Cast Puzzle – Vortex
This is one of those brain-teaser kind of puzzles that have obvious goals but not-so-obvious solutions. This particular one is called Vortex and is one of the Hanamaya series of cast puzzles. In the difficult rating of 1 through 6 (6 being the hardest), this one was labeled a 5.
I got this one for Christmas and it aggravated that poop out of me (not literally). Eventually I got it figured out, and now that I know how it’s done, it’s easy. Of course, that’s usually how it works. However, since this puzzle has three pieces which all appear very similar (but are in fact different), it’s a little bit more confusing.
I took these two pictures a few minutes ago with my phone. That’s why they’re a little blurry. Now that I have messed with it a bit and can identify which piece is which, I can take them apart and put them together with reasonable ease, and quite quickly… and no, I can’t do it with my eyes closed.
Several days ago I was playing with it, and I made the mistake of forcing one piece into a position with another piece that wasn’t intended. After that, I was unable to take the three pieces apart. I tried forcing that piece back out of where I had gotten it stuck, but it just would not fit back through the way it went in. I actually had to use a vice and a screwdriver to pry one of the pieces open a bit wider in order to get them apart. I did my best to bend them back into their original position, but it’s still a tiny bit off. Fortunately, I have still been able to solve and “unsolve” the whole thing several times since then, and it appears that it works just fine. The only thing that seems to be affected is that when it is in the solved state (all three pieces together as shown in the first picture), they lock into each other tighter than they are intended to, and are a bit stiff. However, once you loosen them with just a bit of extra effort, all seems ok.
Anyway, I have decided that I want to start collecting these puzzles. Right now I’m trying to save some money, so I don’t want to go out and start buying a bunch, but perhaps I can afford to buy one per paycheck. They’re generally only about $10 a piece, depending on where I order them from, and likewise, the shipping should not be too much either.
If you have any you’d like to donate, that would be awesome. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.