My order arrived a few days later (I'm always amazed by how fast things arrive), and I eagerly got started working on them. I like doing things in order, so I started out with #5 first. It had the telltale rattle of a hidden mechanism, so I had a feeling that it was going to be pretty tricky. After a few minutes of making no progress, I decided to switch over to working on #7.
I inspected the box briefly and was able to discover the first move quite quickly. It is a bit unusual, which is required for the way that the mechanism works.
On the website, the description says that the second move is 'unexpected' but I found it to be pretty much what I expected. Perhaps it is slightly different than more standard Japanese puzzle boxes, but I have seen it several times before.
After this, I was unsure how to proceed. Nothing else moved that I could find, so I spent a few minutes wiggling things trying to figure out how to get it apart. All of a sudden, it popped apart in a pretty unusual way, which is always a nice little surprise.
I think it took me about 10 minutes to figure this one out, which is longer than the other boxes took me, if I remember correctly. I think most folks will be able to figure this one out without too much difficulty. Overall, a neat little box!
Here's a snippet from the description on the Karakuri Club website that I found intriguing:
Even though you try to open it in your hands, it isn't easy to open. You may not think you need a desk, but it sincerely is helpful to solve the puzzle.This definitely piqued my interest, so I was eager to see how it worked. As I mentioned, since the box rattled when I moved it, I was pretty sure that there was some kind of hidden mechanism involved. As such, I tried all the standard things you try with a hidden mechanism puzzle: I tilted it, I whacked it, I shook it and I spun it in various orientations, all to no avail!
I sat and thought about it for a bit, and tried to peer in the slight gap along the bottom to see what the mechanism was, but that didn't help much. I fiddled around with it a bit more, and quite surprisingly it started to open! However, my finger slipped and it shut and locked again. Darn!
I tried to reproduce what I did before, and I was able to get it to open. Unfortunately, the mechanism was not visible, so even opening it doesn't reveal the secret. Eventually, after playing around with it a bit more, I was able to get it to open reliably. The solution is quite clever and it must be an interesting mechanism that enables it. Very cool!
I was quite satisfied with this box as well. I found it to be fairly difficult, I think it took me a good 10-15 minutes to figure out. I'd be curious to see how my non-puzzler friends find it. I'm looking forward to trying out the rest of the series: I still need #4, #6, and #8.