I have reviewed many great puzzles by the German designer Jean Claude Constantin and the Glühbirne (German for Light Bulb) is no exception.
As of now, this is my favorite Wire/String Puzzle. The design concept and theme is so original and funny, it captures a puzzler’s attention right away. The wire frame in the shape of a light bulb is perfectly achieved. In fact, it’s just about the same size as a standard light bulb and the goal is to remove the wooden plug and rope from its wire frame.
The puzzle itself is not very difficult to solve. It’s rated by PuzzleMaster as a 5/10 and I think it’s about right, although I don’t mind the easiness, because it’s a break from the routine of having to try and solve other insanely hard Wire Puzzles. It took me just around 10 minutes to remove the plug, and returning it to the initial position was equally easy.
There’s no solution at the PuzzleMaster website for this one, but I’m sure you won’t be needing one. Nonetheless, I will try to explain the two movements necessary to break the plug free. Don’t read the next paragraph, if you want to try it on your own:
When you first analyse the puzzle, you’ll notice a small ring at the bottom of the frame. This ring is constraining the movement of the string just to the inside of the frame and blocking it from moving into the outer parts of the frame. So, the first step is to get the string to this very outer part of the frame and in order to do that, you’re gonna need to pass the string through the small loop at the center of the light bulb and go around the wire that in turn also goes through this small loop. When you’ve done that, you’re going to repeat that movement, but this time, you have to first make the string pass inside that small ring at the bottom. After the loop movement, just pull the plug with the string and it should just come out. To return the string to its original position, just repeat both steps backwards.
No love/hate towards the Glühbirne like the other Wire Puzzles, just love… Yes, it’s easy to solve, but fun, and after all, not all puzzles need to be complex and tough to be appreciated. I loved the theme of the puzzle and the whole concept of removing the plug from the light bulb was very well thought and executed. Well done Jean Claude!
Availability: The Glühbirne (Light Bulb) is available at PuzzleMaster for $12 CAD (approx. €9).