Sunday 27 November 2011

Gold Coast Parking Meter

Cold Coast Parking Meter
I'm not sure why it has taken me so long to getting around to reviewing this one - I bought it in early September when Allard set up a little deal with an anonymous seller in the USA. This was one of three that I bought that time and I solved it pretty much as soon as I got it. I wanted to buy more but decided that the present Mrs S would murder me in my sleep if too much stuff turned up in one go! (She's like that, you know).

It has been reviewed by Allard, Brian and Jeff on their respective blogs.

It was designed and made by Brian Young (aka Mr Puzzle) for the IPP in 2007 held at the Gold Coast, Australia and is still available from his site for a very reasonable price. As with the Houdini's Torture Cell I reviewed last week, it is a sequential discovery puzzle in which you have to discover the tools required to solve it. It arrives simply shrink wrapped and with the puzzle is a small leaflet giving basic instructions - it also gives the solution (I was very careful not to look at this). It is a replica of the parking meters found at the resort (Brian usually tries to make his exchange puzzle relevant to the place where the IPP is being held). The meter itself is made from Yellow Leichhardt to match the golden colour that parking meters on the Gold Coast are painted and the stand is made from Mackay Cedar. In size it is 160mm x 30mm x 80mm. Because the IPP was fairly close to his home he even managed to bring his own bikini clad meter maid to the IPP. I looked very thoroughly through my package but no meter made or bikini was included :-( much to the relief of my wife!

The aim of this puzzle is to insert the coin (an Australian 10c piece) into the meter - remember that it is illegal to remove money from parking meters, and then, of course, you have to put it back to the beginning again. The first thing I did was to push on the coin (you have to really!) and there is not even a hint of movement. I then had a quick fiddle with the meter display and the brass pins - they will not shift at all. I had been forewarned that the stand was not part of the puzzle and so left it alone (others have had it fall apart on them when they twisted it!!). Closer inspection revealed that there is a piece of wood inserted in the side which moves and this leads on to a small sequence of discoveries. At one point, I tried to do something which in retrospect wasn't very bright - I stuffed one of the tools inside and it got caught!! I spent a rather fraught 5 minutes trying to extricate it.

The final discovery is really quite clever and not at all intuitive, but once done the coin drops inside - Lovely!

Coin inside!
Brian states that the reassembly is a different puzzle, but I am not sure I agree. Once you know how it works it is pretty obvious how to reset it. The mechanism itself isn’t overly complicated, but it’s very clever and as Allard has said:
"It’s one of those puzzles that puts a smile on your face."
I very much agree.
I haven't given it to anyone else to play with because I am a little anxious about the base coming off during transport. I think, now that I am writing about it, maybe I shall do that soon.

Definitely worth adding to your collection - I'm still saving up for the Opening bat puzzle!!!


  1. That looks like a really intriguing puzzle to have at home and keep the kids busy! I might not be able to solve it though and it'll probably end up a glorified coin storage box!

    1. It's definitely fun. But you're not going to store very much inside. I'm not even sure that it is available anymore.