Tuesday 19 February 2013

Trick Bolt #2

Trick Bolt #2
Continuing my sojourn through my Puzzle Master purchases we come to the Trick bolt number 2. I currently own one other trick bolt which I got from Wil Strijbos and it is a wonderful piece of work. It is not particularly tough but is just beautifully engineered and a really elegant solution. I have been hoping for a year now that Wil would produce some more in his bolt series (there are quite a few) but it never seems to happen! Come on Wil! I've been waiting for ages!!

So in the absence of any new Strijbos bolts I decided to try and find some others. Now absolutely top of my list of wants are the absolutely glorious set of bolts (I'd like the keys too!) hand made in brass by the incomparable workmanship of Rocky Chiaro. Unfortunately, they work out quite expensive at approximately $80 each and seeing as I would want the full set of 6, this would break my piggy bank at the moment. If the puzzle fairy is reading then my address is.....

So as my next choice for a trick bolt I had seen this mass produced version reviewed by Gabriel here on his blog - he had solved this one first and when he wrote it up had failed to solve number 1! I decided that I would also do them in the same order - I do have both so expect another review at a later date. My hope is, of course, that I can actually solve it myself.

It is made by Puzzle Master themselves and arrives in a nice blue box rather reminiscent of the Hanayama packaging. The puzzle is a good size (9.9 x 3 x 3 cm) and a decent weight. Puzzle Master rate it as 7 out of 10 (Challenging) on their scale of 6 to 10 and I would make it a 6 myself. I think it is pretty good quality for just $10. No solution is provided with the puzzle but if you really need it then the solution can be downloaded from here.

It is solid metal and has been made in an antiqued brass effect metal. The instructions say to remove the washer from the bolt to solve it and initially you just have to try the obvious and unscrew the nut from the bolt! Yes I am that dim! Obviously this won't work and the nut can't move at all. Taking a proper look reveals that the nut has been soldered onto the bolt! Maybe the head of the bolt moves? Nice idea! But no, it's completely adherent. Turn your attention to the washer shows that it is incomplete and spiral in shape so maybe it will fit through the spiral shaped slot in the head of the bolt? Yep there would be quite a few false leads to this one!

At this point I had completely run out of ideas! How many things can you do with a solid nut and bolt?So I put it down and watched some TV with the present Mrs S (she's doing OK for a first wife!!!) and just picked it up intermittently and turned it over and over in my hands idly thinking. The puzzle gives away no clues at all so you need to try and think what could be possible? At this point I had a small brainwave - I do try not have big brainwaves in front of "her nibs" because she doesn't like it much! I picked it up again and suddenly there was one of those great "Aha!" moments that us puzzlers love so much and suddenly I had the washer off! A loud chuckle sent me a very annoyed glare but I didn't care because I had solved another one!

See it can be done - but only after an Aha! moment
This puzzle is definitely not particularly difficult but is very good quality and definitely has the nice discovery moment which is really enjoyable. For the price this is a great puzzle and I am going to enjoy handing this one around to friends. Now to go an d get the apparently much harder bolt #1!

Now I'm just hoping that the puzzle fairy arrives with Rocky's bolts!!!


  1. Think this is one of my favourite puzzles for giving to non-puzzlers... had one for years and it still comes out regularly!

    1. Yep! Taken it to work today! 1 person failed to solve it so far!