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It's been a while since I've reviewed a Cast Puzzle. One of the reasons is that I wanted to review other types of puzzles as well, to keep the blog's contents varied. With that task accomplished, I decided it was time to write another Cast Puzzle review.
... And what better way to resume these reviews than an Oskar van Deventer design? - Released in December 2001 by Hanayama, the Cast Keyring is level 2 out of 6 and PuzzleMaster rates it equivalently at 6/10. As you might have guessed, it's a relatively easy one.
One curious thing of the Cast Keyring is that it can actually be turned into a key ring. If you look closely, you'll see a tiny hole at one of the extremities, which is large enough to attach a ring to hang your keys.
The puzzle consists of two identical pieces, although as Hanayama does best, they've coated one in golden and the other one in silver, to better distinguish them apart. These two pieces are interlocked, perpendicular in relation to each other's plane, and your objective is to separate them. To make things a bit more difficult, the pieces can't move freely, without some strategy. There are a couple of indentations at the front of each piece and one at the back, and a pin at the center, which will fit right into these indentations.
In order to separate the pieces, you'll need to rotate one of them so that both exits can be at the same direction of movement. Sounds complicated, but trust me, once you try it for yourself, you'll see that after a few minutes of fiddling with the puzzle, it'll be solved. For another challenge, simply put back the pieces together. However, to make sure that you have succeeded, you need to look at the words read from each piece. Seen from one angle, you can read "Key", but if you turn it upside down, you will read "Ring" instead. This nice word play is beautifully done by Scott Kim and is called an ambigram. If you need a graphical solution, check out Puzzlemaster's here.
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I loved the design of the Cast Keyring. You can't go wrong when you combine design excellence from Oskar and high-quality finish by Hanayama. The puzzle is small, but feels heavy and sturdy. The coating is flawless and the ambigram with the "Key" and "Ring" words is a clever touch.
For being an easy puzzle, it's recommended to those that are new to the Hanayama Cast Series and want to have a little fun, without being too much frustrated.
The Cast Keyring and all the other ones in the Hanayama Cast Series can be found at PuzzleMaster.ca.
Hanayama's Factory Visit (Many thanks to Roxanne Wong for sharing these pictures)
Oskar van Deventer - Official Website