Saturday 3 March 2012


Time for another wire disentanglement puzzle from Puzzle Master. This is another one from my recent batch - I chose this because I wanted to give my aching brain a bit of a rest and also because it is a string puzzle which is not rated too hard (I have really become quite frightened of the string ones after my last encounter with them!! This one is called the Scorpion (presumably because of the large flexible tail and the sting in it).

It is packaged well in Puzzle Master's usual plastic clamshell and has a card with it telling you that the aim is to remove the ring. This one is really nicely made and unlike the other one I tried, it had no white residue on it - in fact it sings nicely to the magpie in me (I love shiny things!). Dimensions of the main part  are 8.9 x 5.7 cm. This one jingles less than the others, which should please the present Mrs S! The difficulty is rated as a mere level 8 (Demanding) out of their scale of 5 to 10. I personally found it much easier than this but others I have given it to have all struggled so maybe it is correct. No solution is given and I don't think that you will need one. But if, like me, you want everything to do with your puzzles then you can download a pdf solution here.

I ordered this without properly examining the picture of it - I mainly focussed on the difficulty level. When it arrived I realised that I already have a version of this one. This is the Smuggler's revenge from House of Marbles in the UK. Needless to say, I had already solved it and therefore this one didn't take me very long to redo. Given a choice I personally would pick this version over the HoM one because it is much larger and quite beautifully finished. If you are collecting wire puzzles then this one is definitely a classic and should be in your collection.

Scorpion's Sting
I would also suggest that if you want a puzzle with a similar mechanism but much more of a challenge then Puzzle Master also provide a version of the Scorpion with a "twist". This one is called the Scorpion's Sting. It is slightly bigger and the string is double looped through the main body - this means that several extra steps are required to solve it. This one took me  a fair while longer to solve than the original - I reviewed the equivalent puzzle from Livewire puzzles here.

So which one should you buy? That depends! This is a classic wire puzzle design and everyone should have at least one version. I definitely prefer the wire versions to the brass one. If you are new to wire puzzles then go for the plain Scorpion. If you are an experienced puzzler then get the Scorpion's Sting OR just get both - you know you will eventually anyway!!! I have both and they are perfect for torturing people with sequentially - they are so happy when they manage the first (easier) one and really upset when an almost identical new one ends up so much more difficult! Mean!! Aren't I?


  1. I got one from PuzzleMaster to review soon and it appears to be a nice puzzle, although I haven't solved it yet.
    Cheers ;-)

    1. It won't take long for a puzzler of your experience! Even if you dread string based puzzles then this one isn't too bad at all!