Saturday, 12 January 2013

4 Step Visible Lock

Time for another review, hopefully this one won't require any post editing!!!

Again this puzzle is from my recent package from Wil Strijbos in the Netherlands. It was the first puzzle I played with out of the package and subsequently the first I completed.

It's called the 4 Step Visible Lock which is made by Robrecht Louage. I referenced this puzzle in my review of one of Rebrecht's other puzzles, the 1 Euro Labyrinth.

This puzzle was entered into the International Puzzle Party (IPP32) Design Competition in 2011 and won the Jury Grand Prize at the results event in Berlin, Germany. Therefore I had to get one and see what the fuss was about. 

4 Step Visible Lock
The puzzle consists of a sliding piece of acrylic with grooves cut in which house several ball bearings. The grooves in the acrylic intersect with grooves cut in the Trespa base. This is the first time I've encountered the material known as Trespa. Apparently it's composed of Kraft paper, which is bound with a resin, then subjected to extreme pressure to create this high-pressure laminate. Anyway, I digress. Once again, the aim is to navigate these ball bearings round the grooves and ultimately release the 1 Euro coin through a hole cut in the top acrylic layer.

Obviously the name gives you some hint as to what's required to retrieve the 1 Euro. There are (surprisingly) four steps to complete this puzzle, the first being to actually be able to move the sliding piece of acrylic. However, in my case, this step was already done for me. I only found out about it when I passed it to my family to let them have a play. It's a quite simple trick but is rather clever and can keep novice puzzlers busy for longer than should be admitted!!!

The next two steps involve arranging all four ball bearings to allow the 1 Euro to move towards the hole in the top acrylic, or at least as close as you can get it!!

4 Step Visible Lock with the 1 Euro removed
The final step, to get the 1 Euro to the hole and out, is very clever and can keep most people busy for a while.

As mentioned in the 1 Euro Labyrinth review, knowledge of Robrecht's trickery can help with solving his puzzles.

Overall, although it only took me half an hour to solve, I thoroughly enjoyed solving this puzzle and think it's a very clever. The Trespa is a very nice material to hold and is quite durable, so I have no hesitations about handing this puzzle out for others to have a play with, and watching them struggle!!!

I keep forgetting to mention, up till now, if anyone is interested in these puzzles I obtained from Wil Strijbos, he doesn't have a website, but he does have a mailing list that he sends the occasional newsletter out to (when he's not off galavanting round the world to various puzzle events). So if you would like his email address to request to be added to his mailing list, then send me an email to my blogger profile.

That's all for now!!

1 comment:

  1. Great puzzle, one of my favourites! Nice A-ha moments.


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