Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Simultaneous Maze

This is another interesting design from William HuCalled the Simultaneous Maze, the object is to extract a maze plate from the box frame, while manipulating the three vertically sliding square pieces.

Made by Eric Fuller from Maple, Jatoba and acrylic, construction fit and finish is excellent and all moving pieces slide smoothly. Aesthetically, it really is a very pleasing looking puzzle with a nice colour combo and contrast. The choice of acrylic for the maze plate is a good one, since I doubt wood would have been able to take the stresses of play over time, given the way the channels in the maze are cut. However, I did detect some flexing even though the plate is 5mm thick. I think a 7-8mm thickness would have been a better choice. Let's put it this can't be too rough with this one.

The puzzle provides a fair amount of challenge and while not unduly difficult in terms of what needs to be done, it is however, rather tricky. I found myself stuck a bit at the early stages until I discovered something which I had overlooked at the beginning. This is one of those puzzles that to move two steps forward, you may need to take one step backwards, in a manner of speaking. Once solved, the resetting is in the reverse, but still, unless you have memorized all the moves, it will still take some effort (and trial and error, which happened to me) to insert the maze plate back into position.

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