Friday 15 March 2013

Remove The Yolk

I haven't blogged in a while and, to be honest, I haven't really picked up a puzzle in a while.

So I thought I'd change that!!

This is a blog post about the latest puzzle I opened, albeit a week or two ago now.

Remove The Yolk
It is another puzzle from Robrecht Louage, however this one I got at auction on Cubic Dissection. No one else bid on it so I got it for a very reasonable price.

I've had my eye out for one for a while now, but they aren't made anymore so I thought my chances were slim. Luck must have been on my side!! You may remember I reviewed two of Robrecht's puzzles a while back, the 1 Euro Labyrinth and the 4 Steps Visible Lock and I loved both of those and I heard this one was a toughie. Naturally I jumped at the chance to get one.

It's made out of the same material Robrecht used for the 1 Euro Labyrinth, called Corian. It is similar to the Trespa used for the 4 Steps Visible Lock in texture and feel, however it is layered on top with a different kind of material to give it a unique appearance. My version is finished white, as you can see, though I have seen some in black as well (but I'm sure there are no differences puzzle wise!!).The puzzle is ovular, resembling an egg, and an American Quarter-sized hole on the left and a smaller circle towards the centre, through which you can see the American Quarter. The American Quarter is held in a draw that slides in and out of the puzzle similar to both the 1 Euro Labyrinth and the 4 Steps Visible Lock. Controlling the draw is a ball bearing that is inside, obviously constrained by some sort of maze again. On the back, the puzzle's name is neatly cut into the white layer showing the black underneath. 

Visually it is a very good looking puzzle, in my opinion, and is to the same high quality as his other two that I have. There is a small dent in the white around the edge of the smaller hole in the top, but I believe that to be caused by its previous owner. Otherwise it is in very good condition for a used puzzle.

As I said before. I heard that this puzzle was a lot tougher than Robrecht's other two similar puzzles. Let me tell you now, that is true!!! It is very difficult. Obviously because it is made by Robrecht and has a draw with a coin in it, you can assume it would follow the same principle as the others. And I'll tell you it does, that's not the hard part. The hard part is mainly because with the 4 Steps Visible Lock you can see the whole maze and the 1 Euro Labyrinth you can see part of it. This one, you can see none of it. Therefore it is very difficult to know where the ball bearing is and where you need to go.

So you begin trying everything that you learnt from the other two mazes and some things you can work out don't apply here. For instance, if you stop the coin from rattling by holding it, you can hear that there is only one ball bearing. Therefore the fiddly second step of the 4 Steps Visible Lock doesn't apply here, thankfully, but that doesn't make it any easier. Also, you might think that the little misinterpretation towards the end of the 1 Euro Labyrinth might apply too, but again, it doesn't and it still doesn't make it any easier.

The Yolk Removed!
The solution is actually quite simple and only requires three distinct movements. However, I hate to admit I didn't find them myself. I spent several weeks overcomplicating what could be inside (as is what generally happens!!) and got nowhere.

Eventually I had to seek assistance, which lead me to a Youtube video showing Robrecht's son opening the puzzle (obviously contains spoilers!!!!). Following the video I was able to get it open and retrieve the Quarter.

The slightly disappointing thing with this one from Robrecht is the fact that you can't take it apart and see the internals. Just some allen bolts like on the 1 Euro Labyrinth would have been nice. Regardless, I think I have a good mental (?) picture of what it looks like, based on the movements.

Overall I'm very happy with my bargain. I'm going to enjoy giving this one out!!!

That's all for now!!!

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