William Hu. To see more of his designs click here.
Eric Fuller. From www.cubicdissection.com. Priced at US$54.
As of this post, there are some still available from Bernhard Schweitzer of www.puzzlewood.de.
Type & Classification
Interlocking, sequential movement
9cm (Length) x 9cm (Width) and 5.4cm (Height). Relatively large; feels very solid and heavy.
Materials & Construction
A combination of 6 exotic hardwoods; Paduak, Maple, Walnut, Leopardwood, Yellowheart and Purpleheart which gives it a very nice colour contrast. Construction and fit is excellent but I would advise a bit of a "dry out" in the dry box before commencing play just to be sure that the puzzle is not too snug due to high humidity.
This is my second interlocking puzzle from designer William Hu, the first being his Box Packing.
The object is to remove the 5 irregular shaped pieces from the rectangular "ring".
This puzzle has rotations, some involving more than one piece at the same time. I counted no less than five 90 degree rotations. Overall the puzzle is not that difficult to solve, but with the rotations thrown in, its rather tricky.
Removing the first piece is relatively simple as you feel your way with the pieces that can move. Once the first piece is out, here's where the challenge begins.
I managed to solve the puzzle quite quickly, in minutes, rather than hours. Perhaps this was because I had a fair bit of experience (and struggle) with Osanori Yamamoto's Orion which bears a couple of similarities, and hence I knew what I needed to do to get the pieces out from the ring.
The Ring Lock has a level 22.214.171.124.2 solution. Easy to get the first piece (just 2 moves) removed but the challenge comes thereafter. For experienced puzzlers, probably moderate difficulty. I found the re-assembly a bit harder, so its best to lay out the pieces properly and in the order they come out so that everything can go back in reverse order.
I quite enjoyed the Ring Lock. With just 5 pieces and not that many moves, its relatively easy to repeat solve once you have memorised the sequence and rotations, which gives the Ring Lock a good amount of replay value. Displays nicely too!