Saturday, 17 August 2013

Locked Drawer

Sandfield's Locked Drawer Puzzle.

Robert E Sandfield and Kathleen Malcolmson.

This is the unsolved state!

Kathleen Malcolmson

Type & Classification
Puzzle Box; Sequential Discovery

7.8cm (Length) x 6.5cm (Width) x 3.8cm (Height).

Materials & Construction
Walnut, Prima Vera and White Oak. Construction, fit and finish is excellent with slight bevelling on the exterior box to minimise sharp edges. Nice size with an attractive colour contrast between the handle, drawer and outer box. Overall, aesthetically very pleasing. It comes with its own drawstring pouch which is a nice touch.

The Locked Drawer was Robert Sandfield's Exchange Puzzle during IPP30 held at Hakone, Japan. in July 2010.


I had read Allard's review of this puzzle late last year and wanted one. The opportunity came along when I found Robert Sandfield selling several of these Locked Drawers during this year's IPP33 Puzzle Party. Although relatively expensive, I picked up one with little hesitation. This was also the first puzzle I bought during the Puzzle Party.

The Locked Draw is somewhat different from the Japanese style boxes with multiple sliding panels or other trick opening ones because it incorporates a sequential discovery aspect as well. Meaning that the puzzle has to be solved in a particular order of steps and using the tools that come together with the puzzle. No other external implements or tools are necessary.

The object of the Locked Drawer is NOT to open the drawer (as most people would assume looking at the box) but rather to figure out how to close the drawer once its been opened. To open is simple, nothing puzzling about it; just pull the drawer open normally and it will reveal a circular cavity that contains a US$0.25 coin. Pull the puzzle fully out and the drawer click locks. Here is where the puzzling begins; ie pushing the drawer back in again.

I took about six steps to get the drawer "unlocked" and then back into the closed position, which is the reset/ unsolved stage. There is no force whatsoever required to solve the Locked Drawer. A very clever and rather interesting trick to the whole mechanism.

Difficulty Level
For the total novice, he/she is likely to be stuck for quite a long time. But for the experienced puzzler, not overly difficult with enough challenge to make the puzzle fun and entertaining. This is the sort of puzzle that gives you mini "a-ha" moments to let you know you are on the right track until the final step when you know you have reached the goal. Easily solvable repeatedly once you know the solution. Nothing finicky about the Locked Drawer; everything works as intended.

For lovers of Sequential Discovery puzzles and/or puzzle boxes generally, a definite must-have for the collection.

1 comment:

  1. I solved Allard's copy at an MPP - loved it! You're right, a good one for anyone's collection! Hmmmm I don't have one yet!