Monday, 5 September 2011

Cast News

The Cast News is one of those puzzles that you can spend hours or (or even days) trying to solve but get nowhere. And yet the moment you discover the solution, you just can't quite believe it's simplicity. Made of cast aluminium, the News is designed by Nob Yoshigahara (apparently when he was just 19 years old).  My copy of the News is very well made and exudes quality. Although not a large puzzle, measuring only 1 3/4in x 1 3/4in x 1/ 2in in a hexagon shape, the News feels relatively heavy in the palm. Due to its bronze coloured exterior, the News has a well worn sort of look which gives it a vintage charm.
The object of the puzzle is to separate the News into two parts (as can be seen from the join lines in the puzzle in the photo above). While the medieval looking N, S, E and W letters add to the decorative element, they do in fact play a role in the solving of the puzzle. 

I spent quite a while on this puzzle trying every trick I knew in the book. I could hear little noises coming from within the puzzle and these sounded like small ball bearings. Despite the shaking and the pulling, nothing seems to work. I even tried the method which opens the YOT puzzle but this didn't work either. After about half a day (not continuous of course), I decided I didn't want to be frustrated anymore and looked at the solution. Lo and behold...the solution required only 3 easy steps to take the puzzle apart; and here, the medieval letters come into play. 

Hanayama rates this at Level 6, the most difficult in their scale. Indeed, like most puzzles where you can't see anything from the outside, it is very difficult to solve...but once you learn how to, this puzzle is easy to solve repeatedly. Overall, I think the News is a nice take-anywhere kind of puzzle to buy and keep.


  1. I solved the Cast News sight unseen in 2 minutes! On the other hand, the Cast Nutcase took me forever, longer than I'd care to admit...

  2. Wow! just the opposite for me, I thought the Nutcase was more manageable but I had no luck with the Cast News at all....