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...]
The Cast Claw is a beautiful puzzle to hold, look at, and to play with. Highly durable and a puzzle that will give many years of enjoyment. As to difficulty, I would rate it as medium. There are several puzzles quite similar in that one piece must be moved from one of several sections through others via notches, until you are able to obtain its release. This puzzle has 3 sections with each section having 2 notches where the fish shaped ring can pass. Which of these slots ,or is there another not so obvious exit path? [Read More...]
Another wonderful and challenging from one of the best metal puzzle makers around today. It’s a pretty little puzzle and even though the first impression makes one think that it consists of several pieces. Not so. It is made of only 2 pieces, but unusually shaped. You will soon see that the 2 pieces are made of 2 different colors, gold and silver. With a puzzle like this one usually shakes it to see if there are any moving parts concealed inside, could there be magnets involved, or does some part slide. Well, none of these approaches seem to work and [Read More...]
Cast Box is one of the most recent Hanayama puzzles, released at the end of 2012. This is Yuta Akira’s first contribution to the Cast Series, and I might add a great addition. The puzzle made its first appearance at the 2011 IPP Design Competition, then known as “Simple Solid Ring Maze” and also with a wooden frame. Understandably, Hanayama later changed its name to a simpler version, the Cast Box.
The Parallel Dimensions has a bit of everything. Its got 3 large rings, 1 piece with a closed loop at each end, 2 “U” shaped pieces, with closed loops at each end, a wooden ball, a fairly large wooden cube, and a cord which passes through the ball and the cube as well as entwined around the two “U” shaped pieces and one of the rings. The object is to remove that ring. It looks a little intimidating, and for good reason; it is not simple and has a Difficulty of 10 out of 10. As with other [Read More...]
Hana Yama make an excellent collection of cast puzzles. Their puzzles are exceptionally well made, a real challenge to solve, are immediate attention grabbers, beautiful to look at and feel great in the hand.
When you pick it up, it seems so loosely connected together; that one thinks it should fall apart. As you play with it, it will remind you of a set of dentures rattleing in a blizzard. I can’t think of any other puzzle like it. It consists of 4 pieces of chrome metal, quite small, but heavy for its size. No doubt about it; it well [Read More...]
Mickey is another cute design by Jean Claude Constantin. This little puzzle looks harmless, but like all string puzzles it can become a knot fest in no time. Read further as I share with you my experience with this little devil.
Just like most puzzles by Constantin, the design is quite original. The metal frame, as the name suggests, resembles the shape of Disney’s character Mickey. The frame is comprised of two small loops perpendicular to each other, and a string with a bead at the end. The goal, as you might’ve already guessed, is to remove the [Read More...]