Tuesday 8 November 2011

La Cerradura Doble

This puzzle, which was an entry for IPP28 in 2008, was acquired from Robrecht Louage, who was this year's IPP 31 Grand Jury Prize winner for his 4 Steps Visible Lock reviewed some time back in this blog. Cerradura in Spanish means "lock" and one look at the puzzle and you probably can tell why.

The Cerradura measures 160mm(L) x 95mm(W) x 16mm(H). Made of Corian (the type of material found in kitchen counter tops), steel and acrylic, the puzzle is not only hefty but also very well constructed and finished to tight tolerances. All moving parts slide and move as they should. The overall combination of the three different materials and contrasting colour tones gives the puzzle a very solid and industrial kind of look.

The puzzle consist of two flat steel plates or "keys" that are "locked" in place by 5 movable sliders with grooves or "teeth", each of which can be pushed either up or down within a narrow range of movement. Covering this assembly is a acrylic top plate screwed into position at the corners.

The object of the puzzle is to remove both steel keys from the puzzle. To do this, you have to navigate each of the steel keys out of the puzzle by moving the sliders individually to free the steel keys in order for them to pass through. This puzzle has been designed in such a way that you cannot remove one key entirely and then followed by the other. Both keys need to be worked on and moved in tandem. Occasionally you will also need to move one key backwards in order for a slider to disengage the other key for the latter to move.

This is not a very difficult puzzle and I was able to remove both keys after about 40 minutes of pushing, pulling and sliding. As usual I applied my trial and error method which did the trick quite well here for this particular puzzle. The Cerradura is one of those puzzles that not only can you see exactly what you are doing and what you need to do next, but you also remain constantly aware of the progress you are making as you slowly manipulate the two keys out to reach your goal.

Returning the puzzle back to the original state required almost the same effort as removing the keys but somehow I felt the reverse was slightly easier to carry out. Overall, a nice puzzle that is sufficiently challenging not just for the enthusiast; but with everything in full view (without hidden magnets, pins, mazes etc), can quite easily accommodate non-puzzlers as well.

For another take on the La Cerradura Doble, check out Allard's review on his puzzle blog.

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