Wednesday 8 February 2012

Cross Threaded

This is my first bolt and nut puzzle (not counting my Hanayama Cast Nut Case reviewed earlier in this blog) and it came from Mr Puzzle Australia. Measuring 8.5 cm long with a bolt head 3cm across, the Cross Threaded is big, heavy and a real handful. Made of brass with its patina finish giving it an aged look, this bolt puzzle really looks like a genuine part from some hugh machine. My copy is from the Enigma Series and overall quality is good.

The object of the puzzle is of course to remove the nut from the bolt. It is a tricky puzzle. Initially when I first started playing with the puzzle, I could not even move the nut a bit. It was screwed tight to the point where I really thought the parts were jammed. I did not expect that the nut could be unscrewed in the normal fashion (afterall, it can't possibly be so easy right?, given that it has a difficulty level of around 7). But I did the obvious anyway, trying to unscrew it, in both directions. Nevertheless the nut refused to budge.

I tried some of the tested methods like as tapping, banging and shaking, thinking that these may help and lo and behold, after knocking the bolt a couple of times on my puzzle table, the nut moved ever so slightly and here is where I suddenly discovered the solution to removing the nut. Once I had separated the nut from the bolt, I realised that the way the nut is kept in place is actually quite simple but clever. TIP: no force is needed to solve this puzzle.

Overall a nice tricky little bolt puzzle and as stated by Mr Puzzle Australia, it is "hard but not extreme".....I agree. If you are into bolt and nut puzzles, well worth acquiring since it is also good value for money.


  1. Having recently read a few puzzle blogs, I was inspired to begin puzzling. I have not picked up a mechanical puzzle since I was a child, but frequently enjoy 2d IQ style challenges. I bought my first 3 puzzles today, and was very excited. The one I was most looking forward to was the Enigma Series 'Cross Threaded', as I was keen to try a puzzle bolt. Unfortunately, I think that mine may be broken, as, after the initial twist revealed that the nut was indeed tight on, it came off straight away. Just like an ordinary nut and bolt. The mechanism inside was not what one would find in an ordinary bolt however, so I am not sure what went wrong.I was very disappointed. I am going to return it tomorrow. Luckily, my second puzzle is a bit more challenging. It is a twisted metal kind (like thick wire) and I have been working on it for about 1.5 hours now, it's called 'mimi' wire puzzle. The third one, of which I couldn't resist a quick look, is a timber (or bamboo to be more exact) puzzle, and I have no idea how to begin, it won't budge!

  2. I can't comment on your Cross Threaded and whether it's broken or not as I can't see your puzzle; its pretty hard to get it broken...perhaps you want to send me a photo through my blog email:


  3. I took the bolt back to the shop shortly after I posted the above (before I took a photo), and the shopkeeper could remove it immediately also. However since then I have been on a bit of a spending spree!! I am now the proud owner of; Aluminium cylinder, Aluminium washer cylinder, Aluminium concave and convex dovetails, Black jack, Cent-rale (a free gift for spending so much :), Schloss dick, Writers block and Enigma. The wire and bamboo puzzles were great fun, but were over too quickly. I LOVE the Aluminium cylinder, it is a very clever design.

  4. Hi Wallum

    Wow, good for you! I think you will enjoy Wil Strijbos' aluminium puzzles....prepare to start spending a small fortune as he comes up with new stuff from time to time...I took a look at your your cryptex!

  5. Ummm, what site? I have written a tiny blog about some sci fi novels, but I don't have anything about Cryptexes :)

  6. Sorry, I must have mixed you up with another blogger

  7. That's okay. I would be interested in having a look at the site though.
    I have really enjoyed Wil's cylinders and the dovetails were great little surprises. I know that it (inside dovetails)is a common meachanism that experienced puzzlers will be familiar with, but as a newbie, I really liked it. The cylinders are beautifully machined, with elegant mechanisms and I can't wait to buy more quality puzzles from Wil.
    Attempted my first sand casted aluminium pieces yesterday, so maybe within a year I might have a blog about my puzzles :), and am trying to decide between buying a Roger puzzle or a lathe.