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My torturous adventure with wire puzzles continues this week with another fiendish puzzle, the Sidewinder. This is made by PuzzleMaster and it's one of the hardest puzzles that I've tried so far. The goal is to remove the red string.
On top of being a very difficult puzzle to solve, the Sidewinder is a mixture of wire and string. If that's not enough to scare you off, you're one brave puzzler. Many of my previous attempts with string based puzzles have ended in complete disaster with some hard to disentangle knots. Because of this, whenever I face a string puzzle, caution and prudence are two things very well present on my mind.
As I understand by its name, the puzzle is reminiscent of a venomous pit-viper. If that's the intention, it fits perfectly with its theme and level of difficulty. The wire part, a trademark of PuzzleMaster, is made with a nickel plated finish and has two rings, one at each end. The way the rings are positioned leaves very little room to move them. The string part is comprised by two beads at both ends and is entangled at the wire frame by two small loops. While it seems possible at first sight, the beads can't pass through the metal rings.
The Sidewinder is a level 10/10 (Mind boggling) puzzle, so this might give you an idea of the complexity involved and serious thinking required in order to successfully solve it. You're probably wondering by now if I have solved the puzzle with all this talk... To simply answer you - No, I did not. I have the puzzle since January and have been trying on and off, with little to no progress at all. And I'm not sure if I will ever be able to solve it.
I keep trying to imagine how the string can be freed from the wire frame, but I can't seem to wrap my brain around it. I'm sure the two rings play an important role in the solving process, and that the string with its 30cm length (12") will probably make a few crazy knots, but all my attempts have produce no noticeable effect.
Being one of the most difficult wire puzzles around, the Sidewinder is a true test to your patience and skill levels. If you're an experienced wire puzzle enthusiast, this is definitely one for you.
Availability: The Sidewinder is available at PuzzleMaster for about $10 CAD. For many others in this category, check out their dedicated Wire Puzzle page.
Solution: You can download here the solution for the Sidewinder puzzle. I won't give up on mine just yet, but my patience has limits.