Saturday 28 January 2012

Man The Torpedo

Man The Torpedo is very similar to the Cast Cage and Aluminium Hedgehog In Cage puzzles, both of which have been reviewed earlier in this blog. The goal is to remove an object from within an enclosure or cage.
In this instance, the object is the "torpedo" a stubby solid aluminium cylinder with 8 brass rods/spikes of varying lengths sticking out.The enclosure or cage consist of two solid aluminium rings connected in-between by 6 brass rods. The Torpedo puzzle is 7.8cm tall and 5cm across in diameter. It is just the right size, not too large or small for average size hands and comfortable to hold. The spacing between the brass rods is also wide enough so that you can comfortably handle and manipulate the torpedo with your figures. Even larger fingers should have no problem, since you can grip the spikes quite easily.

My copy of the puzzle came from PuzzleMaster of Canada and its overall quality, fit and finish here is good. Unlike similar plastic ones, this metal version has a good weight to it and feels sturdy and solid.

From a puzzling aspect, it is not a difficult puzzle. A fair bit of patience, dexterity and finger work is required to manoeuvre the torpedo out of the cage. While externally it may look rather simple considering the cage bars seem to be widely spaced apart, it is actually quite tricky to get the torpedo through them. The obstacle being the different length spikes that are protruding from the torpedo, which tends to get the torpedo stuck in all sorts of positions inside the cage preventing any exit.

I spent a good half an hour or so before finally managing to release the torpedo out. There was a lot of turning, pulling and twisting and at one point, I must have applied a little too much force and even caused the torpedo to get temporarily jammed between the bars. Putting the torpedo back inside was easier and I managed this within several minutes. However, taking it out again required more time, but it didn't take me as long as the first time.

PuzzleMaster rates it at 8/10 for difficulty but I would put it at 6.5/ is fairly challenging but not unduly difficult. Personally I also think the Torpedo puzzle is quite unusual looking and does look pretty good sitting atop my desk.

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