October 27, 2009

DaVinci's Secret

I had seen the Sacred Myths and Legends series of puzzles a number of times when searching the web for puzzles, but never got around to buying them. Even though they looked decent, $30 seemed like a lot, considering that I would probably want to buy all six.

One day when I was at Eureka Puzzles and Games shopping for a new mechanical puzzle, I noticed that they had almost the whole series for sale for 40% off! Not a bad deal, considering I was thinking of buying them anyways, so I ended up picking up the whole set, except for The Enigmatic Temple, which he did not have in stock.

I decided to attempt them in order, since each puzzle supposedly contains hints for a password that can be used on the website to unlock clues to the next puzzle. This sounded like an interesting challenge, so I started with DaVinci's Secret, the first puzzle in the series.

This is a fairly large puzzle: almost a foot in length and it looks quite nice with the contrasting tones of wood. It rests on a stand for display that is not part of the puzzle. Inside the box is a cryptic clue that is supposed to be of some help when solving the puzzle, but I didn't really find it much help at all. I'll post it here because it is in the box, so it isn't very secret, and I don't think you'll be able to make any sense of it:
Ancient Roman Architect's
proportions are essential for
symmetry and positions among 16.
Even knowing how to open the puzzle, I don't really see how this is supposed to be helpful. I can kind of back into what they were intending, but even that isn't all that helpful.

The puzzle itself is only moderately challenging, though I think most seasoned puzzlers would consider it fairly simple. I was able to open it in about 10 minutes. It works as you would expect it would, though I supposed I shouldn't say exactly how it works since that could spoil it for you. The five central plates rotate about the center axis, though one of mine was a bit sticky, which was somewhat annoying. The other plates turned fairly well.

I was a bit disappointed that it wasn't more challenging, but this was only the first in the series, and I was aware that some of them were easier than others. Now that I have completed the others, I know that this one is one of the easiest of the series.

Once I got the puzzle open, I had to figure out what the clue inside meant. I was completely dumbfounded by the clue, it didn't really make any sense to me what the answer could be. After working on it for a while, I finally gave up and looked for a hint online. After reading the hint, I didn't have the "oh, of course!" moment, I had a "how the hell was I supposed to know that?" moment.

Now, I'm not very good at this type of word puzzle to begin with, but I think it was exceedingly difficult. Of course, there are probably a number of people smart enough to have solved it, considering somebody needed to solve it in order to post the hints, but I'm certainly not one of them!

In addition to being hard get, the hint that you unlock if you enter the correct password on the website is anything but helpful: it is another cryptic clues that didn't help much on The Equation, the next puzzle in The Sacred Myths and Legends series.

I was hoping that the series just got off to a slow start and that some of the remaining puzzles would be more interesting. Tomorrow, I'll write about my experience with The Equation.

2 comments:

  1. Hello Brian. I enjoy reading you as you write very well. About that serie of puzzle, you have to know that they are suppose to make some day a seventh puzzle ("Secrets of the Pyramid") and to solve that puzzle you will need a piece of all previous 6 puzzles. Also one part of a puzzle is suppose to help (in some way) solving the next one. Personnaly I think the concept behind that serie is very interesting.

    Daniel

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  2. Hi Daniel,

    Thanks for your comments, I am glad you are enjoying reading my blog!

    Yes, I am looking forward to the release of the final puzzle in the series, it was scheduled for last year and then delayed. Word from the company indicates that it will be released around the end of 2009, so hopefully that is the case. I'll bet the final puzzle is a doozy if it really involves hints from all the others. I hope it isn't too much more expensive.

    I agree that the concept of using a piece from one puzzle in the next is an interesting one, but now that I have gone through the series, I don't think it was executed particularly well. Unfortunately, I can't really talk about the specifics without giving things away. More details on this aspect in my next few posts about this series.

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Please don't post spoilers! Thanks for commenting!

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