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Bottle 2, designed by the Dutch Ad van der Schagt, is the first bottle puzzle in my collection. In over four years, since I've been collecting puzzles, I remember seeing many bottle puzzle designs and thought they were really interesting, but never got around to actually get one. In my latest Brilliant Puzzles order, I saw they had a few of these and decided it was time to try one and see what I've been missing... Boy am I glad I got one!
All bottle puzzles have one interesting thing in common: At first sight they appear to be unsolvable. The trick is to study them carefully and look out for smaller details. Their solutions aren't intuitive either, so an outside of the box thinking is a requirement.
The goal of the Bottle 2 couldn't be any simpler: just free the wooden bead and then put it back as it was. Easy right? - Well, if you're experienced with bottle puzzles, this one's actually not that hard. Brilliant Puzzles has rated it as a level 2 out of 5 (Tricky). For a beginner though, like myself, it's a little tougher than that, but nothing extremely frustrating that would discourage you from solving it. It took me around 15 minutes or so to solve it.
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The design you see here is actually an updated version of the first Bottle 2, which was much taller (see this blog post), although the solution is mostly identical. At the end of the dowel you have a series of metal parts attached to each other that prevent it from being removed. Without going too much into the solution itself, I can tell you that some dexterity is needed to get the metal parts where you want them. Also, you won't get too far by holding the puzzle in its natural state, so get creative...
Once you manage to get all the metal pieces to fit inside the narrower part of the bottle, you just need to pull the dowel and it should slide off pretty easily. Getting the dowel back in the bottle is much easier, because you get to touch the metal pieces and adjust them to better fit inside that narrow tube. When you reach the bottom of the bottle just jiggle it a little and the pieces should go back their original positions and ready for the next puzzler.
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After solving my first bottle puzzle I am definitely ready for some more. I became an instant fan of this original concept and will look forward to getting more bottles. As for the Bottle 2 by Ad van der Schagt, it's a great way to get started on this type of puzzles. Give it a try, I promise you won't regret it.
Availability: I got my copy of the Bottle 2 at Brilliant Puzzles, but as of the time of writing the puzzle is currently out of stock. Just keep checking the site regularly, because they should restock it at any moment. They do have other bottle puzzles if you're interested, so check them out here.