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Another week, another tough wire puzzle. Great way to keep torturing myself...
The culprit for my latest brain melt is the Pendulum by PuzzleMaster - They have a great selection of wire puzzles, all very affordable - In order to keep you from hypnotizing yourself, your task is to remove the diamond shape from the wire frame. There are two identical diamond shapes, so don't be confused: the one that's supposed to be freed can be moved up and down the pendulum. The other is locked by a small loop.
Having reviewed several of PuzzleMaster's wire puzzles (twelve, counting this one), there's always something you can expect, albeit the cheap price, and that's high quality. All puzzles are nickel plated to ensure a clean and polished look.
Despite the complex appearance, the Pendulum is rated as a 9/10 level of difficulty, although I wouldn't be so surprised if it were a 10. It's definitely harder than the Blue Knight, another level 9 puzzle reviewed a few weeks ago, which took less than 20 minutes to solve. I know they're totally different puzzles, but still the level of complexity is greater in the Pendulum, in my opinion.
Shortly after I picked up the Pendulum, I had a good idea of how the diamond should be removed, more specifically, where it should exit. The hardest part, however, was to figure out the exact process to get there, and that took a while. The diamond can't go over any of the two large rings that are blocking two possible exits, and since they won't go anywhere, the real exit must be through the other end of the U bar. It's easy to reach that conclusion, but now what? - Well, I figured the oval loop in the U bar was a major part in the solving process, but that didn't help much. So far, I knew where the diamond was supposed to exit and the oval loop was a very important characteristic, but connecting the two was still a foggy thought. To avoid further spoilers for future solvers of the puzzle, I'll leave the rest for you to figure out on your own.
After spending weeks chasing what seemed like an impossible task, seeing the diamond finally out of the puzzle is the ultimate rewarding feeling. When comparing the steps I took with the solution guide, I could see that I made a few redundant ones. There are 17 steps in the solution, but I reckon I must have done more than 20. When describing the difficulty of the Pendulum, I would say that it's not overly complex, although when you take into account the higher than average number of steps required, it's easy to understand why it's a level 9. Getting the diamond back to its original position is much easier, though.
Solution: Click here for a step-by-step guide.
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High quality - Affordable price - Tough challenge. When these three statements are used together to describe a single puzzle, it's hard for a puzzle lover to be indifferent to it. If you like wire puzzles, get it. You won't be disappointed.
Availability: The Pendulum is available at PuzzleMaster for about $12 CAD. To see others in this category, click here.