Hanayama Cast Chain

Oh, the cast chain. You were fun to solve.

I really liked this particular puzzle. It was simple enough that I could wrap my head around all the interactions, but solving it took some persistence. This was one of those puzzles where the solution was pretty obvious from the beginning, but manipulating the pieces to the correct position proved to be the challenge.

When I first picked this puzzle up, I didn’t get anywhere. It just didn’t seem like there were any options. I fiddled with it for 15 minutes, half-distracted, and then put it down for later.

Looks easy right? Think again. There’s not much room to manipulate the pieces.

Later in the day, when I had the time, I decided to dedicate 30 focused minutes on the puzzle and see if I could make any progress. It was somewhere during this 30 minutes that I discovered how to connect the chain ends and switch the order of the links. This was a cool discovery, and it gave me some hope. Unfortunately, I had to put it down again to take care of some things.

Later on in the evening, I picked the puzzle up and focused another 45 minutes and found the solution. I think I would have solved it quicker, but I was somehow convinced there was a “3rd state” for the links to be in. It turns, out there is not “3rd state”, I simply had to get the links in the correct order and orientation.

After the first link is removed, the second is trivial.

Once solved, it was easy to put back together and restore to the original state. 

Overall, I really, really enjoyed this one. It kind of reminds me of vortex, in that it is 3 interconnected pieces, but I was able to keep track of everything much easier – vortex gets confusing to me (and I still haven’t solved it).  Built quality is great as is the fit and finish.

Puzzle Available at PuzzleMaster

Hanayama Nutcase

I picked up the Hanayama Nutcase last week and finally got a chance to dedicate a little time to it over the weekend. Overall, I liked the puzzle. It felt impossible at first and it’s always satisfying to solve a puzzle that starts off as “impossible”.

The object of the puzzle, like most Hanayama puzzles is to take it apart and then put it back together. The two nuts easily turn, but there is no apparent way to remove them from the bolt.

Closer inspection reveals some interesting details. There is a loose nut that rattles around inside the bolt. I quickly determined that it was unlikely to help in the solution. The inside of the bolt was smooth and there was nothing for that loose bolt to catch onto, nor were there any pockets for it to fit into.

The outside of the bolt, however, held some of the clues needed for the solution. After playing with this puzzle for about an hour, I set it down to go take a shower. It was at that moment that I had an idea of what was going on. The idea just hit me upside the head and I was suddenly sure I had the answer. At that point, I was thinking that I could solve it in 5 minutes.Unfortunately, it wasn’t that easy. Although my solution was correct, it took another hour or so to finally get it right.

This puzzle is a bit loose and tinkery. Even when you have the solution, it isn’t exactly easy to get everything perfect, thus the puzzle isn’t quite as enjoyable as it should be. I have a number of Hanayama puzzles that are of excellent build quality and tolerances, this one just doesn’t measure up.

solved puzzle, no secrets revealed

Puzzle Available at PuzzleMaster