When it comes to describe a mechanical or hand held puzzle there are many things to consider. Beauty is one of those aspects that doesn’t immediately come to mind; but as soon as one sees, and picks up Yin & Yang, it’s absolute beauty is obvious. The Yin is a symbol from Chinese philosophy and art. The female element stands for darkness, cold and death; the male element the source of life and heat. It took great imagination to take this ancient symbol and incorporate it into a puzzle. Being metal, as well as superbly crafted, [Read More...]
The Lion’s Lair is an interesting wire or disentanglement puzzle. I chose my title from the fact that this puzzle actually goes by at least two names. On Amazon, it is offered as Mantis Wire puzzle, by Winshare. Actually, I kind of like that name. Itís natural to give these wire puzzles names, and that is often very difficult. In this case, when you look at the puzzle spread out, it does resemble the face of a lion. However, it just as well resembles the face of a Praying Mantis. So, pick your choice–I guess. It is well [Read More...]
The Cowboy’s Hobble† is a relatively simple brainteaser. It is quite attractive and has the element of looking simpler than it is. It is made of a heavy, nickle plated wire, a nylon cord and wooden ball. However; the ring opened up on mine, if it ever was welded; so the ball could pass through it with very little force. Since this defeats the purpose of the ring, I managed to force and epoxy it closed. Not a major problem, as long as it is that the ball is not supposed to pass through the ring. It presents [Read More...]
I’m no expert on puzzle locks, and this was the first puzzle lock I added to my collection. Having spoken with a number of puzzling friends, they all recommended the Danlock, and by most it is considered the Rolls Royce of puzzle locks. So why the high accolade?
Well the reason comes from the fact that this is a real padlock. Dan Feldman buys the Nabob padlocks, which are made in Israel, and modifies them into these trick locks. So what you have is a solid brass padlock, with a real lock that makes a really solid puzzle. As you [Read More...]
The Trapped Satellite is a fairly common puzzle or as some like to call it a brainteaser. It is made by several different companies and goes by different names–”Nerves of Steel”,”Metal Teaser Cage”,etc. It has also been produced in wood and plastic. A plastic version is here on Amazon and called “Cage Puzzler”. The same idea is used for other trapped or caged things like Hedgehog, Torpedo, etc. When you first pick it up, it looks simple but soon it looks impossible. This is always a good feature for a puzzle or brainteaser. There [Read More...]
A whole level above those brainteasers generally known as “wire puzzles”. These are what are called Tavern Puzzles. An excellent puzzle to look at as well as to try to solve. Tavern puzzles are made of heavy, 1/4 inch iron rod and rings, some even consist of wood balls and/or chain. They are quite heavy, this one weighs almost a pound. They have been around for many years, and often were made by blacksmiths. They possibly got their name from being around bars or taverns for enjoyment. They are generally quite difficult to solve; this particular one is above average to difficult. The [Read More...]
The Cast Spiral is a fascinating little brainteaser. As you hold it, it slips and rattles; but surprisingly, it just won’t come apart. The temptation is there to force it, but that doesn’t help, nor is forcing ever the approach one needs to take in conquering a mechanical puzzle. All five pieces appear to be identical, and they all move with the same ease. However; while it seems that any one piece will easily come loose, it always has another holding it in place. I said all five pieces appear to be identical, but one piece has [Read More...]