Cowboy's Hobble is a simple-looking disentanglement puzzle recommended to me by George Bell. The folks at Puzzle Master were kind enough to send me a copy to review. Thanks!
Despite its simple appearance, this one is actually fairly difficult! The goal is to remove the ring. I tried a few of the obvious things and ended up going around and circles quite a bit. Each time, I ended up getting stuck on the ball at the end of the string.
Since attacking this one head-on didn't seem to be doing the trick, I started to think about the different ways that the ring could be put back on the puzzle once I had removed it. Following this path eventually led me to the solution, since the tricky-to-find move is much easier to find in reverse. Picking the puzzle up again as I write this, I still forget that blasted move and have to repeat the mental exercise to re-discover it. A sign of a good puzzle! Definitely worthy of Puzzle Master's 9/10 difficulty rating.
No real downsides to this one as far as I'm concerned: it doesn't have much opportunity to get tangled like many disentanglement puzzles with a string component do. Overall, Cowboy's Hobble was a great disentanglement puzzle! Thanks to George for recommending it to me!
Check out Kevin's review here of Live Wire's version of this puzzle, named Ball and Ring.
2 days ago