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Something I've noticed with Jean Claude Constantin's puzzles is that he has quite a wide variety of Trick Lock designs. It's not hard to think why since you can get very creative when designing a Trick Lock with a hidden mechanism. If you research a little you'll see there are countless of different designs and mechanisms that will make any collector envious. The puzzle you see here is called Schloss, which can be translated from German simply as lock or castle. Maybe it's meant to represent a locked entrance door to a castle, as its design is certainly reminiscent of that.
The design is quite original and counter-intuitive for beginners, and uses a few different wood types and tones in contrast with the lock itself, which appears to be relatively old, just like a castle's door lock. The puzzle is also relatively small, with the wooden block measuring about 10 x 8cm (3.9" x 3.1").
The Schloss uses a common hidden mechanism concept seen in other types of puzzles. Trick Boxes, for example. An experienced puzzler will almost immediately recognize the mechanism while others will get deceived by its design. Something you'll notice, whether you're a seasoned puzzler or a beginner, is the lack of a key to open the lock.
Now, if you're not provided with a key, and before you think the puzzle is incomplete, you need to inspect the puzzle a little closer and look for other clues. You won't take long to notice a couple of subtle hints in the design that will at least give you an answer in respect of the lock itself. The goal is to free the wooden ring that's trapped between the lock and the block. How you do that it's up to you to find out, but I guarantee you'll crack a smile when you eventually solve it.
As a collector and a fan of Constantin's puzzles with an interest of Trick Locks, the Schloss is a must-have in any collection, but in terms of actual puzzling, if you're an experienced puzzler, you won't find it remotely challenging. As I mentioned above, the mechanism is easily recognizable as soon as you take a closer look and after that it's solved in a matter of seconds. If I had to choose a classification level I'd have to give it two ratings depending on the person that'd be solving it. One for experts, which would be about 5/10, and one for beginners, which would be around 7-8/10. Nevertheless, whichever group you fit into, I reckon you'll love the Schloss.
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I found the Schloss rather easy to solve, but even so, and as a puzzle collector, I was quite satisfied to add it to my collection. I do recommend showing it to your friends, co-workers or family members, as it will certainly amuse you how others will try and solve it and ask you questions about missing parts.