October 17, 2009

Cast Ring

I was down at Eureka trying to find a good puzzle to buy next. I was talking to David, the owner, and telling him how I had pretty much run out of difficult Hanayamas to solve, except for the Cast Ring and Cast Ring II. I told him that for some reason this type of puzzle didn't really appeal to me: I thought it would be more annoying than enjoyable. David said that Cast Ring was actually a pretty fun puzzle, and suggested I give it a try since he had an opened version behind the counter.

I couldn't resist the opportunity to give it a shot, so I set myself to the task of trying to re-assemble the ring. I worked on it for about 20 minutes and was starting to be convinced that there must be some flaw in the puzzle. I concluded that there were only a few ways for the pieces to fit together, and since they didn't fit flush there must be a bent piece or something. I asked David and he turned around and was able to solve it, so there went that excuse! He handed it back to me and I resumed working on it.

I tried for another 10-15 minutes but needed to get going, so I decided to buy puzzle. I had them disassemble it for me, since it comes assembled and I didn't want to accidently discover the solution while disassembling it.

I worked on it a bit more on the ride home on the subway and eventually figured it out, much to my satisfaction and relief! It is definitely a cool little puzzle: one thing that I liked about it is that I really had to think about the different possibilities for how the pieces could fit together to deduce the solution. It is probably not one of those puzzles that you will solve by idly fiddling with it, which I think is a positive trait.

The puzzle is quite well constructed, though it would be nice if there was a clip or magnet to hold it in place since it tends to fall apart. I like the dual-toned finish that they used. Overall, a cool puzzle that I would recommend.

I would imagine that it is better to first experience a puzzle ring in this enlarged form rather than a traditional puzzle ring, since it is easier to see what is going on. That said, I haven't actually done a small puzzle ring, so who knows! I would wear a puzzle ring, but I already have a ring that is a gift from my grandparents that I wear, and I think a second piece of man-jewelry would be too much. Maybe I'll get my girlfriend to wear one and I can play with it!

2 comments:

  1. I've read through a couple of your reviews, and I usually agreed with them, but not with this one. I find this puzzle really annoying - exactly as you expected. Even if I see that I should move this piece there carefully, and then it would fit, my hands are sometimes simply not smart enough to do that. So the solution was more like find a way for what I have enough hands. I believe there is only one key observation, after one did that it becomes pure frustration. I wouldn't recommend to anybody.

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  2. Yeah, I know what you are talking about, it is tough to physically figure out how to move one ring to another spot since they are interlinked. Maybe try it a few more times and you will come up with a technique that will work for you.

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