February 6, 2012

Saturn Wire Puzzle

During my last trip to Eureka Puzzles & Games to purchase Cast Donuts, I also ended up purchasing a wire puzzle by Jean-Claude Constantin named Saturn on the recommendation of David Leschinsky, the owner of Eureka. He said that it was one of those puzzles you could even demonstrate the solution to somebody, and they'd still have trouble solving it. That's always fun, and it looked like an interesting puzzle so I decided to give it a try.

I played around with it a bit on the subway ride home, but always ended up at a dead end! There were a number of ways to approach it, but I always ended up either being stuck immediately, or going around the spiral a bit before getting stuck. Quite perplexing!

When I got home, I tried thinking through how the rod would have to go back on the puzzle, hoping that it would be a bit more obvious than taking it off. This may be the case to some degree, but it didn't end up helping me much since I found it hard to visualize.

With a bit more fiddling, I was able to finally get it off, but I didn't know quite what I had done! I put it back on without too much trouble, but when I tried to remove it again, I found myself at the same dead ends that I had found before. It turns out that the correct movement is pretty subtle, and must be done just right to succeed, which is pretty cool! Eventually I figured it out, but it took me a good 30-45 minutes in all.

I have shown this one to a few people, even demonstrating the solution, and due to the subtle nature of the movement, none have been able to replicate it (though they didn't spend long on it). It was fun watching them do exactly what I just did (in their minds), only to come to a dead-end.

Definitely a fun little puzzle that is worth checking out if you enjoy wire puzzles. It can be purchased from EurekaPuzzle Master, or Sloyd. Thanks to David for the good tip!

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