Sunday 21 April 2024

So Uplifting That It Gave Me a Fright!

Uplift by Dee Dixon
This might be a bit less coherent than normal - I am a bit sick and had to work whilst ill. My thought processes are even slower than usual.

It would appear that Dedwood crafts has become one of my new obsessions. I missed out on the early productions because they were boxes and I "don't collect boxes" but later there were puzzles with interesting shapes and even robot faces which spoke to me. Those voices never seem to go away and my chats with my psychiatrist friend reassures me that they are "normal". Admittedly, when we chat, I am armed with needles and syringes and he is armed with an ECT machine but I am sure that he is not frightened of what I might do with my weapons and is telling me the truth.

Well, several months ago those voices told me to buy the Uplift puzzle from Dee as soon as it came out. It's just a bit embarrassing to be writing about it now when it arrived at the beginning of October last year. My excuse?'s quite difficult! At least for me it was. This has literally been on my evening armchair alongside me to be played with ever since then. I attempted to solve it every evening for several months without getting anywhere. Lord! I am rubbish at puzzles!

This fabulous creation is simply gorgeous...and huge! It is made from quarter-sawn Sapele (with an incredible lustre and grain with a layer of nicely coloured Cherry. The dimensions are 6.75" diameter and 2.25" thick. The aim is to open it up and find the hidden compartment (and a surprise). The central area of the top section can rotate freely around in circles and nothing seems to happen when you do spin it. There is a button on the side where a section of the Sapele can be pushed in a few mm. The obvious thing is to push the button whilst spinning the centre around and of course, it does absolutely nothing. That is disappointing and pleasing at the same time. After a little while trying the same thing over and over again, it occurred to me that I hadn't tried to just lift the lid off. That little wedge on top just lifts off having been held on by a magnet. Inside is the cavity - it's the same size as the wedge/lid and it's empty. It is quite clear that there is a whole lot more space inside for another cavity and that must be what we are looking for. 

Interestingly, the centre section can still spin around with the lid off and the whole interior spins with it. This is a cue to start playing with the button again whilst spinning the interior/centre. I got bored of this after a week when nothing new happened and was left scratching my head wondering what else I could do. Playing around with the magnet on the lid, did reveal that there are more magnets inside but I was completely unable to trigger any changes with it. Now what? It was clear that the layers that are visible on the outside are also maintained on the inside spinning part of the puzzle. There seems to be a little movement between the layers but no change in position, orientation or push of the button (with or without magnet placement) would change anything. Desperation began to set in around February after about 4 months and Mrs S sniggering at me. I was thinking about submerging it in gin when a slip whilst holding it caused me to almost drop it. The new hand position I found myself in revealed something special for me. I wish that I could say that I worked it out through sheer bwain power but alas no!

After my little accident, I had more puzzle to look at! There were cavities to explore and more movements that didn't lead anywhere until a poke of a finger got me one of Dee's little tools (those of you who have played with other Dedwood puzzles will have seen these acrylic rods. I was making progress! With the appropriate tool poised, I found a place to use it did nothing. Nothing at all! Yet again, I was left to try different orientations and combinations of moves with or without button presses whilst standing on my head. Needless to say, I looked very silly and totally failed to continue in my progress. Sigh!

After another few weeks of swearing at an inanimate object, I noticed a rather subtle feature that had eluded me up to this point. Aha! What if I do this? Aha! again. After five months I had finally found the hidden cavity and my lovely little surprise. I have not shown Mrs S that surprise for fear that she will beat me over the head with the puzzle - she really doesn't like what was inside the Uplift. Don't look if you don't want to see what is waiting inside:

All in all, this was fabulous value for money for me. There weren't very many steps involved but I found 2 of them almost impossible to find and a real diversion that had me fooled for longer than I am happy about! I cannot wait for the next release from Dee. I have still not managed to reset the Wardrobe to put it away which is upsetting Mrs S a lot!

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