This week, much to my surprise, having had a few very very bad days at work, I came home to a surprise package! Now that always makes my day but it especially is fun when the name on the postage label tells me it comes from my good friend Shane Hales. I am aware that he has lots of new ideas and plans to produce quite a few new puzzles in 2017 but I wasn't expecting anything quite so soon. I am so SO SO grateful that I have been chosen to be "Agent 001" and pretty much always receive the second puzzle in each line (000 remains in his ownership).
The puzzle is made from Oak and Walnut and to my eye is beautifully made. There are tiny flaws but they are a natural part of the wood. Shane said this about it:
"Only 10 Viper puzzles will ever be made (come on, I have increased the number!)The other feature that always accompanies Shane's puzzles is spelling and grammar errors and I love him for it! With little schooling, he has worked his way up to the top of a very successful building company and now is one of the most sought after puzzle makers in the world. The letters that come with the puzzles always add a smile to my face for the humour and the errors and Viper is just the same!
I got the idea for this puzzle from another 80's film, Gremlins. But also if anyone ever bothered to read the notes on "my collection" page that I've attached to each photo (I know at least one person did as I had to make corrections thanks Bernhard!) then on one of them you would notice maybe a strange comment if you have a mind like that!!! (I do like a easter egg if you hadn't noticed?) But no, it gave me this idea, so from these "VIPER" was born.
I really like this puzzle, and I hope so do you !!
This puzzle can BITE you. it's not recommended for anyone under the age of 21, anyone with heart problems or a pacemaker, anyone with ophidiophobia, bad nerves, pregnant, or wanting to actually have children full stop. If you are a bag of nerves (a wimp) and you get the offer please turn it down.
(no offence will be taken! Refusal will NOT mean I won't offer you something else later)
Please do NOT stick anything inside the holes that you are definitely not supposed to........
You have been WARNED........
I have been asked several times how can I get one of your limited edition puzzles?
THERE IS ONLY ONE WAY. DIRECTLY FROM ME. IF ANYONE EVER SAYS THEY CAN GET YOU MY PUZZLES THEN THAT IS A LIE.
(Any puzzles that I have for sale will only be sold by me or my official resellers. Always check with me FIRST on who they are if you do not know them. If you get an unlikely issue with a puzzle I will only look at ones I or my resellers have sold, I have good reasons for this, DON'T get ripped off :-)
All my limited puzzles are and will always be gifts from me. With the exception of Nick Baxter's auction this year, but you all know why I did this, and I'll probably never do it again unless it's for something special, it will also only ever be auctioned or offered by me.
I have strict rules with these gifts for good reason, I spend lots of my free time and cash creating these for you, so, they can never be sold, swapped, even given away. If someone decides they don't want a puzzle anymore, just return it (I'll cover postage) and I'll send onto someone else. That's the RULES.
I'm a collector to. There are so many puzzles I want, so I feel everybody's frustration. I'm very sorry and sad about it, but its a hobby. I do it for the joy of doing it only. I don't need pressure, I give that to myself. If I didn't do what I can do then I wouldn't make any, so something is better than nothing, right?
I try to get things all over the world, to collectors I know meet others, so my stuff can be shared.
I've had people email me to nominate others (which I LOVE) for a puzzle. I chat with the very top brass of the puzzle community, with some of the founders of our community of today, and also with the newcomers, anyone and everyone. I have even been asked how I could be inspired by them, and in fact this person's inspiration went into The Goblins Door, and I thank them for that.
So far I have not receive any pressure or selfishness from our community, and thats why I am proud of being a very small part of it.
These are my gifts, because it's my way of giving a little something back to others that give us ALL so much.
I will notify the (lucky?) people I have chosen to care for this new puzzle very soon.
Have a great, safe, and puzzling 2017
So the aim is for me to open the box with no force and without peeking inside. He has very carefully put bristles over both the endholes to prevent being able to see inside but the instructions alone are enough to warn me off cheating.
|No way to see inside!|
|It might be a tool but something tells me it won't help open the puzzle.|
More characteristic interesting spelling!
After finding the contents of one side of the box, I went to work on the other side and there are some very odd things inside. I had a good feel about and....THE VIPER BIT ME! OUCH!!!! I pulled my finger out in a hurry! No blood, no punctures, no damage but it certainly made me think twice before putting it back in. I don't own any puzzles by the mad Australian dentist (Stephen Chin) but I know he has done something very similar. Eventually I got my courage back up and tried again. After a few more nibbles and a fair bit of grimacing, I had worked out what was causing it to bite me even if I didn't know how it happened. I then avoided the mouth of the Viper and continued my exploration. There are other things inside there next to the snake and after thinking about it I had my Aha! moment. I think that a further 15 minutes passed and the box slid open.
|The mechanism is hidden but you can see how well it is made|
Of course I have put the Viper with the rest of my wooden Hales puzzle collection - they are on display in my Dining room next to my Stickmen and Burrsets:
|Pride of place on display - Mrs S doesn't seem to mind!|
Mrs S says "my balls take up too much space"!!!!
Last week I had shown off a beautiful gift from Jakub and Jaroslav (Pelikan puzzles) of the Involute ball. It was a copy of Coffin's Involute cube which they had made from lots of beautiful woods and turned it in such a way as to make it into a lovely spherical object but kept the essential puzzle features intact:
|Involute Ball next to Brian Menold's Cube version|
|Just look at the precision!|
|Beautiful "big" balls!!|
|The lamp table is a bit crowded I guess!|
Keep an eye out on the Pelikan site as more gorgeousness is coming soon!