|(Click to Enlarge)|
Another string puzzle, another tortuous moment for me this week... Or was it? The Snail is an interesting puzzle from Sloyd, made with strong 3mm nickel plated wire, which gives that extra smooth and shiny look that other metal puzzles can't do.
When I first saw The Snail I immediately recognized the shape, since I have seen it before in a slightly different puzzle, the Derringer. A derringer, as you might know, is a pocket pistol, and looking at the puzzle at a different angle it does resemble the shape of a pistol. There's also a major difference between these two versions, and that's the inclusion of a ring above the two beads. Suffice it to say, the version with the ring is much more difficult, so The Snail might just be a simpler version for beginners. Unfortunately, I don't know anything about either version's designer, but I have to assume they were both designed by the same person.
This puzzle is classified as a level 3/5, and despite featuring that fiendish string, I didn't find it so intimidating as I was expecting, so I reckon the difficulty level is just right. I wouldn't say this is the perfect puzzle for a beginner, because it can still be a bit challenging, but if you're used to solving wire puzzles I'm sure you won't have much trouble.
I did find it trickier to get the string back in the frame, because it's not so easy to learn the steps the first time you solve it. You need to do it a few times in a row to fully understand what's going on, but it's a problem when you need to reset the puzzle in order to solve it again. From what I've seen of string puzzles, this has to be one of the easier ones out there.
|(Click to Enlarge)|
The Snail is right in the middle when it comes to difficult wire puzzles. It's not difficult enough to make you feel frustrated, but it's challenging enough to make you think a little harder of the steps you should take. I really liked this one. It was surprisingly easier than I expected and when it comes to wire puzzles, that's an awesome feeling.