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If there's one thing I dread the most in String Puzzles is their natural ability to produce knots out of nothing. Some puzzle are more prone to this than others, and the Quatro puzzle by Eureka is guilty of such crime. The puzzle was designed by the Swedish, Eric Johansson.
Quatro, coincidentally or not, is Portuguese for the number four. It's also the highest level of difficulty used by Eureka to rate their puzzles, 4/4. Quatro is comprised of four wooden rings, each with a colored string attached. The intertwined mesh forms a beautiful symmetry, although quite an intimidating one. The object is to separate the four rings and put them back together.
At first, I wasn't expecting this puzzle to be so stressful to solve. Sure, it's a level 4/4, I assumed it would be challenging, but I didn't know it'd put up such a fight. The problem with the puzzle is that the strings are too tight, and when attempting to solve it, the tension in the strings is so big that it almost tears them apart. And the funny thing is that the description on the puzzle says "No force needed".
After a couple of unsuccessful tries, before looking at any solution, I suspected my approach wasn't right. I was starting to think that making the string go around the ring wasn't the right move, but how else would the puzzle be solved? I was only seeing that option... Much to my surprise, when I finally caved in and looked for a solution, I found out that it was indeed required for the strings to go around the rings. Determined to solve it, I proceeded with the instructions, but even with the solution in front of me I didn't get far. Also, because the colors used in the solution didn't correspond to the actual colors in my puzzle. Talk about a dead end. I guess I don't need to tell you what's the current look of the puzzle, but I'll still tell you... It's full of knots impossible to untie, unless I cut the strings. This is how the puzzle should like when/if solved.
The Quatro puzzle is probably the most fiendish puzzle I ever attempted to solve. I'm bummed that I wasn't able to solve it, not by any lack of skills, but by the flawed design of it. It should have been built with bigger strings. Still, if you like a really serious challenge, and you have the patience of angels, go for it.