Tuesday 20 May 2014

More Metal From Wil Strijbos

Update 23 October 2017 - Dear Reader, please check out my new puzzle blog and e-storat http://mechanical-puzzles.com

The last time I received new puzzles (Nipple Bolt and Low Number Bolt) from Wil Strijbos was in January this year. Since then Wil has been rather quiet and most of us Wil fans were wondering what new toys (of his own design) he would be coming up with next. 

He was supposed to turn out an egg-shaped puzzle in time for Easter but that didn't materialise. What's on the cards in the months to come is this egg puzzle and a trick padlock of some sort.

Well, last week a package arrived containing the "4 Piece Metal Puzzle" and the "Heart In Heart". 

4 Piece Metal Puzzle
This one looks just like a jigsaw puzzle, connected together like a jigsaw puzzle but unfortunately, cannot be simply separated like a jigsaw puzzle.

It is really very well made, with a nice matt finish although I would have preferred something like a bright red over the sombre dark green. Made of aluminium, its fairly large at 7.6cm square with a thickness of 1.5cm. Tolerances are very good. Solid and heavy!

The object of course is to split the 4 pieces. Intuitively you will just want to push the pieces out like a jigsaw puzzle, but wait....it gets stuck against each other such that none of the 4 pieces can dislodge from the others.

This puzzle is the 4 piece version of a Hanayama cast puzzle that came out a while back. Go to the Hanayama website and take a look and see if you can figure out which one I am talking about.

Because I had solved the Hanayama version (which is in the more difficult range), I knew how to go about this one and very quickly got the 4 pieces apart. For the novice or beginner, the 4 Piece may pose a fair challenge (just like how it was for me the first time solving the Hanayama puzzle). A fine touch is needed to solve this one.

Heart In Heart
This is a very tiny puzzle at just 3.4cm square and 1.2cm thick. When I opened the (relatively) large box it came in together with the 4 Piece Metal Puzzle, It was so small and flat that initially I couldn't find it amongst the bubble wrap and sponge bits and thought Wil had forgotten to ship it.

The Heart puzzle is brass and aluminium and overall construction, fit and finish is very good, although still a tad below the 4 Piece Metal Puzzle.

The silver heart is recessed into the square brass piece. Object is to remove the heart and split it further apart. I don't want to spoil anyone's fun. Suffice to say, the heart is dainty and so you need to be gentle with your hands (and without force whatsoever) separate the pieces slowly.

But as you fiddle with this one, you will probably quite quickly figure out what needs to be done, so its not too difficult. Putting it back together is also not as taxing as some other similar puzzles of this genre.

Both are high quality nice puzzles, not too difficult nor overly expensive (together they costs Euros 60). And if you are a sucker for metal ones like me, definitely a must-have!

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