kind of), my confidence was high so I decided to try the final level 6: Cast Quartet by Mineyuki Uyematsu. This puzzle was an entry in the 2007 Puzzle Design Competition at the International Puzzle Party. I went down to Eureka Puzzles to pick it up and headed back to my apartment.
The puzzle has a nice black finish to it and an interesting angular appearance. It has a good weight to it as well, as do many of the Hanayama puzzles.
Based on the reviews I knew it was going to be a very challenging puzzle, so I tried to be very methodical when I was taking it apart: this type of puzzle can be a beast to put back together when you don't pay attention (as I found with Cast Vortex). Unfortunately, I was paying such close attention that I wasn't able to get the damn thing apart! I think when I get very focused on the movements, it limits my creativity somewhat.
So I abandoned that approach and just started wiggling it around in various ways, and eventually it started to come apart. There are multiple levels of 'apart' for this one, and it took a decent amount of effort at each. Once it finally came undone, I knew I was in trouble: I really had no idea how I had done it.
I worked on putting it back together for several days to no avail, it was essentially a jumbled mess that I could not make much sense of. Eventually I gave up and took a peek at the solution to get me going in the right direction. I worked a bit more knowing that I had at least started correctly, but it was still an overwhelming task. This one was tough!
Even looking at the directions I couldn't get past this one particularly tricky move and had to resort to YouTube. That helped and I was able to get it back together, but that was somewhat less satisfying because of all the help I needed.
Overall, I would recommend this one with slight hesitation: personally this one was past my 'too hard' threshold, so unless you're quite good at this type of puzzle I wouldn't recommend it. Also, I'm not sure what it was, but after the hours of playing with the puzzle, the finish now looks a bit blotchy. Might be my moisturizer or something interacting with the metal but I can't get it back to its original gleaming state.
Tomorrow, I check out two puzzles that I was a bit hesitant to try at first but ended up being pleasantly surprised.
19 hours ago