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There's something about hidden mechanism puzzles that I find very appealing. The challenge of finding the secret that keeps the pieces connected and interlocked is somewhat rewarding, always leaving you with that a-ha moment when the solution is discovered.
The Cross Puzzle, by Bits and Pieces is one of such puzzles. Beautifully designed, resembling a gift-wrapped package, your objective is to separate the two pieces that comprise the puzzle.
Now, if you're like me and already solved the 'X Marks the Spot' and/or the 'Cast News' by Nobuyuki Yoshigahara, you're in luck. The concept and principle behind the puzzle is very similar to those and you'll solve it pretty quickly. If, on the contrary, you're unfamiliar with the mechanism, it can be quite tricky to solve.
A close inspection will reveal that, when shaken, the puzzle makes a rattling sound, giving away that the solution is related to this particularity. Others things you might notice is how the two pieces are joined together and the way they are locked at the middle.
Since both pieces are not that tight, you can see a little of what's going on inside. Adding how the mechanism in the middle works with that rattling inside, I'm sure it won't be that hard to solve after that. Even if you understand how to separate the pieces, it could be a bit frustrating getting the internal parts to clear the way. An easier way to do this (Spoiler ahead) is to get the puzzle to spin fast in a hard surface (like you would make a coin spin). The centrifugal force will send the internal pins to the edges, leaving the middle free. Just lift one of the pieces and there you go, the puzzle is solved. For a graphical solution click here.
The difficulty of the Cross Puzzle is rated by PuzzleMaster as a 6/10, although the Cast News, with the same mechanism is a 10/10. The only reason I can see why is because the cast puzzle has the pieces much more tight together, giving away very little information regarding its solution. The rattling is there though, and the same solution can also be applied.
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In general, the Cross Puzzle is a very nice puzzle. Light and small (7 cm/2.75"), it can also be categorized as a trick puzzle, because the solution can be interpreted as some kind of a trick, not a series of movements. When I first saw it, I didn't know that it was similar to the above mentioned puzzles, but it's another neat way of presenting a known concept.