October 15, 2009

Iwahiro's Dinghy

I was down at Eureka Puzzles and Games, a local puzzle shop I frequent, shopping for a new puzzle to keep me entertained. I had been eyeing a nice looking little puzzle in the display case called Dinghy. It was designed by Hirokazu Iwasawa (a.k.a. Iwahiro), who was also the designer of the award-winning and very cool ODD Packing Puzzle that I had purchased a few weeks ago (blog entry).

I spoke with the owner of Eureka, David, and he said that it was an interesting puzzle that has a nice little twist at the end. I liked the sound of that, so decided to give it a try.

The puzzle is quite well made and sturdy, though it has a delicate appearance. The chain is a very thin bead chain that gives it quite a bit more flexibility than a more coarse linked chain. Also, it has the advantage of not tangling as easily. The fastener on the end is crimped to keep you from cheating.

The puzzle itself was a lot of fun to solve. It was of moderate difficulty; I think it took me about 20 minutes to solve. The structure of the frame is a bit daunting at first, I needed to look a it for a while before I could think of a way to approach it. I hit a dead end for a while where I felt like I had tried everything, but eventually I figured out the key move that led to the solution. The last move wasn't difficult, but it is a really cool move that requires the exact amount of chain that is provided, which I thought was a very nice touch.

Overall, a very cool puzzle that I would recommend.

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