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Deal of the Week: This week, you can get 15% off on all Sloyd Metal Puzzles. You just need to mention the name of my blog when you place your order. Offer valid until August 2.
Christmas won't be for another five months, but that didn't stop me from setting up a tree in the middle of Summer... A different kind of tree, that is. This Christmas Tree is a very nice wire puzzle manufactured by Sloyd in Finland and belongs to their Metal Puzzles range, with a wide variety of designs.
Besides the design variety, Sloyd's metal puzzles also have different levels of difficulty, ranging from very easy to extremely frustrating. The Christmas Tree, however, is easy to "set up" while still providing a nice challenge. With a difficulty level of 2/5, experienced puzzlers might be able to solve this within a minute or two, whereas a beginner might take up to half an hour or even more. I fall in between the two extremes, as I took about 10 minutes to solve it. The hard part with these puzzles is that even after you can visualize the exit point it can be whole other matter to get there.
The goal of the puzzle is simple enough for anyone to understand, even for someone that never solved one of these before. There are two basic pieces, the main body in a tree-shape and a handle. The object is to free the handle from the tree and then, put it back in its original position. It might be easier said than done, since it took me a while to fully understand the solution and be able to do it back and forth between its two states. Once I figured it out, I could do it in three easy steps within a few seconds. It's actually quite rewarding when you manage to understand the solution and be able to solve it fast enough to dazzle your friends and family.
The design of the puzzle is somewhat symmetrical, meaning you can solve it by using one of the two sides. In other words, and looking at the puzzle with the tips facing upwards, you can manipulate the handle on either side and still be able to solve it the same way. The side with the ring attached to one of the tips might be a bit trickier to use, since it's harder to make the handle pass over it. On the other hand, the opposite side is less complex, as you only have to worry about two of the three middle rings for the solution.
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The Christmas Tree is a step up in difficulty from the previous Sloyd metal puzzle I reviewed, The Triangle Tie. If you're just starting with these puzzles, I recommend starting with the level 1/5 and work your way up. The Tree feels a little more challenging, although it's still far from being frustrating, even for beginners. Definitely worth a try.
Availability: You can find The Christmas Tree and others in the Sloyd Metal Puzzles range at Sloyd.fi. This week you can enjoy a 15% discount on all Sloyd Metal Puzzles. To benefit from the discount you only need to mention my blog when you place your order. Offer valid until August 2.