I’m sure you’ve seen this concept in countless puzzles already: You have an object trapped inside a cage and you need to find a way to free it. I happen to own at least two different designs like this, the Ball in a Cage (you can find a metal version here) and the Cast Cage, but there are many more. My latest addition, the Owl in a Cage comes from a Czech puzzle manufacturer, Clever Toys. They have other designs with different animals too, which you can get here from PuzzleMaster.
The Owl in a Cage is a bit bigger than the Cast Cage, measuring about 9cm x 5,5cm (3.5″ x 2.2″). Both the cage and the owl are 100% wood with different types used in order to get a distinct contrast. You can find other animals with this same concept, but I really liked the owl design. It’s very well made, unlike the others, in my opinion, that don’t seem to have taken the same amount of attention to detail as this one (the eyes, or lack thereof, for example).
With all these different designs, but similar concepts, I don’t know for certain when was the first version introduced. I did found this Owl in a Cage a bit different from the two I’d tried before, which is a relief, because I was afraid to solve it in a matter of seconds, considering that I already knew how to solve the other two.
The level of difficulty seems to be about the same as the Ball in a Cage, level 8/10, even though I believe the owl version was a little harder to solve. For you to get an idea, the Ball in a Cage doesn’t have moveable parts, whereas the Owl does have its wings maneuverable up and down. Also, its different parts, the beak, the claws, the tail, all have an important role in the solving process.
It took me about 20 minutes of fiddling with the puzzle to finally set the owl free. It was as if it were all comfortable in its cage and didn’t want to get out… Don’t use too much force though, as you might break some of its fragile parts. You might need to apply a little force, but don’t insist if you get too much resistance. It’s a signal you’re not doing it right. After setting it free, you need to return the owl to its cage. I found this task much easier, and subsequent solves were hardly challenging, as I knew all the steps I needed to do.
The Owl in a Cage was a very nice find and I don’t regret getting it. I would’ve if I had chosen any of the others in the same series though, like the Blackbird or the Canary. There’s just not much originality there and the design is bland to say the least. If you like this type of puzzles, go for the Owl. I’m sure you’ll love it.