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After having recently reviewed a couple of easy Wire Puzzles, I am now moving on to tougher paths. It still isn't a top level puzzle, but it can be a little tricky with multiple steps required.
The Beetle Bug is another PuzzleMaster's version of the Tucker-Jones House original from 1985, the Satan's Stirrup. As mentioned in previous reviews, I prefer the material used by PuzzleMaster, with a smoother surface.
The puzzle belongs to Tucker's group 4/8 puzzles, so it's right there in the middle of difficulty. PuzzleMaster rates it at 7/10. Not too hard for it to become frustrating, but it's also not that simple, which prevents it from being solved right away. I reckon these ones are the best for me, as I tend to get frustrated pretty quickly when it comes to Wire/String puzzles.
I think the name of the puzzle is very fitting for what it resembles. Usually, I like better the names that PuzzleMaster comes up with for their puzzles, because they often describe best the nature and appearance of the puzzle.
The goal is simple to understand straight away. Just try to separate the handle from the beetle. The previous easier puzzles have actually served a purpose, because as I've been saying, it's possible to learn some tips from them in order to solve harder ones.
This one took me between 15 and 20 minutes to figure it out. Most of the times, when I solve this type of puzzles, I get rather surprised when it's finally solved, so I don't pay much attention to the steps I took. Getting it back to its original position is sometimes more challenging. I think it took me about the same time to put it back together again. I had an idea of what it should be done, but not quite certain.
Spoiler ahead: The first thing I noticed was the length of the handle. If it's that long, it's not in vain. The first step is getting the handle to go over one of the U ends and then through the bottom including the ring. After that, make the ring go over the tip of the handle and again to go over one of the curled ends below the ring. This will make the handle pass through the inside of the ring and access the last section of the puzzle. The next step is to get the handle through one of the U ends and go inside the ring again. While doing this, go over the ring and the two curled ends and you should be able to free the handle.
I understand this might sound a little confusing, if you're trying to solve it with the description above, but it's just to point you in the right direction. If you still need a graphical solution, you can download one here.
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After solving the Beetle Bug puzzle, I think I have a new standard for my favorite level when it comes to wire puzzles: level 7. This is perfect to enjoy the puzzle. It provides a great challenge, while keeping the frustration levels low enough to still get a rewarding sense of accomplishment.
Availability: PuzzleMaster has two versions of the Beetle Bug: the one I have and another called Lady Bug, about double the size. They also have the original from Tucker-Jones House, the Satan's Stirrup.