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Day Trip is a rope puzzle from Eureka's latest series, the Bon Voyage puzzles. This is a collection of nine puzzles, all rope, with travelling as the main theme. Even their names are holiday-related. These also vary in terms of difficulty, from 1 to 3 stars. Day Trip is rated as 3 stars, so this won't be a picnic. The original version, the Tricky Dicky, was designed by Rick Eason - Thanks for the info, George!
The design of these puzzles is very colorful and vibrant. This is actually where Eureka excels at, presentation. They're also small compared to other puzzles of the same type, which could be great to take them with you on your travels. Day Trip's design actually looks quite simple, but looks can be deceiving and, in this case, very true.
The puzzle consists of two different sized sticks attached together by two pieces of rope. At the end of the larger stick there's a lengthier rope with two rings attached, a colored one at the other end and a metal one that can move up and down along the rope's length. Your task, as you might have guessed by now, is to free the metal ring from the puzzle and put it back to its original position. Be prepared, because this one could take a whole trip to figure out.
To solve the Day Trip it actually took me more than a day, about two hours total. Most of that time, however, was spent untying knots that I involuntarily did while attempting to solve it. The small rope loop found between the two sticks was mostly responsible for the knots, since it becomes very easy to "collect" a few knots with just a couple of moves around the puzzle. My advice here is to never make a move without first studying how to reverse it. If you lose your train of thought for a moment it will be very hard to reset the puzzle and start again.
So, after much frustration, I was eventually able to solve it, but not without its problems. Putting the ring back was just as challenging as removing it. Yes, you just have to reverse all the steps until you finally do it, but when you try to solve a puzzle countless times, by the time you eventually succeed you already forgot how you did half the moves. If you've solved any wire/rope puzzle before, I'm sure you know what I'm talking about...
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Day Trip is a terrific challenge and, despite all the frustration, a very rewarding one. I have another puzzle from this series in my collection to try, the Summer Holiday, and so far I'm impressed by their quality. Stay tuned for my thoughts on the next one.
Availability: You can get a copy of the Day Trip puzzle at Puzzles de Ingenio, in Spain. Worldwide shipping available.