.
Simple algorithm? Ho Ho Ho! It might have a very few moves but it cycles 3 tiny triangles - two from part of the cube centers and the third from the little cutout from an edge. Once I had completed all the centres I tried to do the algorithm with the face turned 45º to move the edge triangles. AAAARGH! It doesn't work that way and I had ruined what I had done. Back to the beginning again for another week. After that next week, I was back to the triangles again and yet another proud moment when I figured out what to do. It was solved after 2 weeks. Phew! So next.....
I tried again and sob, got stuck on the edge reduction yet again. I took another 2 weeks and couldn't do it! No matter how hard I tried it wasn't happening for me! I have been round and round and round in circles making edges but destroying others and I just couldn't do it. Others around me were solving theirs but never me! After 2 weeks I had a minor breakthrough and found a way to swap the edges over and a few hours later it was solved! Phew! Was that breakthrough enough to help me every time? I thought it might be but as of this moment I have my third scramble and am another 12 hours in!
I have celebrated twice with this puzzle but like many before it, I don't yet have a true understanding of it and am carrying on until it I do! Mrs S is worrying that I will have a stroke in my efforts. She says that the look of intense pain on my face whilst I try to solve it is terrible! I don't usually appreciate pain but puzzle pain is good!
This is an absolutely fantastic puzzle! Everyone who is into twisty puzzles should buy one - it doesn't require anything particularly new but is a tremendous challenge! Plus the look of horror on your friends' faces when they see what it will do and the mess it gets into is worth it for that alone!
At least Shane and Yvon have given me something truly wonderful to help celebrate my big birthday! Thank you both so much guys, I am so proud to be able to call you both friends. I will treasure your gifts always.