Sunday 10 March 2024

Oleg’s Orb/Ball Is Smaller Than Expected!

Oleg's Wardrobe from DEDwood Crafts
A few months ago Dee Dixon notified the world of the next puzzle in his never ending series of sequential discovery puzzles and I duly placed the release date in my task manager app with a reminder to go online on the dot of the release time and be ready with my credit card. I was very lucky to be quick enough and complete my purchase because all 65 copies went in under 5 minutes! My goodness the market for these has gone through the roof. Luckily for all of you who missed out, there will be another batch of 50 being released within a few weeks. Believe me, it is worth it!

It took a little while for the rather enormous box to cross the pond and the unboxing was well worth the wait. This puzzle is simply gorgeous! It genuinely looks like a wardrobe that would be present in a medieval castle complete with a beautifully carved door handle. It is 5"x7"x3.5" and made from Peruvian walnut and African striped mahogany (I think the handle might be Ebony). The door of the wardrobe has been textured to add to the authenticity and the quality feel of the puzzle. It is accompanied by a rather large card explaining the rules and the rather endearing story written by Brent Hessel to explain why we have a wardrobe and are looking for the Orb of Prosperity. Apparently King Oleg stole it from the villagers and hid it in his wardrobe. The plucky Knight Note has stolen the wardrobe from Oleg but cannot find the Orb and has asked for help from this plucky puzzler!

It is all absolutely beautifully presented (the cards are really difficult to photograph!). The first thing I noticed after my initial admiration of the craftsmanship (Dee always makes such gorgeous puzzles) was the fact that on the left side of the wardrobe there was a small area cut out that could be rotated in place to reveal a slot for something. I obeyed the rules and did not spinning of the puzzle but have to admit that I did shake it a bit upside down to see if I could make anything come out of the slot. Of course neither Dee not Oleg would make it so simple. There is also a small area on the base of the wardrobe that acts as a button but barely moves at this point.

There's nothing else for it...time to open the wardrobe. What do you do with a wardrobe? Pull the handle of course and Aha! the door opens (in fact it comes off) much to my surprise. Inside there is a warning and four drawers:

It's all so gorgeous!
There are no handles on the drawers so I tipped them out - luckily it's only a small wardrobe! They all come out and there is nothing in those drawers. What next? Time to think©!

The craftsmanship is wonderful
Dee's mark
With the drawers out it is possible to see that the wardrobe has been constructed in layers and one is slightly wiggly. This might be useful but at the moment for me, did nothing. I have to sheepishly admit that I got stuck at this point for over a week! Whilst investigating this I suddenly found a tool had appeared and I had absolutely no idea where from. Odd! I used a torch and looked inside and there was no clue where it came from and only 2 days later did I work it out. As I have said before, "I am really not terribly bright". Having found the tool, I had to work out what to do with it. The little slot that I had mentioned before seemed an obvious choice and with huge expectations I slotted it into place and...NADA! It wouldn't fit. Bugger! Maybe I was doing it wrong? I tried to do the same move on multiple occasions and in different orientations of both me and the puzzle. And...still NADA! Think© dammit!

I thunk for a while and noticed something else where the tool might be helpful so tried that and...NADA! I am really not very good at puzzling - it's amazing that anyone reads what I write. I then had to put this one down for a while or there would be no blog posts for you. I went back and forth from Brass Monkey 6 to the twisty puzzle to the Wardrobe for a while and only made progress on the two former puzzles. I must be missing something in this. I was convinced that the wiggly bit must be the secret but it wasn't doing anything in any position and so I was tempted to try something that was not in the rules - my last resort after blowing on a puzzle is to submerge it in gin to see whether that might help. With the size of this bloody thing, I would need to use a whole bottle and Mrs S was not going to let me do that. I did also suspect that gin might not be good for the wood - I know that I am thick but really not that dumb. Eventually, after 2 weeks, I made a very small but very interesting discovery - I had another tool which made what was wiggly really quite mobile. Man, that is a very unusual move in a puzzle! I had lots more movement and a lovely locking mechanism that I could not see but worked every time. This allowed me to try something else which did nothing until I tried it differently and it did. Bang! I had another tool which I did not know how I managed to unlock or even where it had come from.

This new tool looked very useful. It fit somewhere and then fell out again. Maybe I could try....


That is very interesting. I could make the took disappear inside. At this point there were only so many possibilities and before long I heard a click. I couldn't see anything new as a result of the click so carried on fiddling when Oleg's orb fell on the table. A word of warning - if you are doing SD puzzles, always do them on a table or on a lap tray. Son't do them on an armchair and especially not with a cat on your lap because stuff disappears quickly inside the crevices of an armchair or in the gaping maw of a peeved cat!

I appeared to have retrieved the Orb and I have to say that King Oleg has a very small ball!

The Orb of Prosperity is a little erm underwhelming
Having found the Orb, I am told that all is well in the village and I can now reset the puzzle back to the beginning without fear of the consequences. Except after over a week of trying, I cannot seem to reset the puzzle. I am trying to do the reverse of what I had done but something is not working for me. I suspect that I have forgotten a specific orientation for the puzzle when I do a certain move or sequence and need to keep experimenting to get it to work. The result of this? Note to myself to always pay attention to what moves you do and what position they are in when you do them.

I'll keep at it. It will look fabulous on display with all my other Dedwood Crafts puzzles. I really must get back to the Burner and Uplift puzzles which I have also singularly failed:

I also think there is another new one coming out which I will hopefully be quick enough on the draw to purchase! If all the previous ones are anything to go by then it will be superb.
Keep an eye out for the second batch if you didn't manage to get one of these from the first.

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